Thursday, May 21, 2015

Morgantown Edition: Cara's Cookout

Cara's CookoutA new takeout restaurant has opened in Westover in a former used car lot space. You know when you cross the bridge into Westover and follow up toward the hill toward the right? That awkward space to the left? That's the location of Cara's Cookout.

Cara's Cookout

Cara's CookoutIt's an awkward location, but it's pretty easy to loop in and out at least - which is nice for a takeout place. Cara's Cookout has a very small menu with just hotdogs and packaged pepperoni rolls as consistent items, with a daily special. Monday is sweet and sour ribs with fried dumplings; Tuesday is meatloaf and mashed potatoes; Wednesday is spaghetti and a roll; Thursday is spicy potato pork and rice; and Friday is sweet soy wings and fried rice. So, there's some Asian influence, some Italian, some straight Americana.

When we headed to the restaurant to order, I asked why the variety in food, and the owner said that's just what they're good at making. I actually like the idea of doing a few dishes but just doing them well. The wife is Chinese, and she seems to wrangle the kitchen, while the husband operated the ordering and cash handling.

The couple apparently uses the upstairs for their kitchen and the downstairs is where they have the food prepped and ready to go for takeout. There are only two stools or so to wait for your order, and there really is no seating to eat inside. So, definitely make sure you have plans to take your food somewhere.

Cara's CookoutWe happened to go on a Thursday for the spicy potato pork and rice. We were told this is actually one of their better sellers, so we were excited. Once we got back to the office, we opened our styrofoam containers. It doesn't really have much curb appeal - it kind of looks like a mush of sorts. Maybe some fresh peppers or something would help give it some color. There were giant chunks of potato and pork in a slightly spicy almost curry. But it was just a bit one note for me. I wish there was a bit more dimension so it's not all the same mush texture and flavor - peppers? a sweet note? A sour note? Something? It wasn't bad ... I just wish there was more to it.

Grade: C
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