By Linny H. at 2016-11-24
First off, they have the best website name! ribs.com
Secondly, food is crazy good! I had the pork chop with beets & walnut salad. My charred chop was cooked perfectly. Plus they provided warm bbq sauce that took my taste buds to the moon! The salad was on point. It was tasty even if you don't like the green stuff. The cornbread was divine. It's so tasty that you almost don't want to share it but you have too because their portions are quite generous.
I totally recommend this place!
By Melinda C. at 2016-08-05
BEWARE!!!! MY HUSBAND IS BEING HOSPITALIZED DUE TO THEIR NEGLECT.
My husband is hospitalized tonight because this restaurant did not take his allergy seriously.
He ordered from the gluten free menu and specifically told the waiter that he had to have his entree gluten free due to a serious allergy.
When his food came, apparently it had been "charred". My husband always orders well done so he couldn't see the difference.
The manager ACTUALLY BLAMED MY HUSBAND FOR EATING THE FOOD. They took no money off the bill, and tonight, my husband is in the hospital.
I can't even tell you how upset we are.
IF YOU HAVE CELIAC DISEASE - STAY AWAY!!!!!
If I could figure out how to sue this restaurant for blatant disregard, I would.
By Chris P. at 2016-07-30
This place was AWESOME! We had the whole rack of ribs and a fried pork chop and brisket combo. The brisket was wonderful - very moist and tasty. Ribs were also absolutely excellent.
We started with a roasted beat and walnut salad and a blue cheese wedge salad - yum.
Our server was Hector and he was absolutely excellent. Nice, friendly and attentive contributing nicely to making this an excellent dining experiance.
By Rohan D. at 2016-12-22
I have fond memories of the Carson's in Chicago, I was elated when one opened up in Milwaukee. I'm a big fan of the ribs, they are the tender-firm style that I prefer to the fall off the bone type. The signature barbecue sauce is sweet and delicious - however it does stain so allow the waiter to tie on the humiliating bib if you order a rack. It's certainly not cheap, figure a couple hundred dollars for dinner for a couple that has drinks, appetizers, dinner and dessert, but there are no deceptive hidden charges like drink upcharges for ice or not ice or the martini glass. Like most upscale steak places, the sides are extra, but don't pass up on the au gratin potatoes or the spinach. Try your steak with the "charcrust" and the generous ribeye cut is probably their best. On weekends they serve up an excellent prime rib. Yes it's expensive, but compared to the other elite steak places downtown, it's actually slightly less in price. Service is quite good, so it's a smart choice for a special celebration dinner. Eavesdropping I overheard a college student celebrating graduation here with his parents, could be either MSOE or MATC, both of which are walking distance.
By Rick R. at 2016-06-27
When Carson's first opened in Milwaukee, they offered a Groupon for a rack of ribs for carry-out only to get people to give them a try. I did. Knowing my mom loves ribs, I took them to her house. I tried one bone and left the rest of the rack for her to try. We both felt the same way. They were ok.
Fast forward to Friday night, I took mom back, along with the rest of the family, for her birthday dinner after she hinted about wanting to dine there. It was our first actual visit.
Three of my nephews and brother-in-law all ordered a custom burger and fries (a la carte)which they enjoyed. My other nephew and oldest sister ordered the ribs. My nephew didn't like the BBQ sauce.
My youngest sister ordered the pulled pork sandwich. I did taste a bit of the pulled pork. It was fine, but I've had better at a lot of places in town.
The best tasting item on the table was my mother's Prime NY Strip steak ($47), which she ordered medium well (against my wishes). It was really flavorful and surprisingly tender, considering she ordered it to the temp with the texture of a shoe.
I was trying to decide between the Bone-in Ribeye Delmonico ($49) and the 32oz Bone-in Prime Rib special ($49). The server suggested the Prime Rib because it was great and only available on weekends. That was sound logic. I ordered it medium rare because I was just a bit nervous about it.
It was massive and looked delicious, served with sides of jus and horseradish. I used a bit of the jus after eating about a quarter of it because it started losing it's flavor. However, it was very tender and juicy, and I enjoyed it. I didn't bother with the horseradish, but probably should have. I really prefer my steaks and prime rib to hold up on their own without condiments, especially when pushing $50 without a side (actually each steak entree includes a small side of cole slaw, which was creamy and solid). I was able to finish half of the prime rib and ate the rest last night for dinner with half the cornbread that was left over. I reheated both in my toaster over, and that worked really well.
The cornbread ($5) was solid, somewhat moist with a crispy top, but I wasn't a fan of the Famous Au Gratin Potatoes ($4). Yes they were cheesy, and after I got past the orange color of the cheesy potatoes under the browned, very slightly crisp, top cheese layer, I could get into eating it. I think I was hoping for some "crunch" with the cheesy potatoes around the edge of the casserole dish. It was pretty much all soft textures. I tried one of my sister's steak fries and would rather have ordered them as my side.
I also ordered a half-rack baby back rib appetizer ($12) so my mom and I could try the ribs again, this time on-site (carry-out loses something). They are served cut and without the side of cole slaw, unlike the half-rack entree. Decent flavor with the BBQ sauce, but no smoky flavor from the ribs at all. They say they don't use a rub, and that's fine, but let me decide if I think your smoked BBQ needs a sauce. The meat does not fall off the bone, as it should NOT for smoked BBQ ribs, but there wasn't much meat on these baby backs. Serving smoked BBQ with a sauce on it is a major pet peeve of mine, especially if all I taste is the sauce.
So overall, I think the prices provided a pretty good value across the board with what I saw on my family's plates. The best thing I tasted was the Prime NY Strip that my mom ordered. I will recommend the Prime Rib on the weekends because it was good and just plain fun to see a huge slab of meat on a plate.
Other than the Prime NY Strip, the best thing about Carson's Friday was the staff. Our server, Grace was outstanding, the host was welcoming, and a manager came to check on us.
If I go back, I'll get the ribeye, but I feel like I can get better food, overall, for the price elsewhere in town, and I KNOW I can get better smoked BBQ.
By Lori M. at 2016-04-22
For my first official night as a resident of Milwaukee we went to Carson's, and I have to say they set the bar high for other restaurants!
I loved the ambience of the restaurant, chic yet intimate. We were seated in the back and our server greeted us quickly with drinks.
I was told I had to try the cornbread, and they were right! I loved the sweetness, consistency, and had to fight the teenager for the last bite (I won).
I had the Greek Chicken, I have to be honest it was so good, I ordered it again for lunch yesterday (to go). It was cooked to perfection very moist and full of this buttery lemon goodness, delicious!
Hubby had the pulled pork and fries and the teenager had the half a rack of ribs and fries! Teenager did not look at his phone for 20 minutes straight (this is how I judge the taste of the food) so i know he loved it. He declared the ribs the best he has had (he has seen his fair share) and that he was fan. Hubby fell in love with the slaw and sauce on the pulled pork.
Friendly service, great atmosphere, and delicious food...we will be back....often!
By Gerard T. at 2016-06-05
Second Day of downtown dining week decided to come to Carsons for lunch. Make sure you make a reservation just in case. The hostess was very informative. Great wait staff also. Ok right to it the DT Dining lunch menu included the fabulous homemade cornbread, BBQ brisket sandwich, and the Au Gratin Potatoes .
The Cornbread was fabulous. Came in a slab cut like a brownie with a side butter. Crunchy exterior with a soft, sweet and savory inside; perfect balance of crunchy, soft, sweet and savory. The brisket sandwich was hearty, savory, and tender with the perfect amount of sauce not to overpower the natural flavors of the meat. The portion sizes were so nice I ended making two open face sandwiches out of the meat with my bun. You could see the Au Gratin Potatoes were going to be good based off the presentation of them when they brought it to our table. Gooey, hot, cheesy, etc. Need I say more lol. These were the perfect compliment to everything else. Loved these potatoes compared to traditional Mac n cheese sometimes.
Tips- call ahead to make a reservation even if it's for lunch and definitely dinner
Remember it's downtown so Parkin can be a headache; so bring some loose change or download the MKE parking app on your phone
If you are GF call ahead and ask about food menu items. The hostess is very helpful and informative . I wish they had a half star button because I honestly give them 4.5 stars based off my experience. Will definitely be back again
By Damon R. at 2016-04-25
The family and I went to Carson's on a Sunday afternoon and it was fairly busy. We had to wait for a table to be set as we had a large table of 8. It feels very upscale in Carson's but not so exclusive that you had to be a celeb to eat here.
We had the best waitress every she was very pleasant and took her time to explain the menu. We had a groupon and they took it with no issues and gave us the guidelines. Are you ready for our orders? ok... the Greek chicken, 3 cheeseburger, 3 orders of fries, 2 baked potatoes, 1 ribs and pork chop and 2 full slabs for ribs with 2 orders of cornbread.
Whew typing that is just as much as it was on our table...ok maybe not but you get where im going. Everything was on point. Nothing was sent back or changed what so ever. The corn bread was sweet and warm. The chicken was cooked perfectly. As for the ribs and pork chop I dont know because they scarfed it down before I could ask about it. Im assuming thats a good sign.
Midway through our food... they dropped off some warm towelettes for our BBQ sauced fingers and faces! Before that they dropped off the special edition Carson bibs yo! Yes the bibs! If you dont have yourself a Carson's bib you weren't eating right!
The adults finished the meal off with some cake which we got to go and eaten later, it was good. It was a Vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. We also had a couple of adult beverages. Im not a big drinker and I usually dont get a sidecar as my go to. Casablanca has a good sidecar.... Carson's has a better sidecar.
I like Carson's and its not as expensive as one might think. But its ok to treat yourself every once in a while. I would for sure go back. The parking is a bit of a pain due to the construction but its so worth it.
By Stephen M. at 2016-12-11
Whether you have the pork chop, NY steak, rib eye, or filet, you be happy with the taste. The service is friendly and thorough. Side note, drink prices quite reasonable.
By Fred M. at 2016-07-23
My wife and I went up to Milwaukee July 9th for Summerfest. After an evening of food-booth cuisine, we decided the next day, we should treat ourselves to a nice lunch, at a good restaurant, before we head home. There are so many good choices in the area. It was a tough decision. We finally chose Carson's Ribs, and we were so glad we did. This place is great (and reasonably priced at lunchtime).
When you walk in, the setting is the exact opposite of their flagship location on Wells in Chicago. Wells is: no windows, lots of dark wood, and a dimly lit room. The Milwaukee location is: all windows, and lots of bright glass and metal. I like it. (I'm glad they didn't try to recreate the original, because you can't, so why even try.) We were seated in a window booth with a nice view.
I wish I could remember our server's name, but I can't. He was excellent. He was waiting tables, and tending the bar. He's been there since the place opened, and it shows. He was friendly, knowledgable, hard-working, and clearly took pride in his work. Some regulars came in shortly after us, and he was making their drinks before they even sat down at the bar!
On to the food. Let me start by saying: everything was delicious, and on par with the Wells location. We started with the French Onion Soup. My wife said it was some of the best she's ever had, and I agreed. She enjoyed the beef brisket sandwich, and I devoured the heavenly ribs. For sides she ordered the au gratin potatoes and I ordered the twice baked. The twice baked was very good, but I'd recommend the au gratin - they were phenomenal. We also had an order of very tasty corn bread. Needless to say we had a ton of leftovers.
We enjoyed everything about our experience, and will definitely come again!
By Christine L. at 2015-10-25
A couple friends to Carsons tonight with us. When I first walked in I was greeted by a super nice, energetic bartender, Nate. I told him I would like a glass of wine while waiting for the rest and he bent over backwards to make me feel comfortable in my wine selection as well as kept me company until my friends and husband arrived. I tried the Malbec wine, very nice. The next wine I tried was a Zinfandel; it was dark red with cherry overtones and hint of chocolate. Semi dry and delish!
We found out there was a Milwaukee Dining special going on. $35 included a house drink, salad, entree and potato. Three of us had the 10 oz filet, charcrusted, but all had a different potato. (All potato dishes were awesome; Greek style, au gratin, and twice baked.) I have tell you about the ribs and chop special, though. The ribs are advertised as not fall of the bone. But they were so tender and flavorful! The waiter said boiling ribs may make them tender but zaps the flavor. These were awesome! They had a nice carmelization and the sauce was tangy and smoky and sweet. The trifecta of BBQ sauces.
I almost ignored the salad. I had the Cesar and I must say it was garlicky but I would go back for the dressing alone.
All in all it was a fantastic time! The service was fantastic and the food was even better! All four of us will definitely be back.
By Marie J. at 2016-10-07
Happy Hour at Carsons is a great deal. Get the pulled pork sandwich, steak skeweers and BBQ ribs for $3, $4 and $5. Good house wines for $6 and generous pour.
By Suzi S. at 2016-03-13
Soooooooo glad I found this little gem on Yelp. The food was on-point, went for lunch and can't wait to go back for dinner!! Wow.
Started with the "Garbage Salad" get the small, it's enough to share for 2, loved the dressings made in house. Really, an amazing start. My entree was the New York Strip Sandwich and it was PERFECTION. I love mushrooms, onions and balsamic and it was one of the best sandwiches (if you can call it that) in a long time. Had to try the Famous Potatoes O'gratin. OMG, ridiculous. It's like cheese with a splash of perfectly cooked potatoes. Amazing.
Can't wait to go back for ribs. And dessert. And these grilled prawns I saw being delivered. And a beet salad. And more....
By Mark P. at 2015-11-19
After reading the Yelp reviews, we decided to hit this famous BBQ joint. It has a modern upscale interior, but deceivingly small inside will its L shaped configuration. The small size often results in a long wait for a table during peak dining hours. So, reservations are highly recommended.
I absolutely love sitting at the bar for drinks then a meal. We started off with 4 rounds of drinks each. My friends all went for beer & wine. Since it was Sunday afternoon & I was still hung over, I decided to go with a Bloody Mary. Excellent choice, leaded with extra Vodka to my liking & Zing-Zang Bloody mix which is my absolute favorite.
We followed drinks with a Cesar salad & entrée. The Cesar was great with a garlicky tang to the dressing. My entrée was the 10 ounce charcrusted filet which was definitely a top quality piece of meat, the preparation & execution while cooking made for a darn tasty steak. For a side I went with the potato's au gratin & they were decent. Only one dimension on the flavor pallet, all cheese. I also tried the corn bread - outstanding!! More like dessert than a side. They mix creamed corn into the batter to make it so decadent. Probably the best corn bread I've ever had.
Three of us chose the filet & all loved it. Our forth diner ordered the half rack of ribs & 2 bone in Pork Chop. The portion was mammoth, enough to feed a small family! I tried one of the ribs, superb.
The real story of Carson's is the staff! Everyone is really competent. You get the feeling that they regard their job as a profession. I'm a big fan of customer service done right & they get it right at Carson's!!
For dessert I had a beer. My hangover had been cured.
By Leah L. at 2016-07-20
Ask for Cara....excellent service, very descriptive and the Mediterranean porkchops were out of this! The blackened salmon was amazing... Grilled vegetables ... Homemade chocolate cake ...
My only complaint was the music which I talked to the manager about on the way out she switched it and now that we're leaving it's rocking!
By Rachel G. at 2016-06-10
I tried quite a plethora of items, and everything was fabulous! From the beef brisket, to the potatoes, sautéed spinach, the burger, and the pie! Everything was perfect! I can't wait to go here again!
By Sean B. at 2015-05-28
Thanks to Taste & Toast, which had only a mini-chicken addition compared to normal menu, I learned Carson's has a pretty darn good happy hour. For upscale joints, #2 behind Bosleys. They should advertise this at least in local mailers as something, as I live nearby and had no idea.
Brisket and steak items were succulent. Pork flavorful, chicken OK. The special drinks tasty and moderately affordable.
I do have a preYelp memory of being underwhelmed by a normal meal. Will give them another shot at some point, starting during happy hour.
By Carolyn Y. at 2016-05-24
I eat here frequently and always have a great meal.
The good: The ribs are really great and slow roasted. They are not fall off the bone if that's the kind of ribs you are into. I'm also a lover of the pulled pork sandwich. For the leaner options, any of the salads will not disappoint and the portions are huge!!!
The ambiance is sophisticated, feels like it would be a higher price, but all of the food prices are extremely reasonable, especially for the service, atmosphere, ambiance, and quality of the restaurant. It's really sleek and modern feeling.
Service is pretty unmatched. I would say it's almost as great as Mo's Steakhouse (the platinum of restaurant service in my mind). If you are a regular here, expect to build a good relationship and rapport with the servers there. They are a well-trained staff who are serious about their jobs and not a flavor of the week.
Even though the food is great, it's also a convenient place to check out for happy hour. The bar stools are anything but uncomfortable and are more like raised plush seats with backs and arm rests.
The bad: Drink prices are a little steep, but there are specials depending on the day of the week. They also have an extensive wine list for those who are interested in a higher quality wine experience.
By Anne G. at 2016-05-15
I had heard a lot of good things about this restaurant, so i decided to try it out for myself but to my surprise I was very disappointed. Our waiter was not attentive at all, he said he would bring us wet napkins to go with our ribs and he never did. The ribs were subpar and were lacking in flavor. The "famous" au gratin potatoes were extremely bland. I ordered my steak medium and it was cooked medium rare. The only good thing we had was the Cesar salad as an appetizer.
Very disappointed. I will not be returning to this restaurant again.
By Kira W. at 2015-01-04
We ate here for my grad school graduation dinner. There was an issue with our reservation at a different establishment so we went to Carson's and they were able to seat the four of us right away. Service was A+ the whole time. Really, we couldn't have asked for better service, which is why I'm giving it three stars.
We sat in a big comfy booth and were attended to ASAP. They brought us some bread and water immediately and were extremely friendly from the start. To begin, we ordered some corn bread. It was really delicious, cake like, and plenty for the four of us.
Then, we ordered meals. Everything was a MASSIVE size, so we wish we had ordered less food. We all ordered ribs, one person added chicken, and one person ordered a steak. They were just okay. For the price, we expected bigger and better. It wasn't BAD it just wasn't as good as if we had went to Smoke Shack or Maxie's (for ribs). The flavor was decent, however, the tenderness and texture just wasn't what we were hoping for. The ribs were a little tougher, not fall off the bone like we like them; the chicken was chicken; and the steak was not prepared the way we'd ordered it.
The best part of the meal was the desserts. The four of us split a strawberry cake and tiramisu. They were really tasty and the strawberry cake had the perfect cake flavor and frosting combination.
If you're looking for meat, I think you can do better, but it isn't awful. It's just over priced for what you get.