What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Carolina Smokehouse is all about the comfort food

Posted December 6, 2011
Updated December 19, 2011

For Wake Forest restaurant owner Matt Naugle, it is all about comfort food. 

"You are supposed to feel better leaving, then you did when you came in," Naugle said of his restaurant the Carolina Smokehouse Grill.

Naugle is no stranger to the restaurant industry. He owns The WatersView Restaurant, a steak and seafood staple along Lake Gaston. He said he wanted to venture into Wake Forest and North Raleigh because that is where he calls home. 

His new restaurant, the Carolina Smokehouse Grill, 11216 Capital Blvd. in Wake Forest, is comfort food personified from iron-skilled mac and cheese to fall off the bone slow-smoked pork ribs. 

Naugle said he wanted to design a place where people could socialize and enjoy the food, while not spending too much. 

"We want people to feel warm and comfortable and not pretentious," he said. "And get great service but not have to pay the price for it." 

Carolina Smokehouse Grill opened in October.

Most of the menu items come in under $10, with entrees running from $9 to $15. And portions are large. 

Appetizers include sweet potato cornbread, served covered in maple syrup in an iron skillet, pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes and slow-smoked chicken wings. (In fact, a lot of things on the menu are slow-smoked – going along with their motto, "We'll smoke anything.")

Entrees include chopped barbecue, pork ribs, barbecue chicken and salmon. They also serve pan-seared trout and shrimp and grits. One of the more unique items is the skillet baked mac and cheese, which is tossed with broccoli and bacon and topped with sweet tomato relish and chicken or shrimp. 

Side items include homemade mac and cheese, collard greens, cheesy bacon grits and baked beans.The only sides not made in house are the French fries.

And if you save room for dessert, they offer chocolate volcano cake, key lime pie, banana pudding and peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream. 

If you think the food reminds you a little of The Pit in Raleigh, it might be because Carolina Smokehouse's sous chef is Darrol Amore, who spent two years at the Raleigh dining staple.

The Carolina Smokehouse Grill also has a full service bar. 

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  • commonsense2 Dec 28, 2011

    I had high hopes for here. My family and I went here a couple of months ago. They were out of the ribs which I was hoping for so I got the BBQ chicken. It looked good and after eating a couple of minutes I hit a vessel and knew it wasnt cooked all the way. I had blood starting to run up in my chicken. I told the waited and he had actually told me it is smoked for 2 hours and that is how it is suppossed to look.(????) I told him it was blood and how it ran all over my chicken so he said he would ask the chef. Meanwhile I ate my corn on the cob which was cold enought ot not even melt the butter on top of it. My wife's and kids food was good though. Awhile later I got another plate of chicken, corn, and fries. The chicken was good along with the fires which I ate both with their molasses based sauce on the table. The corn again was cold though. Rather slow, overall over an hour and a half which isnt fun when you have restless kids. Figured to try it again with my wife and I o