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“No chain here... just barbecue at its best!”

Carolina Smokehouse
Ranked #11 of 33 Restaurants in Cashiers
Cuisines: American, Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Dining on a budget, Kids, Families with children, Large groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: It's a BBQ restaurant on the highway between Cashiers and Highlands, NC. (I think they refer to it as "The Cashiers Highway." There aren't many places to eat -- kinda rural and mountainous, but this restaurant has big signage and located right on the highway. The card I picked up said "Rob & Tammy Williams, with ph no. 828-743-3200, fax 828-743-9770
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
52 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“No chain here... just barbecue at its best!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2011

I just joined TA after years of reading. I'm going to review the restaurants we experienced this trip. This is my first review.
We went to Carolina Smokehouse over 4th of July weekend. We enjoyed it so much we went back again several time during our trip. The place was hoppin'!
We tried a variety of menu items: ribs plate, chicken plate, bbq beef and pork, the "smoky burger" hamburger, and the peach cobbler. All delicious! The ribs were meaty and flavorful and fell right of the bone. Same with the juicy side of chicken, it just fell right apart. The barbecue is the chopped variety, and it was cool to see both pork and beef on the menu. Husband enjoyed both of these as a sandwich very much. They were huge! The smoky hamburger spoiled me. I may not be able to eat any other kind of burger once I get off the mountain! Some how we found room to try a peach cobbler with a big heap of vanilla ice cream on top for dessert. I'm glad we did!
The portion size was great and the prices were quite reasonable. As we were paying at the counter, I saw reviews from some food network shows hanging on the wall. Alton Brown and others have visited. Wow. Also I saw their yummy barbecue sauce jars for sale to take home. Proprietor Rob at the cash register had a nice word for everyone as they paid. We like friendly personal touches like these.
Service was very good. We had server Tori a couple times and, even though the restaurant was slammed, she was just as sweet as could be and on top of drink refills and such. A nice young busser named Hayes had his work cut our for him! Staff really does a great job here of keeping things moving on such a busy weekend.
We are barbecue lovers, and we try to visit regional family owned barbecue restaurants on our travels. This one ranks up there with the best. Even on an ‘off‘ day, I can't imagine this place falling so far as some reviews here. Maybe some posters here are more used to ‘their kind of barbecue’ they get at home? Carolina Smokehouse uses a tomato based sauce. As I already mentioned, their barbecue is the chopped variety, with a choice of pork and beef.
We'll be back again for sure at our Labor Day trip!

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PieOhMy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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284 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    101
    91
    39
    26
    27
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
52 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Good for the price”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2011

Very cheap and solid BBQ. I would have given three stars but you get a lot for the money. If you are worried more about taste the BBQ at Cashiers Farmers Market down the road is 5 stars.

  • Visited June 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank GatorNation81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Davis, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“very bland and disappointing BBQ”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2011

This restaurant was such a disappointment! We ordered the "pit combo" which was a compilation of all the items they serve. We were excited to dig in to this feast but were left with a bland taste in our mouths:

The "soup" was nothing more than a can of beans diluted in chicken broth...
The cornbread was crumbly and stale...
The fries were soft and flavorless
The chicken and ribs tasted like artificial smoke (or perhaps they used paper instead of wood chips?)...
The grand finale, the chopped pork and beef were so bland that you HAD to drown it in BBQ sauce.

On the upside the sauces were good! The food was not terrible and we had a decent meal, but as someone who likes to sample Southern BBQ at every occasion I get I was THOROUGHLY disappointed by the lack of taste from this place!

  • Visited June 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
2 Thank Monkeychemist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirkland, Washington
Level Contributor
121 reviews
99 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Fabulous BBQ experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 2011

Do not come here in your tuxedo or similar attitude. But if you hanker for BBQ from a pit that melts in tour mouth this is it. We ate out in the patio with the locals and kids and gramma. What is not to like?

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jazzlover44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roswell, Georgia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“I thought it was great.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2011

I'm surprised at the some of the other reviews as well. I too have eaten BBQ all over this country. As a matter of fact, my in-laws owned a BBQ place (voted Best in CT several times) for many years. We ate in for lunch and knowing that the area we were staying in at Lake Toxaway was light on decent fare for dinner, we ordered take-out. The burgers were fine at lunch, not phenomenal, but good. The dinner was phenomenal. We sampled pulled pork and beef brisket, both chopped nicely with virtually no fat and alot of the crusty, crunchy roasted "grill side" included. The Baby Back ribs ended up a little dry, but I think that was my fault as they needed to be reheated at dinner time and I didn't wrap them in foil. The baked beans were great as well. But man, is the hot sauce HOT!

The place isn't fancy, but it was lunchtime and it was busy. Yet the waitress was pleasant and helpful. I told her when we sat down not to close out the check because we would be ordering take-out; she suggested we hang onto a menu until we decided what we wanted (just in case we changed our minds). Later she suggested taking the to go cold (since it wouldn't be eaten until dinner anyway) and would keep better in the cooler that way.

I would definitely return if we went back to the area, and will surely recommend to others.

  • Visited May 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank keld0rama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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