Millcreek • The disclaimer chalked on the wall near the counter serves as a warning to those who might inquire about low-fat or vegetarian options:

“Our food is Southern. Almost everything we serve is made with copious amounts of butter, salt, sugar, milk, fat ... and tastes great, as a result. ... For those of you still confused, ‘Bless Your Heart.’”

Charlotte-Rose’s Carolina BBQ ain’t messin’ around, y’all. And when it comes to barbecue, I don’t either.

I’ve lived in South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky, so I know all about the never-ending debates surrounding regional styles and techniques.

The Millcreek restaurant, owned by South Carolina native Trae Eller, specializes in authentic North and South Carolina barbecue and vinegar-based sauces. The menu is fairly simple — sandwiches, combination plates, tacos, ribs, sides and desserts (and Cheerwine!) — just like it should be.

And for the most part, Charlotte-Rose’s lived up to my recollections and expectations.

Let’s get straight to the meat of it. Options include chopped brisket, pulled chicken breast, pulled pork shoulder or spare ribs. Because Eller slow cooks them at a low temperature, they’re all extremely tender and moist. He uses hickory wood as a base, adding in cherry wood and sometimes apple wood, depending on the meat, infusing each meat with a different level of smoky flavor.

You can order the brisket, chicken or pork as sandwiches topped with slaw and one side item ($9.99, $8.99 and $8.99, respectively); as combination plates with one side item and cornbread ($13.99 one meat, $14.99 two meats, $15.99 three meats); or family-sized takeout priced per pound ($14 pork, $15 chicken, $18 brisket).

I’m a little confused about the intended style of brisket, which varied between cubes and roughly shredded pieces on our combination plates between visits. Either way, we preferred the latter, which seemed much juicier.

Although the combos will give you the opportunity to try more types of meat, I recommend trying a sandwich with the vinegar-based slaw, which complemented the brisket so beautifully I didn’t even add barbecue sauce. The only downside is that you don’t get a piece of the super moist cornbread unless you use your one side item on it, which is worth considering.

Our favorite was the ribs, which pull easily away from the bone. I love that Eller cooks only with a dry rub, which adds a subtle sweetness and heat. The ribs can be purchased at half ($15.99) or whole racks ($26.99). Although, sizing up doesn’t change the rest of the order: a piece of cornbread and one side.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) A rack of ribs with baked beans and cornbread at Charlotte-Rose's Carolina BBQ, a new restaurant in Millcreek, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020.
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The redneck tacos with chopped brisket ($11.99) were our least favorite, mostly for the same reason we liked them. Stuffed with cheddar, red rice, slaw, sauce and meat, the tacos had a lot of texture but the flour tortillas quickly became soggy.

The hard part is choosing just one side ($3.49 without a meal). We especially enjoyed the tangy baked beans, buttery sweet potato casserole, peppery red-skinned mashed potatoes and gooey mac and cheese, although our macaroni was slightly overcooked. And you can’t forget the aforementioned slaw and cornbread (99 cents). We were less enthusiastic, however, about the somewhat chewy green beans and mushy red rice with andouille sausage.

No meal would be complete without one of Eller’s four vinegar-based barbecue sauces: South Carolina Mustard, North Carolina Vinegar, Kickin’ Carolina Mountain Molasses and Honey BBQ ($7.99 a bottle).

Eller’s “labor of love,” the mountain molasses, brings a sweet, subtle heat while the honey barbecue (a mix of honey and tomato sauce with the mustard sauce) hits sweet and tangy notes. At times, I felt the mustard tasted too sharp, but then I also think it depends on the type of meat it’s paired with. The same goes for the vinegar. It’ll be overwhelming for some, but I loved the spices and thought it also would make great salad dressing (not that Eller would serve such a thing).

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Charlotte-Rose's Carolina BBQ BBQ sauce, at the new restaurant in Millcreek, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020.
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Eller also offers sauces — like Honey Habanero, Sweet & Tangy, and Ghost BBQ — from Big Daddy Hills BBQ, which his friend Lee Hill owns. Hill bottles Charlotte-Rose’s sauces.

Dessert includes a fudgy brownie ($2.50), a tried-and-true banana pudding ($3.50) and a peach cobbler ($4.50) made from a recipe that’s been in Eller’s family since the early 1700s. The cobbler consists of fresh peaches, a dumpling batter, and a “healthy portion of vanilla.” My friends capital L-loved the cobbler. But I found it too doughy and missed the crust. Eller said it should be dark and crusty on top and soft and moist inside.

The restaurant isn’t fast casual, though we always received our food quickly. The staff exude that Southern charm and hospitality, from giving advice on reheating leftovers to listening to my mom ramble about her recipe for Carolina mustard sauce.

But the best part is that Eller knows his stuff. In fact, I bet if you ask, the former anthropologist might share the history behind American barbecue.

Charlotte-Rose’s Carolina BBQ • ★★★ (out of ★★★★) The Millcreek restaurant specializes in barbecue from North and South Carolina, including well-known vinegar-based sauces. Fun fact: Following family tradition, owner Trae Eller named the restaurant after his daughter.

Charlotte-Rose’s Carolina BBQ • ★★★ (out of ★★★★) The Millcreek restaurant specializes in barbecue from North and South Carolina, including well-known vinegar-based sauces. Fun fact: Following family tradition, owner Trae Eller named the restaurant after his daughter.
Food • ★★★
Mood • ★★★
Service • ★★★
Noise • 2 bells out of 4
Location • 792 E. 3300 South, Millcreek; 801-834-3066
Online • crcbbqut.com
Hours • 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; closed Sundays
Children’s menu • Yes
Prices • $-$$$$
Liquor • No
Reservations • No
Takeout • Yes
Wheelchair access • Yes
Outdoor dining • No
On-site parking • Yes
Credit cards • Yes