You don't expect to see lines out the door of a small fluoro-lit café in a suburban street in Coorparoo. But this is the phenomenon of Carolina Kitchen. People have been coming from far and wide to taste their ribs, chicken wings and homemade pies.
The tables are covered in red and white chequered tablecloths and pictures of Louis Armstrong, Michael Jordan and various other famous southern Americans cover the walls. With Motown classics playing on the boom box, it feels like a journey to the American south.
Staying true to the American theme, drinks on offer include A&W Root Beer and Creaming Soda and Dr Pepper – no licence here yet. An appealing menu option for those eating in a pair is the Carolina Pack. This gives you 12 wings, a serve of ribs and a serve of chili fries…all for $40.
Despite the constant flow of people coming in and out of the kitchen, the wait for food is only about 20 minutes, and it is worth it. The buffalo wings are spicy and crispy and come with a delicious blue cheese sauce. The ribs are that great mixture of sweet and tangy, and are lathered in homemade BBQ sauce (which may spend as much time on your cheeks as it does inside your stomach).
After eating all of that food it is hard to fathom fitting in a piece of pie, which is why it is so wonderful that you can take away. The options are cherry, pumpkin, pecan and key lime. The pumpkin was sweet and cinnamony and smells so good. The key lime was appropriately tart, but caramelised pecans are hard to beat, and the smooth creamy inside of the pecan pie made it a favourite for all.
Carolina Kitchen closes at 8pm, so you need to get in quick. If you wish to eat in you should definitely book ahead, as the place packs full of diners and people lining up for take away.