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Review: Carson’s Grill of Madison

Review: Carson’s Grill of Madison

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.

Carsons TV

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.

carsons entrees

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.

The Tap Wall is pretty impressive.
The Tap Wall is pretty impressive.

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.

This Carson's critic gave it two thumbs up!
This Carson’s critic gave it two thumbs up!

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.


Carson’s Grill of Madison
Address: 12060 County Line Road, Suite E, Madison, AL 35758 (map)
Phone: (256) 319-2093
Sunday through Thursday: 11 am – 11 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11 am – 12 am


View Comments (6)
  • We have been to Carson’s in Hampton Cove often but have begun to limit the visits to warmer days. I agree that the televisions in the booths are convenient, however are you really spending quality time with your family if your kids are tuned into the tube instead of you? The last thing American culture needs is more screen time. We do enjoy the budget friendly $3.99 kids meals and will go as a treat on a sunny day when we can choose to sit outdoors and avoid the tv’s. Last time I went I observed that the booths, tables and chairs are very seasoned and in need of a makeover at the Hampton Cove location.

  • It’s all good – you can always turn the TV off. I remember being a zombied out mom of a toddler and an infant and all I wanted was a date night with my husband. Places like this were a godsend during that time because the toddler would eat in relative peace and I could actually talk to my husband. 🙂 In all things moderation!

  • You LIKED carrot and raisin salad? Blehk! Did you eat canned pear halves with mayo and shredded cheese in the middle too?

    • Marianne, I’m not sure how you concluded that I liked carrot raisin salad from my claim of being “hurt and confused” by it. To be clear, I think it’s a repulsive gustatory insult, though I am morbidly fascinated by its visual resemblance to crushed Butterfinger such as you might find on a frozen yogurt topping bar.

      (Actually apart from gorp, raisin bran, and Raisinets, I generally consider raisins unwelcome intruders. Remember those Pepperidge Farm apple turnovers that would inexplicably have three or four renegade raisins in them? It was terrible to think you got ’em all on your initial pass and then unpleasantly discover one with your guard down. Same with missed water chestnuts in Chinese. How are those for first world problems?)

      Yes, I ate the pear half with the mayonnaise and shredded cheese. Haven’t had the opportunity in quite some time, but it feels like I still would.

  • Don’t eat there. Their health score is 68!!!!! And they HIDE it! Thought it was supposed to be set so people who are going to spend THEIR money know exactly what they are getting!!!

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