Chicago >Food & Dining > Carson's
612 N Wells St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061041.892911 -87.634250
Mon-Thurs 11:30am-10:30pm; Fri 11:30am-11:30pm; Sat noon-11:30pm; Sun noon-10:30pm
Neighborhoods: Central, Near North Side
If your style is casual, but classy, and you like good old-fashioned steaks and ribs, then Carson's is the place for you. A nice place for couples interested in the flavorful and Valentine's Day is a great time to get your food on -- Carson's offers outstanding cocktails as well as American Cuisine.
The Deerfield locations is a great place to go if you enjoy the opportunity to have a fire at your table - no, not a fire on purpose, but on accident. While the food here is decent, the ownership is rude and completely insensitive to dangerous situations a customer experiences while frequenting the establishment. Sunday night was one such incident where an exposed flame (table candle) caught a napkin on fire near the table which blew into it as a result of the heating system cycling - the fiery napkin eventually made its way to one of our jackets and burned it to the point its no longer wearable.
The ownership's daughter went on to blame the my mother for the fire - which left everyone around them completely speechless and jaws on the floor. A call to the owner himself (Dean Carson) the next day netted nothing but a bunch of drivel about how great his restaurant is and how its not his fault and he's not doing anything about it. Apparently he says he only makes $5 on a $100 meal - hard to believe one can stay in business with such poor profit margins...I can tell you this - he won't be making anything off us, our family or friends ever again after his ridiculous display if ineptness and callous perspective on a dangerous experience that ocurred in HIS restaurant. Oh - and by the way, he also says he doesn't have insurance for "that type of stuff" which would concern me a bit about going back anyhow. Then told us if we want to get a lawyer, go ahead.
The proof is in the pudding, as the next day, the Deerfield Fire Marshall showed up to check the candles and ordered the ownership to replace all of the candle setups in the restaurant with safer ones where the flame does not extend above the glass - hmmm let's see - we give out paper napkins and thin plastic bibs to people and have exposed flames - and don't understand how a fire started...?? Apparently we're not talking about a group of owners who are also members of MENSA. If the Fire Marshall ordering the candle change doesn't prove who's at fault here, not sure what else you need to know.
Carsons Ribs – The worst dining experience ever. Terrible service. Terrible food. They should not be allowed to call these ribs. The sauce was a disgusting ketchup onion powder mix, the ribs were overcooked and you needed a knife to cut through them. Literally nothing good about the entire experience. We had a group of seven and other than the coleslaw which was decent, but so runny it looked like a soup, not one person liked anything they had. At one point about 20 plates and bowls were stacked on the table for at least 10 minutes and when I asked the waitress to remove them her response was "That's the busboys job" The worst $250 I have ever spent. Do yourself a favor and avoid this place like the plague.
unbelievable ribs!!! – when in Chicago, I asked some locals where to get good ribs/steak. They suggested Carson's, and I couldn't be more grateful!!!
We got ribs, that comes with a bread basket of unusual and fun selections, coleslaw (definitely a must get) and a potato side. I got the sweet potato fries (they were OK), and my boyfriend got the potatoes au gratin (so wonderful). The prices were reasonable, the people watching was great, and the ambiance was relaxed and fun (they give you bibs when you order ribs...). So worth it!!!
We also got the tiramisu for dessert, and it was fantastic. A large, LARGE piece that was full of flavor and cream.... yummy....
What happened to Service? – What used to be an istitution in Chicago for BBQ has with out a doubt taken 10 steps back. After a long week I was in the mood for some good BBQ. The food was mediocre and the service was bad. 15-20 minutes to place a drink order is a bit obsessive, the server then told us that she was busy and all her tables are getting up at once and she will be back after she has collected payment. Having dinner with my girlfriend and her mother I did not want to make a big deal about how the server told us that we are less important than the other customers. Unless you have hours to waste and and don't hold service as a high priority, I would suggest that you avoid this place at all costs.
it si gooood – i think who has written a review and didn't like the food, is crazy. Carson's has incredible ribs, bread, potatoes and coleslaw. And its not pricey at all for ribs. The only thing is the host was rude.
Non-authentic food and experience – Take it from a Memphis family of professional BBQ tasters, this place had poor, unfriendly service, they don't take reservations from groups less than six so the wait can be long for a less than mediocre product, and the BBQ is not authentic. You would be better served to order BBQ on-line from a Memphis restaurant and have it shipped to you.
Roll up your sleeves and dig in at this Chicago barbecue institution. – The Scene
Weekend crowds at this old-school favorite haven't waned over the years, and the restaurant's conservative style remains unchanged. Wood-trimmed, forest-green walls and booths, low lighting, and no-nonsense service effectively focus your attention on what's important--the barbecue.
Carson's has remained true to its barbecue focus since the first Mayor Daley ate here more than two decades ago. Meaty baby back ribs, juicy chicken and jumbo pork chops make it a carnivore's dream. Brushed on generously, the thick, tomato-based sauce marries the sweetness of molasses with pleasant hints of tangy spice. Plenty more is brought warm to your table in a small jar. Dessert offerings include the gold brick sundae and another Chicago classic, Eli's cheesecake.
It rocks for ribs – I have always considered carsons to have to best ribs in the Loop. I have been there many times for several years. Ribs are always outstanding. If you want to it ribs you will not be disappointed
Tough Ribs! – I have eaten at Carsons for over 15 years, and it was formerly GREAT! Now the ribs are tough, and the usually outstanding giant NY Strip steak was overcooked and grissly. BIG dissappointment. The only saving graces here are the BBQ chicken, Pork Chops, and the Liver Pate' on the lounge happy hour table. Don't miss that on a cracker w/ some diced onions. Service has been slow and inaccurate lately, I probably will never return. BTW, saw a big empty plastic pail of Open Pit BBQ sauce sitting out in back of the restaurant. So much for their "secret" sauce! ;-)
GOOD RIBS!! – After nearly 18 years in Chicago Carson's is still my "go to" place for ribs if I'm not making them myself. Went there on my first visit to Chicago in 1984 when I was looking for an apartment for a new job. Now I go but take the wife and 3 kids.
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