South Charleston Edition: Carnival Eats

By Candace Nelson - 10:03 AM

Carnival Eats

There is something fun and quirky about a restaurant that focuses on carnival fare. Those sickeningly sweet treats are only available at these special events, and when all these events have been canceled due to the pandemic, this restaurant can be that outlet to still dig into sinful sweets.

Carnival Eats

Carnival Eats, a new restaurant in South Charleston, is serving up corndogs, cotton candy, funnel cake, and a bevy of other deep-fried snacks. Since they opened, they've been slammed - hourlong waits, not-so-positive reviews and service issues have plagued the restaurant.

Carnival Eats

But, Dawn and I were interested in giving it a go. We got lucky and went right as they opened on a Saturday so we were the only ones in there. The interior is small, but vibrant with murals on the walls and a very extensive menu hanging above the counter. Like, very extensive.

Carnival Eats

The deep-fried desserts make sense to me ... but then there's bubble tea... and there are salads ... and there is hummus. I like variety as much as anyone, but I know this can wreak havoc in the kitchen and lead to long wait times, which is one of the biggest complaints I've heard.

Carnival Eats

Nonetheless, I put in an order for a few different things. Let's start with the pepperoni grilled cheese. I love an elevated comfort food - so take a grilled cheese, add mozzarella, pepperoni and sauce, and it's like those pizza sandwiches I made growing up. Nothing I couldn't make at home - but I still love it.

Carnival Eats

Next up was a side of pretzels. Dawn loves a pretzel, and I don't mind them. I liked these little bite-sized guys. They didn't have a nacho cheese, which surprised me. Instead, they shared a white cheese - which would've been good, but it was just like a melted cheese so it hardened up and became plastic pretty quickly.

Carnival Eats

Then, I ordered a s'more churro. According to the photo on their website, I thought I would get a s'more with churros for the graham cracker. Instead, it was a platter of small, tough churros with some mini marshmallows and chocolate sauce. Not exactly what I was expecting and not a huge fan.

Carnival Eats

Dawn tried a corn dog, which she was very excited about but did not totally love.

Carnival Eats

Finally, we split a cotton candy burrito. These are one of those Instagram food trends right now, so I was excited to check it out. The execution, however, needs work. Instead of being this bright, colorful beauty, it kind of all meshed together, melted and just turned into a giant blob of sugar. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing - it tasted like, well, sugar - but it wasn't that beautiful sight I wanted to see.

Carnival Eats

Overall, I think the concept is fun for a once-in-awhile treat, but an extensive menu has led to some service weakness and food quality issues.

Carnival Eats

Time will tell! Have you been? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Carnival Eats

Grade: C

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