Friday, October 15, 2010

Carraba's... Props for the GF Menu... But...

Dinner at Carraba's Italian Grill -- to sum it up, the best part was the ice cream, specifically, the "John Cole."  The description is a "Blue Bell vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce and roasted cinnamon rum pecans."  The pecans were scrumptious, I ate all of them.  Best of all, I had this first!  (Little did I realize I would have been happier stopping there).  My typical desert first tradition confuses some, but, this server took an interest and turned it into a discussion piece - this was a nice touch.  Next, I had the ceasar salad, no croutons, and ended with the Filet Fiorentina, USDA Choice center-cut tenderloin. 

Now... I have to say this, I am GREATLY appreciative for Carraba's having a GF menu, and I very well could have ordered poorly, but, I just wasn't impressed.  Where to begin...  Browse the GF Menu -- what's missing?  You guessed it, the prices!!  Well, it's the same in person, and I found that disturbing.  I know I pay more my GF items, but, have the decency to tell me how much! 

The ceasar was ok, average I'd say.  No complaints there.

The garlic mashed potatoes -- all 4 scoops on my plate, left much to be desired.  They were heavy on the garlic, and just not right.  I was checking out images of the plate I ordered online (next time I'll be better about pictures myself)...  and I found this one below.  Unfortunately, I wasn't provided a second side option, I instead had 4 scoops of mashed potatoes - which seemed ridiculous at the time.  Looking at the image below, it makes much more sense to have 2 sides. 

My tenderloin was not the medium I requested, instead it was more medium rare.  The server came over, noticed it himself, and offered to cook it more -- big points for that.  Even when it returned. cooked more medium well, it just didn't taste right either.  It was off, there was no flavor to the meat.  With one bite, I didn't crave another, I just wanted to put my fork down, so I did.

All in all, my company was much better than my meal - thumbs sideways for Carraba's.  I believe the only reason why the New Times included Carraba's in its "Top Five Chain Restaurants With Gluten-Free Menus (Celiacs, Rejoice!)"  is because other chains have not yet stepped up to the challenge.  Service was great, and I truly do appreciate the effort of a GF menu.  Once prices are added, maybe even with some GF pasta items, I'll be happier to try again. 

P.S. - Even though you order off the GF menu, the menu makes it clear that it is your job to specify no croutons in your salad, and there is no special GF grill - which may prove troublesome for Celiacs.

For now... I'd return for the "John Cole," that's about it.

Carrabba's Italian Grill on Urbanspoon

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