Dining out with food allergies can be a challenge, especially when you're first sitting down to look at a menu. Oftentimes, menus aren't very descriptive about ingredients and don't list potential allergens. Carroll's Kitchen, a nonprofit social enterprise-based restaurant in Raleigh, is now making it easier for those with food allergies to dine at its two locations.
If you live in the Triangle area and haven't heard of Carroll's Kitchen yet, you're missing out. This restaurant opened its doors in downtown Raleigh on Martin Street back in 2016. Since then, it has been providing employment to women while they recover from varying traumatic life situations. Carroll's Kitchen has since expanded to include a second location in the new Morgan Street Food Hall.
My friend and Program Director of Carroll's Kitchen, Sara Acosta, invited me to check out the new Morgan Street Food Hall location as well as see their updated allergy friendly menu designations. Carroll's Kitchen has updated their menus (available at both locations) to include an allergen key to help guide you toward a safe choice. This, of course, is not to say you don't need to still communicate your allergy to the ladies working behind the counter, just as you would any other restaurant! Below are a few of the menu's all stars I sampled that not only met my allergy needs, but fulfilled a bit of the Southern comfort foods I had been missing while living in Korea.
Greek Goddess quiche
Spinach and feta swirl together in a cheesy, creamy filling encrusted in a flaky, buttery pastry. Simply a win all around.
Buffalo Chicken Wrap
I adore buffalo wings. What I don't enjoy is the mess of eating them, sticky fingers and all. Oozing full of grilled chicken breast, house buffalo sauce and mozzarella, this wrap is the answer to my quandary of how to get all the flavors I love into a tidy package.
BBQ Meatloaf Sammich
I like to think of a sammich as the South's version of a good, hearty, stick-to-your-ribs kind of sandwich. This baby delivers with a massive slice of house meatloaf layered with Carroll's BBQ sauce, provolone cheese and sriracha mayo.
Kolache are decadent little dough balls from Eastern Europe often topped with sweet ingredients or fruit. These carb vessels can hold their own whether it's as a tea time snack or as an on-the-go breakfast. Carroll's Kitchen pleases all palates with their extensive variety of sweet and savory kolache. While the Cream Cheese Crumble is one of our family favorites, I lean towards the savory and really dig the Everything Bagel, Bacon + Egg + Cheese and Wild Mushroom kolache.
If you're a fellow soup aficionado, you will be bowled over with this one. I can hear you asking yourself, "Soup? Really?!" Imagine a golden, herb roasted chicken and a side of gravy all in one mouthful. This is Chicken Velvet. It ticks all the boxes of being salty and herbaceous with the final silky smooth mouthfeel.
Adding an allergen key to the menu may seem like such a small thing, but it makes a huge difference to someone with food allergies trying to find a place to safely dine at. Thank you to Sara, Tamara and Teresa of Carroll's Kitchen for putting together such a comprehensive and satisfying selection of allergy friendly goodies. Like what you're reading? Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and check in for my regular posts over on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.