Charlotte · FL · Gaffney SC · Gainesville · Vale

Best of Restaurants: Steak

Steak is one of my favorite proteins.  The problem for me has always been that my dad and now my son make such good steaks, I find any I have in restaurants to be lacking.  Not the case with these picks:

Filet Mignon at Carolina Cafe in Gaffney, SC

Mills Family Farm Ribeye Steak with beef jus from Heirloom in Charlotte, NC

Pan roasted barrel cut Angus filet with roasted portabellos, puff pastry & a white-truffle sherry reduction from Paramount Grill in Gainesville, FL

Steak dinner at Willow Creek Inn in Vale

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Asheville · Charlotte · Davidson · Denver · Gaffney SC · Lincolnton · Myrtle Beach · Savannah · Statesville

Best of Restaurant Desserts

Chocolate Souffle’ at Aix en Provence in Charlotte

Creme Brulee at Baron’s Steakhouse in Myrtle Beach

Roasted Apple Galette at Kindred in Davidson

Chocolate Layer Cake at Twisted Oak Bar and Grill in Statesville, NC

Rolled Ice Cream at Below Zero in Savannah, GA

Apple Pie Wontons at The Cowfish in Charlotte, NC

S’Mores Trifle at 5 Church in Charlotte, NC

Brownie Sundae at Carolina Cones in Davidson, NC

Crepe Suzette from Crepe Cellar

Milk Chocolate Liquid Truffle from French Broad Chocolate Lounge in Asheville, NC

Pecan Pie a la mode at Alton’s Kitchen and Cocktails in Cornelius, NC

Coconut Cake from Chillfire in Denver, NC

Nutella and Strawberry Crepe from The Crispy Crepe in Charlotte

Apple Cobbler a la mode at Carolina Cafe in Gaffney, SC

Milk Bread Cinnamon Rolls at Kindred in Davidson

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Strawberry Basil Shortbread from Crafted Southern Speakeasy in Lincolnton, NC

Doughnuts from Reigning Doughnuts in Charlotte, NC

Bourbon Brioche Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce & Vanilla Ice Cream from Bistro La Bon in Charlotte

 

Gaffney SC

Carolina Cafe

The Foodie Crew went out of our comfort zone, and back into South Carolina this week!  I must admit, I was doubtful of my friend’s pick.  When I called for reservations, I was told they didn’t take them.  Strike one!  Not only am I impatient about waiting, but after the accident, I find it hard to stand for long periods of time.  I’m so glad I prevailed!

This place is pretty far off of the beaten path.  You have to know it’s there, you probably are not just going to “run across” it.  Grab your GPS, plug in the digits (people still say that, right?) and head out.  When you arrive, you’ll see it jam packed with people.  Put your name on the list and wait.  When you sit down, you’ll see cinder block walls.  Get over it.  Seriously.  My steak was better at that hole in the wall than at Ruth’s Chris.

So, let’s see…we have an out of the way location, a lack of atmosphere and no reservation taking.  Doesn’t sound too promising, right?  Settle down.  The food is worth the trouble.

Appetizers

We ordered two appetizers, one was the Aloha Chicken and the other was fried onion rings.  The Aloha Chicken was a hot dip, with a creamy base then topped with cheddar cheese.  It was served with tortilla chips.  It was so good, though at first we were taken aback by how soupy it was.  We got over it quick, because it was so flavorful, with tender chicken, and just a tiny amount of sweetness from the pineapple juice.

The onion straws were nothing special, but they were good!  They were thin strips fried crisp and served with a spicy dipping sauce, reminiscent of a Remoulade.  The onions were a tiny bit oily but they were delicious, so no one complained.  We couldn’t finish them, however.  They give you a very healthy portion.

carolinacafealohachicken
Aloha Chicken
Onion Rings
Onion Rings

Salads

All of the meals come with a salad.  They are nice sized and very fresh, with homemade dressings.  I didn’t get a picture, because you know…it’s a salad.

Entrees

We all, for once, got four different things.  The first entree was the Beef Tips smothered with mushrooms, peppers, onion and shrimp and melted Monterrey Jack cheese covered all.  The tips were filet and Jeri pronounced the meat very tender, and the shrimp very fresh.  As you can see below, it comes with a large sweet potato, and that mixture in the cup?  Yeah, that’s melted butter and brown sugar.  My lord, it is good.

Beef Tips, smothered with mushrooms and cheese, with shrimp
Beef Tips, smothered with mushrooms and cheese, with shrimp

My hubs got the Cajun ribeye.  It was served with more of those yummy shoestring onion rings and cheese grits.  The steak was cooked perfectly and spicy and the grits were cheesy creamy goodness.

Cajun Ribeye with Onion Rings and Cheese Grits
Cajun Ribeye with Onion Rings and Cheese Grits

Robert ordered the Barbecued Ribs everyone raves about.  They were very tender and smoky, and just fell right off of the bone.  He got the whole rack, and was about to eat only half.  It came with French Fries, crispy and salty!

Barbecued Ribs
Barbecued Ribs

I got the Filet Mignon and added mushrooms.  It was served with a baked potato, but that was so unnecessary.  That might have been the best steak I’ve ever had, and I KNOW it was better than Ruth’s Chris.  Tender, juicy with just the right amount of chargrilling….and perfect doneness.  If only this place wasn’t an hour from my home, I’d eat there once a week.

Filet Mignon
Filet Mignon

Desserts

Oh my goodness we were so full after that delicious meal, but what’s that the waitress said?  Homemade desserts??  Yes please.

The men opted for the Lemon meringue pie, and it had the perfect tang that only comes from fresh squeezed lemon, a perfect crust and a creamy firm meringue.  Nothing could be better, right?

Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie

Well.  Then we tasted the Apple Dumpling with ice cream.  Cinnamony, pillowy, appley goodness.  I don’t even like apples, and that is the best tasting dessert I’ve had in a long time…ever?  If you go..get that.  Even if you don’t like apples, either.

Apple Dumpling
Apple Dumpling

We put off going to Carolina Cafe once and almost did again because of the distance and lack of reservation taking.  I am so glad we sucked it up and went.  It is truly one of those “diamonds in the rough” places.  Enjoy!

Carolina Cafe on Urbanspoon