The Carolina Kitchen is the most amazing and popular southern cuisine restaurant chain in the nation. It was created to offer its guest taste buds an amazing journey through the South. From the moment One enters, they are transported to another world; designed to stimulate the soul and indulge the senses.
Chef Timothy Dean, a former contestant on Bravo's Top Chef Season 7, builds gourmet burgers with certified grass-fed Angus beef free from hormones and antibiotics. Even though Dean honed his culinary skills under chef Jean-Louis Palladin at the Watergate Hotel and later at Paladin in New York City, he chose to focus on more casual cuisine for his own restaurant. According to a 2012 article in the Washington Post, Dean says, "I've always been in fine dining but I realized that people are just not spending that kind of money anymore." So he decided to pair his gourmet finesse with food that is accessible to everyone.
That decision paid off because his burgers earned him a rave review in the Baltimore Sun, which proclaimed, "The vibe is fast food, but the food – burgers, fries and gourmet pizzas – is worthy of white tablecloths." His burgers come crowned with classic toppings such as american cheese, vine ripe tomatoes, and bibb lettuce as well as inventive combinations such as The Baker burger with housemade jalapeño aioli and fried onions.
Along with signature burgers, Dean also features hand-tossed pizzas topped with jerk chicken and thai basil and sides of sweet potato fries with honey. For dessert, patrons may sip thick, handcrafted milk shakes in flavors including dark chocolate, vanilla bean, or strawberry. Sweets include red velvet cupcakes, Belgium chocolate-chip cookies, and Kahlua chocolate-chip brownies.
From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers’ exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location’s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
Taking its name from U.S. Congressman and Freedmen's Bureau official John Mercer Langston, Langston Bar & Grille maintains a connection to tradition with its country-style meals of shrimp and grits, black-eyed peas, and barbecue ribs. The eatery blends haute cuisine with home cooking, not only on its Southern-tinged menu—which features dishes such as wild-caught fish fried in cornmeal batter and Angus beef burgers—but also in a classy lounge atmosphere of art-decked walls, patio seating, and a full-service bar. Like a barbecue smoker full of chips from free-range hickory trees, the foods themselves infuse a touch of healthy, responsible eating to the rich and satisfying flavors of Southern cuisine, with organic veggies and sides such as baked cabbage, string beans, and collard greens. Guests can complement their home-style feasts with slices of sweet potato pie, glasses of wine and beer, or sweet-smelling imported cigars.
Mother Rucker's Subs stakes its name on fresh sandwiches brimming with cold-cut meats, veggies, and provolone cheese. With subs that preference meats over bread, patrons pick from deli meats that include cold-cut bologna, pepperoni, and cooked salami.