Story by Danata Paulino, Reporter
Photos courtesy of Danata Paulino
Here in Grand Rapids, we are in the heart of a foodie’s dream. Some may think that the best eats are a short drive to downtown, but there are many great places just a short walk away on a beautiful day. Over in the Gaslight Village, near Reeds Lake, are many small restaurants dotted along the red brick main street.
Carolina Lowcountry Kitchen is still a fairly new addition to the Gaslight Village area, built in 2017. The intrigue of the restaurant is the allure to that of a kitchen from the south; the sign illustrates inviting orange lettering surrounding a crab. They advertise their food to display entrees that one would find along the coastal regions of South Carolina to New Orleans. The environment has a “sit back and unwind” feel and a lit full-service bar. On the counter of the bar is an iced tub section where you can watch servers open the oysters used in meals. It was a delightful addition to the atmosphere.
Although I am always up for trying some new seafood, the dishes I was craving didn’t fall in that category on that particular day. Nevertheless, I was very excited to try out this restaurant for myself to see its appeal for the local college students.
My suggestion for any college student is to always take advantage of the happy hour deals or bring a friend to split larger dishes. (You don’t have to be 21 to enjoy the food specials!) My friend and I went at 5 p.m. and Happy Hour is Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., so we were able to order from the $4 Happy Hour Starters. The starters for the deal had 12 items and range from pork wings to fried pickles. The full menu includes sandwiches, salads, entrees, platters and a large assortment of food types: seafood, chicken, vegetarian, etc.
Wanting to try a little bit of everything, we picked several smaller items to share. From the $4 Happy Hour Starters, we chose the Carolina BBQ Pork & Slaw Souther Slider, the $6 Biscuit Basket, and a $4 side of Mac ‘N Cheese. Although it might not sound like much, between the two of us, we were quite full and didn’t even finish all of the food set in front of us.
The biscuits and mac ‘n cheese were deliciously-made comfort foods with their own unique twist. Along with the biscuits were a special red pepper jelly & honey butter, which we both slathered on the biscuits respectively. If they were selling jars of either. I would have bought both. The Carolina BBQ Pork & Slaw Slider was set on a perfectly crunchy bun. The taste of the slaw didn’t overpower the pork, which had more of that southern spicy kick than I expected, but was savory nonetheless.
As is expected at a nicer sit-down dining room, the fancier the dish, the more expensive. Therefore, that is something to be conscious of when eating at Carolina Lowcountry Kitchen. However, the main dishes are hearty and start at $10 for a salad and $12 for the sandwiches. Something I plan to go back to try out is their extensive and enticing brunch menu, as well as the desserts. This southern kitchen is a great place for an escape from the regular campus dining. If you plan your visit right, you can experience better quality at the same half-price app bill.
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