We went to the Carolina Ale House in Cary by Crossroads. It was Tax Free weekend so the place may have been abnormally busy, as I’ve never been there before I’m not sure if it’s usually that crowded. By the time we left there were people waiting in the entry, and out the door. Since we got there just after 5pm though we were lucky enough to get a seat without waiting.
After checking out the specials, I ordered the golden fried tilapia with coleslaw and fries for $8.99. It also came with a Caesar salad, which was not mentioned on the menu and was not even necessary as I was to find the fish, chips and coleslaw was more than enough to eat. It was a good salad though, my husband said it was better than Outback’s and he loves their Caesar salad. They also had some beer specials, I got the $3 Blue Moon. The beer was big and cheap, and tasted pretty good with the meal. I ended up ordering another one toward the end of the meal.
The tilapia was very large, but very tasty. It tasted really good with the lemon and tartar sauce. The fries were also pretty good. I didn’t like the coleslaw as much, and there wasn’t nearly enough of it. I love coleslaw so only getting a tiny cup was unsatisfying. But there was more than enough of the other food, so I certainly didn’t have to worry about not getting enough to eat.
My son ordered the “Bobby Burgers”, which are 2 very small, plain cheeseburgers with a side. He got applesauce, he always eats that. But he didn’t eat his burgers. He tried one bite at our insistence, but claimed he didn’t like it. I’m sure the cheeseburgers were fine, he’s just terribly picky. They were only $3.99 anyhow, not too much of a loss.
My husband got the Cuban Panini Burger. He was thrilled to find a Cuban sandwich in burger form. It’s basically a burger on a kaiser roll with ham, provolone, spicy mustard and pickles on it. The bread looked almost like Cuban bread to me, but the menu said it was a kaiser bun. He was really impressed at how good it tasted. His burger came with fries as well, but no salad. That was fine, all the portions were huge anyway. All for $7.95.
The restaurant can’t help but be compared with Tyler’s. With a large beer selection, similar menu, and similar interior, they surely must compete for the same customers. The main difference is that Carolina Ale House has a much better food selection, and Tyler’s has a much better beer selection. Carolina Ale House also has a more sports-bar type of atmosphere, with TVs all over the place showing different games, and more local sports-themed clippings on the wall.
I think my husband’s going to have us coming here a lot in the future, because he raves about that Cuban burger. I don’t mind, I think for pub food it was pretty good. I just wish they had the exotic, rare beers I can find at Tyler’s.