Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Carrabba's Italian Grill

Mini-dessert selection - my favorite: deconstructed cannoli.

Carrabba's has always been one of the chain restaurants I can tolerate. It is actually quite good for reasonably priced Italian food. Right now they are running a summer special, with three course meals including personal appetizer and mini-dessert for the price of a regular entree. I love this because the normal entree size is much too large for one person. This way, you are able to experience variety without stuffing yourself. One problem for me with Carrabba's in the Atlanta area is that there is not a location inside the perimeter. As I rarely venture OTP (as the locals call it) for dining purposes (although there are some great places I want to check out), I was in Douglasville a few weeks ago and thought I'd give it a try. Full disclosure: I was offered a gift card to visit Carrabba's and write this review.

Upon arrival on a Sunday afternoon, the place was not crowded at all and we were immediately seated. Our waiter, Kevin, was very nice and immediately brought bread and dipping sauce, which consists of an herb mixture with olive oil on top. Cal tried a watermelon splash cocktail, which tasted like a Jolly Rancher to me, but was tasty nevertheless!

The watermelon splash - very sweet!

Personal starters: calamari and house salad. The house dressing, a parmesan, is quite good.

The calamari turned out great, with light breading and your run of the mill tomato sauce, it was not at all chewy or rubbery. The salad was nothing special, although I do really like the dressing they make.

Grilled tilapia with sauteed spinach.

For mains I tried the Chicken Bryan and Calvin ordered a special: grilled tilapia with sauteed spinach. The tilapia was my favorite, but the chicken wasn't bad. The pasta I ordered with my chicken as a side (hey, I had to try the pasta after all!) was okay, although it seemed a little dried out like it was not freshly cooked when the sauce was added.

The desserts were a big hit, although the banana one and the cannoli were my favorites - we ended up trying about 5 as we ordered a few extra to sample! Overall Carrabba's is a good place to visit if you don't know of a local place or if you're dining with someone who likes chain restaurants.

Chicken Bryan with pasta.

Carrabba's Italian Grill on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I like Carrabba's. It's very hard for me to get past having a salad, their excellent bread, and the spaghetti and Italian sausage.

I like this chain quite a bit *^^*


Sean said...

I've had mixed experiences with Carrabba's but overall it's been a positive one.

I had their 3 course special last time I went and had a solid meal. Unlike the marsalas, they don't mess up the Chicken Bryan :)

Amy said...

Thanks FnS and Sean. Sean, I look forward to reading your blog and cooking some of the recipes you recommend.