Family Dining: The Q Shack
When one of my closest friends announced she was going to have her Derby party catered, I envisioned finger sandwiches and fruit skewers. Instead, there were huge pans of delicious barbecue from The Q Shack, a locally owned, family restaurant. I watched as time and time again, people returned with their plates heaped with macaroni and cheese and piles of shredded pork. I knew that The Q Shack was located at Providence Promenade, and once I witnessed my kids chowing down at the party, it was clear we would have to go in and have dinner.
This is not a place for folks who are looking for a heart-healthy meal, but if you are in the mood for some great Southern comfort food, the Q Shack is your spot. The smell of roasting meat and vinegar has your mouth watering as you stand in line to order. The side dishes alone overwhelm your imagination. Should you try the onion rings? Do you have to be a barbecue purist and get cole slaw? I stole a look around the restaurant and noticed many diners eating the mashed sweet potatoes, so I decided to join the crowd.
I ordered the beef brisket, as I typically do not eat pork. I did, however, steal some bites of my husband’s pulled pork. It was heavenly. The kids sampled kids plates with the famous macaroni and cheese. Everything was delicious. The hush puppies were the best part. They are strangely (and wonderfully) a little salty, but so hot and crisp outside and soft and fluffy inside that they will have you considering ordering more to go.
As casual restaurants go, this is a great spot for children. There are plenty of high chairs available and a walk-up station for drinks and condiments. Booths and tables make it easy to maneuver and there are clean boosters as well. The table next to us had three generations of family gobbling down some of the best pork in town.
The menu also features burgers, loaded potatoes, chili, chicken, turkey and ribs. Side items include potato salad, pasta salad and a curious item called a “jalapeño deviled egg” that I was not brave enough to try.
As a special bonus for families, kids eat for $1 on Wednesday nights. You get a meal and a drink for only $1 (normally $3.95) for your child with every paid adult meal. With gas prices sky high, that’s a deal worth the drive from just about anywhere.
You can find the Q Shack at Providence Promenade, right off the Providence Road exit on 485. When you visit, be sure to try some of their heavenly homemade banana pudding.
The Chow Down
Dollar deal: Adult meals from $5-9
Especially for little ones: Casual atmosphere, great customer service and COOKIES!
To avoid a wait, go: on a week night
Noise level: Reasonable
Kiddie Fare: $3.95 includes 1 meat, 1 side, a drink and a cookie.
Parent fare: Excellent barbecue at good prices
Bathroom amenities: Very clean
High chair/booster available: Yes
Got milk/juice: No, but there is really good lemonade
Address: 10822 Providence Road
Web site: www.theqshack.com
Clean Plate Score: 5 out of 5
Kelly Yale is a Charlotte Parent blogger, a freelance writer and mother of two boys.