My name is Bo. I review restaurants for Rocket City Mom. I’m after a delicate balance when I look for restaurants for a family evening out.
I can take the family to a dedicated kids’ place. Often, the kids will have a blast, and the parents will endure it. Or, I can take the family to a place Mom and Dad like. There, frequently no one has a good time, owing to children’s general lack of restraint when making their boredom known.
I want a place where everybody can enjoy themselves with as little compromise as possible. Carson’s Grill of Madison just might be a good example of that place.
Carson’s Grill of Madison is on the northwest corner of Browns Ferry and County Line, at the southern end of the Publix shopping center. Its charter is very much my quarry: a high-quality experience for everyone. It largely succeeds.
Carson’s is a sports bar, but it’s also a family restaurant. The bar is effectively segregated from the booths and tables. You want to catch the game? You can do that. You want to take your spouse and children for dinner? You can do that too. You want to watch the game on the 60” screen, and cartoons for the kids too? You can even do that. The booths each feature their own satellite television.
The Carson’s food offerings are mainstream for a sports bar, with an occasional surprise. You can get wings and burgers. But you can also get a salmon fillet, or a tropical chicken salad including oranges, almonds, and feta cheese. Sandwiches, entrée salads, wings, and appetizers occupy a sensible $7-10 range, with the priciest steaks coming in at $18-23. You can take a look at their current menu here.
Our food was fine. Everything was prepared to order, aesthetically pleasing, and tasted really good. The only minor complaint I have is with the intensity of the wings’ heat. I ordered “911,” and I didn’t even need a drink to eat them. The wings have a lot of room to get hotter.
The kids’ menu is fairly typical in its offerings—burgers, chicken fingers — but there are two big takeaways from it. For one, a kid’s meal is only $3.99, including a side item and a drink. That’s a great value. For another, the kid meals have an undocumented feature: a cup of grapes. They’re not listed on the menu. They’re a surprise when you get them.
Our full table service was attentive, but not intrusive. Paul tended to us but did not disrupt our experience. This was consistent with what I observed at other tables with different servers. I think Carson’s intends to get this right.
Carson’s has several high quality beers on tap. I had a draft Sweetwater 420 with my wings. When I discussed the beer situation with Paul, I learned that a tap wall that shall include more than two dozen local brews is in progress and expected to go live in the weeks to come. This is good news indeed.
Both highchairs and booster seats are available. The restrooms are clean, but do not include changing tables. However, the manager was receptive to my suggestion of such when I made it. So perhaps they will appear in the future.
Carson’s makes excellent use of its compartmentalized floor plan in one more big way. A party room that can seat up to six dozen is available for reservations. Whether an end-of-season soccer party, a substantial work get-together, or anything else, there is a lot of space here. Also, Carson’s offers a lot of flexibility in tailoring a meal to your event. You can even have a custom buffet in the party room if you like.
Carson’s Grill of Madison is a fine value and appears able to accommodate very well anything you might reasonably request of them. In western Madison/eastern Limestone County, put them on your short list of high-quality eateries.