Indulgence. That’s usually the keyword when we hang out with our friends N8 and Elaine in Chicago. And our visit to Carolina Caramel was no exception.
Located in the South Loop area (3 blocks south of Roosevelt Road), Carolina’s is easy to miss (as I did the first time we were looking for it). It’s a small space in the South Loop, with simple storefront signage.
Inside, the space is cozy, with a few tables set up by the windows in the front and a dance floor set up near the register. Yes, you read that right, a dance floor. The draw to Carolina’s is that they offer something sweet to eat, something good to drink, and someplace fun to chill out with your friends. A DJ plays live music each night they’re open, taking requests from the customers. The night we were there (Sunday night), we were the only people in the place and after a few requests, the DJ started playing music geared specifically for us.
And that’s what really sets this place apart from everywhere else. The customer service and care is AMAZING. We were walked through the menu, told about the specials, and were than given time to make our decisions. Each of the cakes can be purchased in either a cupcake form, or a large slab of cake. And that weekend was St. Patty’s Day, so as a special they were offering key lime pie, which is really all they needed to say.
Katie and I went, what’s the word, crazy. We doubled up on everything, wanting to try it all. We made sure to order the caramel, red velvet, double chocolate and key lime pie cupcakes, trying to make sure we weren’t acting TOO gluttonous in our portion sizes. Cupcakes are smaller, and that makes them healthier…right?
After ordering at the register, we sat back down and they brought the food out to us. Katie thought the caramel cupcake was the best of the evening, while I loved the double chocolate. My red velvet cupcake was a little dry; although I was told by N8 the red velvet cake was perfect. The key lime cup cake was the most disappointing, as the flavor seemed to reside only in the frosting.
But as I said, while the desserts may not have been the best I’ve ever had, good customer service can go a long way to winning me over. Carolina Caramel was one of the most welcoming restaurants we’ve ever been to. And with a little recipe tweaking, they could really prove to be an outstanding little place to go when you just want some good dessert, and a chill place to talk to your friends.
P.S. For those that drink it, they brew only Intelligentsia coffee.
1511 S. State St.
Chicago, IL 60605