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Eat Like Kings at Southport Beach

The latest addition to the Southport shore, King's Kitchen, offers an organic twist to usual beach fare.

What's the recipe for a successful beachfront eatery?

If King's Kitchen at is any indicator, it takes a combination of passion for organic, locally grown ingredients, determination to flourish, and a dash of camaraderie between brothers.

"It's all about beach food," Carter King, who opened King's Kitchen in June with his older brother, Hunter, said. "We're bringing something to the area that was a void before."

But it wasn't as quite as easy as simply filling a void.

"People didn't think we could do it -- no one has succeeded here before," he said of taking what was once a shack on Southport's shoreline and remodeling it into a workable kitchen and service stand.

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"I can't believe we did it. It's been a real learning curve, a really cool process."

Now the shack, painted a blue with turquoise and orange trim and lined with lobster lights, is a beacon for beachgoers and foodies alike.

The King brothers -- who call themselves "We Three Kings" when third brother Parker is included -- grew up in Westport and frequented the Westport Farmers Market.

"It's the best place to get local, organic food," Hunter King said. "The idea was, why not cook all the food we get at the Westport Farmers Market?"

They started out cooking in the back of the farmers market before decided to look for a more "substantial spot to sell organic produce, and give back to the community and small businesses," the older King said.

And so the idea for King's Kitchen was born. The produce comes from the Westport farmers market (specifically from Two Guys from Woodbrige); the fish from local seafood markets and fisheries out of Norwalk.

Menu items range from breakfast (egg sandwiches, pastries), to staples like burgers and hot dogs, to shrimp skewers and pulled pork sandwiches, to smoothies and teas, to various types of fish tacos and the Lobster BLT -- a favorite among customers, according to Hunter King.

King expanded on the fish tacos and the Lobster BLT. A fish taco is served with pineapple grilled slaw and lemon thyme hot sauce. The lobster sandwich is a concoction of lobster, butterhead lettuce, various sprouts and Manchego cheese, served on ciabatta.

Another interesting item to note is the Rwandan black tea -- the first of its kind to be sold in America. Hunter King works at Tea Importers of Westport and the company has a tea plantation in Rwanda, he said.

Offerings change daily -- sometimes several times a day -- based on what's fresh and available.

King's Kitchen will be open through beach season, and the brothers may take the business on the road for the winter in the form of a food truck, and idea they had initially planned to do before the beach shack opportunity.

Carter King hopes people will come and take advantage of the beach -- especially now that there's a place to eat at the beach.

"We're encouraging people to come and have parties. The town brought more chairs and umbrellas," he said. "People love it, we're getting a lot of good feedback."

"People forgot about how awesome [beach food] is."

 

King's Kitchen, located at 1505 Pequot Avenue in Southport, is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; closed Mondays. Follow King's Kitchen on Twitter (@BeachKings) for daily menu offerings.

Susan Komisar Hausman July 10, 2012 at 12:10 PM
What a lovely little place - we will be sure to give it a try!
Bunny July 10, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I wish them well, but looking at the prices I do not think it will last for long... even in southport... $ 5.25 for a bacon egg and cheese? 3.50 for a muffin? I couldn't afford to buy it.
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) July 10, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Ashley -- Alcohol isn't permitted on the beaches in Fairfield/Southport, and King's Kitchen sits right on the beach.
Laura VanTine July 10, 2012 at 11:49 PM
I took my family to Kings Kitchen tonight based on this article. While the location is wonderful, the prices are ridiculous! It took about 4 bites to eat the $8 pulled pork sandwich. While it was tasty it was NOT worth $8. Sorry, but I won't be going back, I was very disappointed in spending $36 on a meal in which everyone left hungry.
SBP July 11, 2012 at 05:10 PM
The food at King's is absolutely incredible and anyone complaining about pricing needs to realize that local/ organic food is 100% worth it. Anyone that shops at Whole Foods, Health in a Hurry or other natural food markets, or dines at farm-to-table restaurants like LeFarm, Dressing Room and many others in town should know that the high quality of food contributes greatly to a high quality of life. These awesome, forward-thinking people at King's are trying to change the way people think about food and health, and wanted to bring the best of the best to Southport Beach. If you want a greasy, low-quality, disgusting, caged animal hamburgers, go to any corporate chain in spitting distance. If you want grass-fed, organic, local, 100% "happy cow" cruelty-free delicious "Works Burger", go to King's Kitchen! It's as simple as that. I have had many meals there and will continue to support such an awesome cause. Congrats, King's!!
SBP July 11, 2012 at 05:42 PM
And @ Laura: There is a massive climb of obesity in the country, especially in our children. We should be so lucky that places like King's are serving not only chemical/pesticide free produce and hormone-free meat and dairy products, but that they are portioning APPROPRIATELY for our body's needs. If it only took you four bites to finish a King's pulled pork sandwich, you are clearly eating too quickly. Again, you want that double/triple heart attack on a bun, go somewhere else! I advise anyone that believes in King's philosophies to join the craze, and get yourself some REAL food!!
Fairfield native July 11, 2012 at 05:47 PM
...but no one should spend $36 and go away hungry. That is just bad business and the savvy businessman would look into addressing this.
SBP July 11, 2012 at 08:41 PM
I am quite positive that the $36 spent was for more than one person (probably three or four) and that is a deal in my opinion....try ordering a salad and/or water as well next time, we are all fiber deprived and dehydrated in this country, therefore cannot feel full even on normal sized portions!
Fairfield native July 11, 2012 at 08:47 PM
no one should go away hungry- it is bad business. I am sure that they can handle constructive criticism and grow as a business. This is very good information from the public to a young establishment. I love them there and hope they read these reviews and brainstorm ways to address it.
SBP July 11, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Yep, I totally agree! I am sure they will work it out!
R. Ludlowe July 12, 2012 at 01:49 AM
We ate there once. They were out of almost everything (and one of the lads behind the counter commented that he "hoped they ran out of everything so he could go home"). Kids will be kids, so that doesn't bother me, and most new restaurants need some time to get their acts together. One of the other customers had been waiting 25 minutes for 2 hotdogs at that point... she didnt seem to thrilled about that. I've heard from lots of people that they are out of this or that when they try to eat there. Maybe they should try to have a smaller, more manageable menu? My personal tip would be to keep your ice cream in the freezer. My kid's cone was soupy!
Tom R. July 12, 2012 at 03:55 AM
I ate there tonight and everything was fantastic. We ordered two Lobster BLTs and a hot dog, then came back for two ice creams. I don't know when R. Ludlowe went to eat there, but they had everything in stock and it seemed to be running smoothly. I usually won't try out a new place in the first month because of things like that, but I have to say tonight was not only beautiful, but the place was packed and everyone seemed happy. We got our food within 15 mins, which I think is a pretty normal wait time for a place like this and for the quality of the food. I'd say go back and give them another try! I know I will be back soon!
Fairfield Resident July 12, 2012 at 01:53 PM
I agree Bunny. Their prices are ridiculous for "Beach Food".
Fairfield Resident July 12, 2012 at 01:55 PM
I'll 2nd that!
Fairfield Resident July 12, 2012 at 01:57 PM
"local/ organic food is 100% worth it" LOL......like you can even tell the difference!
Tom R. July 12, 2012 at 02:40 PM
@ Fairfield Resident: I have checked out your other "helpful comments" that you've posted on other articles. What, what, what is your beef with EVERYTHING? Calm down and start enjoying your life. These people work hard and deserve some support for their values and ideas. If you don't get it, stop hating!
jetty July 12, 2012 at 10:22 PM
organic hotdog???? really?
R. Ludlowe July 13, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Chillax, Tom R. Fairfield Resident is a fixture here. Love him or leave him... one thing's for sure... if you taunt him you'll regret it.
Fairfield Resident July 13, 2012 at 04:43 AM
^^^^ STALKER ALERT ^^^^
Doyle July 14, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Kings Kitchen is one of a kind. Bringing local organic healthy food to the beach! An ingenious concept! My meal was fantastic and yes I did pay for it, but that is the price you pay for quality food. Most of the comments I've read here have been negative and in no way constructive. While you may view it as "kids" running the operation, you may want to open up your views and applaud these young brothers in starting a great business. So let's cut them a little slack and enjoy the food and scenery. How many of you have started your own business and been perfect/seamless from the start??
Marcia Cote July 15, 2012 at 01:04 AM
I applaud their effort and want them to do well. What a great beach dining experience for all local residents. It is a new venture and they can learn from comments both good and not so good. Prices need to match the offerings and they can improve upon service, food preparation and timing. Our first pass at food was not stellar, but hopefully this will change. We would have been loyal, twice a week repeat customers if it was better. I love the beach setting!
Chuck E. Arla September 07, 2012 at 01:06 PM
SBP, Could you be any more pompous and pretentious? BTW have you seen the study that came out this week? Essentially there is NO nutritional benefit in "organic" vs. "regular food. Mangia!

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