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A Taste of Carolina, 9th & U Streets - Impeached.


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I figured this would be the best place to add this.  See the $20 Tuesdays attempt for background.

I returned to Sodere yesterday only to find the doors locked yet again.  This time, though, they had a note in the window saying they were closed for renovations.  Fortunately, this time I was coming from a meeting right around the corner. 

I ended up, once again, at Etete.

And now we know why I could never get to Sodere. According to Metrocurean A Taste of Carolina, a new soul food restaurant will be opening next week in the Sodere spot.

I wonder what happened to the bottle of Dom that Rocks spied behind Sodere's bar.

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And now we know why I could never get to Sodere.  According to Metrocurean A Taste of Carolina, a new soul food restaurant will be opening next week in the Sodere spot. 

I wonder what happened to the bottle of Dom that Rocks spied behind Sodere's bar.

Hmmm. I didn't know Lexington is in Ethiopia.

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Hmmm.  I didn't know Lexington is in Ethiopia.

Yes, the info on this restaurant was sent to dcist via the shaw listserv. I wonder if it's actually soul food or if it's more like Carolina's in Charleston or some of the other restaurants that were featured in the Times, a sort of soul food/nc/sc/new american hybrid?

http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/03/15/dini...l?pagewanted=1s

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Don't go this weekend! Jlock and I just returned from lunch there and, although the food was pretty good once it arrived, they were not prepared for the crowd at all. There is a lot of love going into this place, but it doesn't seem like there is any experience. Hopefully they will learn fast, and it will become a great place, but for now, I would give it some time.

The menu includes fried fish, bbq ribs, bbq chicken, fried chicken, and other such goodies. I will try it again once they settle in a bit.

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I also stopped by for lunch on Saturday for their grand opening. The owner profusely apologized for the delays--apparently three of their servers never showed up. The restaurant provided complimentary samples of their collards, macaroni, yams, poundcake and sweet potato pie--all tasty. My friends and I all ordered various fish plates--two trout sandwiches, one whiting sandwich, and one whiting platter. Fish sanwiches were served with lightly seasoned fries, and the platter came with the choice of cornbread or hush puppies, and two sides. The hush puppies were delicious! The "Carolina Style" cornbread was different than most southern cornbread I've had because it was very sweet--but very good nonetheless. I didn't try the trout, but the whiting was quite good, dipped in a light cornmeal batter.

As expected, portions were enormous. I'm looking forward to returning once things have settled down and I've had the chance to fast for a few hours beforehand.

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The trout sandwich was really tasty. I had a side of collards with my sandwich, which were really yummy. Also, the lemonade is to die for. I noticed that someone ordered the bbq chicken plate, which looked as though it could feed an army. I also want to add that there is upstairs seating, and they appear to be preparing for a sizeable evening crowd, because there are bars on both floors.

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Yes, it appears. I'd definitely wait. I ordered a dark and stormy and got dark rum and water. It was somewhat chaotic.

I so was wishing for a charlestonesque hominy grill or Carolina's, but it's not. That said, some stuff coming out of the kitchen looked pretty good, particularly the ribs.

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I also want to add that there is upstairs seating, and they appear to be preparing for a sizeable evening crowd, because there are bars on both floors.

Although they were seating in the upstairs area this weekend, this area is not actually prepared for guests yet.
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I so was wishing for a charlestonesque hominy grill or Carolina's, but it's not.

A little more upscale, but Indigo Landing in Old Town might fit the low-country bill. (veering off-topic) Anyone know if it is open yet?

ETA - When googling I see mentions that it opens today?

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It was too bad they didn't crack open a bottle of Blenheim's for it. Now that would've been good.

Great call. Blenheim's ginger ale is amazing stuff. It's almost too spicy for me.

Pretty amazing that the folks who own South of the Border didn't ruin Blenheim when they bought it a few years back. And you can buy it right from Pedro, just seconds off I-95.

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They had Blenheim's on the menu, but I overheard one of the servers telling someone that the shipment hadn't come in yet.  Though that's no excuse for making a Dark and Stormy with water!  :)

I just had lunch there today. They have received their shipment of Blenheim's, and it was quite nice, but really was a kick in the mouth. My lunch companion mixed his with the sweet tea to create a great combination.

The hushpuppies were what I have been looking for, hell I would make the trip back just for an order of them. We also split a fried chicken and rib platters. The ribs were what they were, not smoky, but still flavorful, the sauce was a bit goopy, but tasted fine. The fried chicken was a bit salty, but not overly so, and if you had some of the crust with a hunk of meat, it provided just the right amount of seasoning. For sides we had two orders of Mac and Cheese, which was quite good, a little oily, but not swimming in it. Also an order of string beans that were well cooked, not teased in a little hot water, but cooked like they do in most Southern households. The other side was the French fries which I did not try, but my companion said were quite good.

Everything was cooked to order so it took a little while for the food to come out, but when it did, it was still steaming. We also knew we were on the right path when walking from the Metro to the restaurant one of the neighborhood cops randomly mentioned how good it was.

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I should probably wait until tomorrow to post about A Taste of Carolina, because I'm inclined to be rather generous right now, as I'm happily stuffed. I moseyed over to A Taste of Carolina after catching Sonic Youth at the 9:30 Club (with NCPinDC) and had one of those "hit the spot" meals that are so much more common when one hasn't eaten in eight and a half hours.

The restaurant was near-empty when I walked in around 9:30 p.m., though, from the sound of it, the upstairs bar area was hopping. I took a small table by the bar, and an exceptionally pleasant waitress brought me a menu and took my drink order. The menu (which really should be posted in full on the web site) is not extensive, containing one or two salads, five or six entrees, five or six sides, and a couple of platters, if I remember correctly.

I ordered the trout entree. The food didn't take long to come out, which I appreciated, because I was ready to eat the menu by the time I set foot in the restaurant. My plate came out nearly overflowing with food, the plate itself rendered nearly invisible. Two fried trout filets, a pile of collard greens with bits of smoked turkey (NOT pork, as this DCist review erroneously states), a mound of candied yams bathed in a thick, smoky-but-sweet sauce, and three hushpuppies. In fact, the plate looked just like the one pictured in the above-linked DCist article.

I am no fried fish connoisseur, but the trout filets were worth the artery-hardening. The breading is complex and enjoyably spicy; there's much more going on in there than salt and pepper, though I could not discern all of its elements. The fish was hot and fell apart easily, though it required a little fork-and-knife surgery to cut out a few unwanted sections that you expect to run into in certain cuts of fish. I asked for a side of tartar sauce which, in retrospect, I probably did not need, though it tasted fine.

I checked with both the owner and waitress about the collard greens, and was told that at no point had they ever been made with pork. I appreciated this, as I usually have to skip the collard greens because of the way they're cooked. I've had collard greens in the past that were unpleasantly fibrous, but these greens were soft and had good mouth-feel. They were a bit on the salty side, but not terribly so, and I happily ate the whole serving.

The hushpuppies were, as reported elsewhere, very good. I think that if they would have been just a bit hotter, i.e., straight out of the fryer, they would have been flat-out amazing. But they were tasty, derived from obviously well-seasoned batter, and should dissuade anyone of the opinion that hushpuppies are just little balls of fried dough.

Though the candied yams seem to be universally lauded, they have polarizing potential. I loved them, but I have a huge bias towards sweet potatoes/yams, so I knew I would. The thick, sweet, brown sauce blankets the yams, to a degree of thickness that "glazed" is not an accurate descriptive term. The yams themselves, served in big chunks, were so soft that my fork turned them into mashed yams with almost no effort. I saved the yams until last and polished them off as if they were dessert. Which goes to my polarization reference. If anyone resents overly sweet items on their dinner plate, they should take the menu's description of the yams as "candied" at face value and order something else.

Take my experience with a grain of salt, as (i) I was famished, (ii) the restaurant was near-empty, so my service was particularly attentive, and (iii) this was my first visit. All of that said, I know exactly where I'm going on concert nights from now on.

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I went here last week.

I had the barbequed chicken, the collard greens and macaroni & cheese.

The chicken was pretty good. The sauce had good flavor but was a bit too thick. The sweet potatoes had too much "glaze" on them but were passable. The macaroni & cheese was VERY good!! Not too dry, not too oily. Perfect. My friends had the fried whiting (they were out of the trout) and it was overcooked. They thought the kitchen had been a bit TOO heavy-handed with the pepper.

The menu was more limited than I expected. They should try to include some baked chicken and maybe some smothered pork chops. That would have been a nice addition.

The sweet potato pie was just barely passable. It seemed like it had been store-bought. (The pastry crust was a bit too perfect.) And that night, they did not even have any specialty desserts.

But considering that the bill came up to $62 for 3 people, what can we expect? It was very good value for money, but there are still some kincks that need to be worked out. All of that notwithstanding, I would go again, and I would try the trout & the hushpuppies (Demvtr has convinced me).

Oh, and do not go when there is a jazz band playing. It is waaaaayyyyy too loud! We could barely hear ourselves think, let alone talk. (So I guess if you are going mainly for the music and not the conversation, then you would be just fine.)

Peace & Blessings.

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I went last week, got some to go, late lunch. I got the rib plate with corn bread, collards and mac and cheese and also the quarter dark chicken, green beans, candied yams and hush puppies. (yes, I did in fact order all that for me...but I didn't finish it all :unsure: ) I smelled the hush puppies as soon as I closed the car door, so.....I ate them. And they were good, very good in fact. When I returned to work I sampled the rest....the cornbread...eh, the yams had to much nutmeg for my taste but tasted exactly like my mothers, so I loved em. The green beans were some of the finest I've had in that style, not mushy, but just right before they get that way, flavored with garlic and bacon, delish. The chicken was lightly floured, not very crispy and it wouldn't have been if I'd eaten it at the restaurant, that and it had a HUGE cut through the thigh and leg to insure it was done quickly. I know that trick and I despise it. If you're going to cook chicken, you should at least know when it's done without cutting into it, very amatuerish, and a pet peeve of mine. Anyway, better chicken can be had at both Flavors and Ohhhs and Ahhhs. Then there was the so so stuff, collards with no vinegar, discernable flavor and they were still GREEN, Ribs were tough and covered in a gloppy sauce. I did love the mac and cheese. Overall, a place I could go in a pinch, and will try again in a month to see if they get better. Was also discouraged by the lack of Carolina style chopped barbacue, it is afterall named...A Taste of Carolina....On the very plus side it is very, very, very much like the food I grew up eating and perhaps I am being unfair because my mother did such a great job with the same stuff.....

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From the Going Out Gurus:

Soul Searching

It seemed like just yesterday that the area around Ninth and U streets was transitioning from Little Ethiopia into a bastion of Southern comfort. Several fairly new restaurants have competed for your soulful cravings served straight-up without the frills. Hush puppies? Green beans? Authentic spicy ginger ale? There was no question in my mind where to turn. Oohhs and Aahhs paved the way with fried chicken wings and some tasty sides. Lucky for the restaurant, locals found much to oohh and aahh over, because it is going strong while two of its Southern neighbors haven't fared so well.

Brown Sugar, the father/son operation that dished up carryout collards, yams and wings, has posted a sign announcing that it's closed for good. A bit further down, A Taste of Carolina, which took over the space of dearly departed Sodere Ethiopian Restaurant, has cryptically announced that it's closed for relocating. Repeated calls to the owner have gone unanswered, so I can only hope that I'll find the finger-lickin' ribs in the city's best barbecue sauce somewhere close by in the very near future.

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