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Sunday
Jun242012

King's Kitchen @ Southport Beach: Beyond Beach Fare

Southport beach-goers will be donning their swimsuits with extra zeal this summer with the addition of King’s Kitchen emerging on the shoreline restaurant landscape. Every six years the beach concession at Southport Public Beach comes up for lease, and this year a team of young entrepreneurial brothers, Carter and Hunter King, won the hearts and stomachs of Southport officials with their vision for local, organic beachfront cuisine. 

King’s Kitchen is housed in a tiny pastel hued beach shack, with public picnic tables serving as the “dining room,” but the bright bold flavors and farm fresh ingredients are casually inspired and downright delicious.  Sure there’s still a hot dog (Doggy Style) on the menu, but there is also a Lobster BLT and an exceptional Pulled Berkshire Pork Sandwich with grilled pineapple on Wave Hill Ciabatta. This aint your average beach shack. Shopping farmers’ markets almost daily, King’s Kitchen’s commitment to using only the best local ingredients, and the menu’s creativity elevates casual beach fare into something crave-worthy. 

As a protege of Barcelona and Dressing Room (under John Holzwarth), Carter developed his passion for cooking. He and his brother originally wanted to open a food truck, but when the Southport Beach opportunity came up, they decided to give it a go without the wheels.  Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with a menu that changes daily based on what’s in season, Carter’s role is in the kitchen, while Hunter does the sourcing that drives the daily offerings.  

“I’m a one man show” Carter says from behind the window as he scrambles to keep up with the orders coming in. And indeed, he is. Do not let the beach shack fool you. This is not a “fast food” experience. Every dish is made to order and the complexity of say, the Salmon Sandwich with Russian Remoulade, Avocado & Slaw on Wave Hill ciabatta with its 5 components, is not akin to ordering fried clams. 

No need to rush however when you’ve got King’s Kitchen’s spectacular view and Carter’s boom box playing reggae music in the background. Grab one of the public beach’s picnic tables or relax in a beach chair while you enjoy this small but well crafted menu. 

Start your visit with one of King’s Kitchen’s refreshing Fruit Smoothies, akin to the Latin American Batidos, made with fresh fruit, milk and ice. Ease into Carter’s Fish Tacos boasting great texture and just a touch of heat, with yellow tomatoes, grilled pineapple, crunchy slaw, and perfectly grilled salmon, nestled in a corn tortilla. Another favorite, one you’ll think about at night, was the Pulled Pork Sandwich. This little piggy was succulent and smokey, had great crunch from the slaw, and presented the perfect balance of spicy and sweet. A crisp Watermelon salad can be savored on a warm day as well as the beach-friendly Gazpacho

We were initially concerned about access to King’s Kitchen as Southport’s public beach requires a beach pass for entry but we did not encounter any problem with parking. 

Follow King’s Kitchen on twitter to find out about their daily specials

King’s Kitchen will be open during beach season, May through November, with counter service all day. It is worth noting for your next party that they also offer catering.

King’s Kitchen, 1505 Southport Beach, Southport 

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Reader Comments (15)

Go for the pulled pork sandwich. It's outstanding.

June 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDylan

My mouth waters from 3,000 miles away :) I cant wait to get back to Southport to try Hunter & Carter's menu!

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrachel

Hours of operation would have been helpful since there doesn't seem to be a phone or website.

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeryl Siff

1)Where do you park without a Fairfield beach sticker?
2)Did the King brothers go to Staples High School?

July 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Price

We tried KK on Sunday for lunch. We don't have a FairField Beach sticker, but we snuck in I guess- there were a couple of spots available. This venue can't be beat if you can snag a table...fabulous fresh ingredients. We tried the seviche and watermelon salad with lobster, mango and cilantro. Cool coconut mango, celery smoothie. This would be a great place to bike to! I hope they take over the Wetport concession at Compo Beach- its in need of a revamp like this. Highly recommend can't wait to go back!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSueIseman

(203) 955-1244 That is their new phone number. I think they are open until they run out of food daily!

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteryup

Dont bother - prices are very high for a beach shack that quite frankly looks run down. How about 16$ for a lobster sandwich with very little lobster. Also, I went to grab lunch by myself and waited at least 15-20 minutes for my sandwich - the people seemed so disorganized. Save your money and wait until they figure things out.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam Pincus

awesome, awesome, awesome.. and all i can say is FINALLY.. reminds me of boomba shack in tortola bvi or cyrils in montauk..now we just need a liquor license and a signature drink!

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterfairfield resident

Interesting to say the least - makeshift awnings - dirty tables - great hotdog - poor quality lobster salad sandwich. Get 4 hotdogs for the price of the Lobster BLT. Much better deal.

Went today but its closed temporarily. Returned to my car where a police officer was just about to write me a ticket so parkers without permits beware!!

August 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterk

Don't waste your money on the lobster club,where's the lobster guys???

August 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLion

Just had dinner( 8/18) at Kings Kitchen at Southport beach and it was awesome ! We had the Lobster Roll, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Hot Dog and two corn on the cobbs. The portions were a good size including the Lobster roll ( toasted). The Guys in the shack were very nice and helpful with all our questions. We had set up our chairs and blanket on the beach and a lovely young lady delivered our food to us on the beach. The food was incredibly fresh and very tasty.Being a life long westport resident this place should not be in the same category as Joey's by the Seas ( Compo Beach) which serves seafood that is pre-breaded and tastes frozen. They also have nice colored chairs set up on the beach with tables as well as torches at nighttime. Congratulations and best of luck !!

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

We waited hours (I am not exaggerating!) for our dinner. Finally my friend walked up to the windown to inquire where our meal was. The owner seemed kind of out of it and one of his kitchen mates was giggling, which seemed strange, like college frat boys trying to run a kitchen.

He handed my boyfriend a room temp, very well done burger and our quesadilla (which was tasty, but nothing more than cheese and shrimp). We asked for medium rare. I took a bite and the meat was grey, tough and dry. We asked them to make another one, this time medium rare. We finally got another burger (I think they hit it on the 3rd try!) which was good, but the original two came with what they call the "works" and the last one was missing the sprouts! Consistent!

Overall, kind of an irritating experinece in terms of the length of time it took to eat. No apologies from the owner, no, "hey I am sorry, we are backed up...so sorry it took so long to get your dinner..." nothing... Just seemed like he thought it was perfectly reasonable to have people waiting for this amount of time.

You don't get the feeling that they are really wanting success, but rather just in it for some fun! Needs to have a bit more customer appreciation and humility. There's a healthy dose of entitlement going on with this owner as if it doesn't really matter if a customer is happy or not, someone else is keeping the lights on!

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

This place is AWFUL! what a RIP OFF! The food is TALKED UP TO BE something it is not. Give me a break to spend 18 bucks for burger???? at a beach shack!??? were you a chef on iron chef? NOPE so do not even think about spending 18 bucks on a cold tiny burger that is not even close to what a real "louies lunch" burger is. This place is a total SCAM. Do not get sucked into the colors and laid back attitude. All it is is college drop outs trying to make money of rich people. Save your money and go out to Greenwich for some real fine dining!

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleo

Wow! This place is really awesome! I had such a wonderful experience. The burgers are well worth the $9 a piece that I paid. They cooked me a wonderful juicy Shittake mushroom bacon burger in a sweet bourbon marinade w/ melted pleasant sun cheese from the farmer's market! Leo must have paid $18 for two burgers. I give these guys a lot of credit, opening their first venture and cooking up so much amazing food on such a small grill.

I went with my family a few weeks ago and our order took up the entire grill. I felt like we were being catered to privately! The food is definitely worth the wait. I can't wait for my next visit! This is one of the greatest beach experiences I have had on the east coast. I'm blown away that this place is being run by three brothers! Hunter, Carter, and Parker, are doing a great job setting the tone and an example for local/organic gourmet beach fare. Leo I wasn't aware that Greenwich had such amazing beach fare on the beach? Where at? If I were you and would give them a second chance. You are giving a false impression of how awesome this place really is.

It's a great first date location and one of the best beaches in fairfield county. King's Kitchen has hit it dead on the head! What a great concept guys!

September 28, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjonathan

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