Char No. 4 is a close walk from my digs, and I had long heard about it being a destination for pork and bourbon lovers. Guess what! I love both of these things.
I met Jennifer there after going to the gym, still wearing my work-out clothes. Probably not the best choice, as it's on the classier end of things, and the waiter even pointed it out. Lucky for him, he was nice and cute, so I didn't punch him in the face with the leftover adrenaline from my intense work out. Totally could have knocked his lights out. Instead, I giggled pleasantly. Anyway, the service was pretty good (not just looks).
The menu here is meat-tastic and a little southern tilted, with dishes often revolving some kind of pork. For some weird reason, I ordered the shrimp and grits instead ($14). I really liked the size of the portion, and I got about 6 plump, grilled shrimp. The grits were pretty good, and my experience with grits in this neck of the woods have been less than stellar. My grandmother could still do better, but you can't have everything. It had a nice flavor, and a lot of greens and chives on top (I happen to love both, but I could see someone thinking it distracting).
I also ordered a bourbon cocktail to make myself appear classier, which was very nicely mixed (Noreaster- $9). I think I just ended up looking like a younger, female iteration of The Dude. Also okay. Overall, it's pretty low-key and low-lit, and the prices aren't too bad. Try it out if you are looking for some smokey drink and meat. -Laurel
BAR-B-QUE. What else can a Southern gal ask for? We’ve talked about Smoke Joint before, but let’s introduce you to our new favorite, Char No. 4 (yes, we do seem to be into No. restaurants lately). Situated in Carroll Gardens, this cute, rustic restaurant has the perfect combination of two things I love: bourbon and Southern food.
The menu offers a wide range of Southern sweetness – from Laurel's aforementioned Shrimp & Grits and BBQ sandwiches to Smoked Brisket sandwiches and Jambalaya. I’ve gone a couple of times for dinner – not yet for brunch (working weekends makes brunch damn near impossible). The first time I had the chopped pork sandwich ($14), which comes with a side of baked beans; the next round I ordered shrimp and grits. The barbeque is great – a bit different than what I’m used to, slightly spicy and vinegary (they have mustard in their bbq sauce). I wasn't down with the baked beans - honestly I think I only ever liked baked beans mixed with mac and cheese (I was a weird kid). The shrimp and grits were spicy, and delicious – only complaint is it’s not quite enough food. I also can’t say no to the bacon jalapeno cornbread. If anything, just order THAT - it's bomb.
And of course – the bourbon. They offer over 150 American whiskeys - which pretty much makes this place my mecca. Due to a cold, I ordered the Bourbon Insider Hot Toddy (admittedly I ordered it as a Hottie Toddy first, which our server - who totally WAS adorable - thought was hilarious). At nine smackers, this drink went down smooth and strong. We also split the Sticky Toffee Pudding for $8... the cake was moist and... sticky, and the ice cream was fresh and delicious.
Gotta say, it's a little on the expensive side for me (now that I've turned away from my "real" job), but I still love this place. Currently accepting applications for whiskey and bbq loving boys with about $30 to spare on a whiskey and bbq loving girl over at letsgetdrunkandfattogether.com. - Jennifer
Address: 196 Smith Street
Website: CharNo4.com, Yelp
Payment: Cash, Credit
Open Late: Sunday thru Thursday, 12am; Friday-Saturday 1am
Large Group Friendly: Somewhat
Bar/Happy Hour: Full Bar; Tasty Cocktails