Old Carolina  
Akron, Ohio                Date of Visit: 01/31/10                  

Absolute fluke. Lucky fluke. Driving home one day we heard a commercial on the radio featuring a new Barbeque place in town called Old Carolina. We had been in Durham and done some traveling to try a few different Q joints in the Carolinas and were interested to see if Old Carolina could manage to brings some of that North. To boot, it was the grand opening of their 3rd Ohio location and were offering full racks at $10 and pulled pork sammitches for $3. Who could resist that. Some thing new in your own backyard AND at a super deal. Screw the diet we are going and ordering like it's a last meal. Okay, starting with the Q.

Pulled Pork Monstrosity

Precut Full Rack

Brisket Sammy
So, our last meal consisted of pulled pork, ribs, brisket, beans, hush puppies, coleslaw, and mac-n-cheese. That should work for any last meal. The Q is great and honest. Each offering loudly boasts the pink ring and pellicle of the time spent in real smoke. It is also obvious in the bite of all three offerings shown above. Steph found her ribs a little dry as they are treated to a dry rub and smoked without additional treatment. They do offer four different sauces to enhance your order. A sweet original, a tangy vinegar sauce, a golden mustard infused concoction, and a spicier red sauce. For me the sweet sauce crossed the line and kept running for miles. Way, Way sweet with a tart flavor like tamarind or something. This might result from the sauce not being heated with the meat. The best thing about the sauces on the side, however are you can Frankenstein whatever combo you enjoy. I found a 50-50 of the tangy and golden, with a good splash of the hot was fantastic.
Hush Puppies

Might Kill For Mac*

Slaw and Beans
The sides really stirred memories of the south with oniony hush-puppies, creamy slaw, beans which taste mostly like beans with touches of pork and sweet sauce, and then mac-n-cheese. Oh deary dear. The mac-n-cheese. It boasts a four cheese mix and the mix is perfect! Silky smooth, it strikes the touch with a white cheddaresqe assault and finishes with a nuttier swissy bite. Really, really, good. They don't need the specials, I will be back to pay full price, of course if they have regular specials I might go several times a day. Folks are friendly. Tea is tasty. Sweet tea will make your teeth hurt. The only thing missing is 97 degrees and 94% humidity. They really seem to live up to their posted Mission Statement.

*One Disappointing Side Note:
The Mac-n-cheese has failed to live up to it's initial glory the past two trips, and be sure to eat it in house as for some odd reason it does not travel well. Maybe it varies from day to day, who knows.

"Old Carolina team members have a fundamental passion for food, a tireless work ethic and a commitment to avoid shortcuts that could sacrifice the outstanding quality of our products. Every employee is empowered to enforce our quality commitment in an environment where individual over-achievers are rewarded for their efforts."

What I Had to Take Home




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        Mac-n-Cheese!!!* Too Sweet Sauce    
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