HOME > Chowhound > Chains >


Carrabba's Italian Grill

Best chain Italian? What should I order?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I really love the Chicken Bryan there. The hot Antipasto Platter is also pretty good. At least at the one I went to, they actually did the calamari right. Nice and tender.

    1. I like the Chicken Bryan too, though it was called Chicken Carrabbas at the time I had a Carrabbas nearby. The goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and lemon butter sauce just work together really nicely. IMO of course.

      1. I love Carrabba's. We have to drive an hour to get there...but it's worth the trip. We sometimes order extra meals to bring home. Order something from the grill. I always order pollo rosa maria. It's great. The shrimp scampi is great. Love their desserts. Their bread is wonderful. I think their prices are very reasonable.

        1. The chicken Gratella is my favorite. Nicely grilled chicken breasts with olive oil and spices, and you can get a side of their yummy mashed potatoes and veggies. I always feel like the grilled chicken is somewhat healthy, so I can eat more bread and drink more sangria as a result. :-)

          I've also tried the mezzaluna (ravioli) and it's yummy.

          1. Thanks for all the suggestions. My group (7 adults, 2 infants, 2 toddlers) primarily stuck to the grill options... I had the chicken bryan which was excellent. Everyone was very happy with their meals.

            We were looking for an above average kid/baby friendly restaurant and it fit the bill perfectly. I was impressed with the quality of the food for a chain restaurant and it was an excellent value considering the portions. We are all hearty eaters yet had leftovers to take home.

            And the place is very kid friendly with staff quick to get high chairs, slings for baby carriers (most restaurants don't even have these), kids menus and activity books.

            1. Tried it for the first time last week, and was pleasantly surprised, had the chicken gratella, and it was very flavorful and cooked perfectly, the bread was very good as well. Is it authentic, I dunno and I don't care, it was just darned tasty.

              1. I was taken to a Carrabba's in Ft. Myers last year when my plane was delayed and got in too late for most other options. I was very happy with my meal. Had a very generous portion of nicely prepared veal marsala at just under $20, and they were happy to provide extra gravy and mushrooms when I asked. Service was friendly and helpful, particularly considering the late hour and them on the verge of closing.

                Aren't they in the same ownership group as Roy's, Outback and Bonefish Grill? Somebody in that management group, probably very high up with customer service responsibilities, is doing something/many things very right! Kudos.

                1. Have to admit that I have had nothing but good experiences in 5 visits, and I really enjoy their Ceasar Salad... (although the option of anchovies would be nice!)

                  1. I live in Ft. Myers and have been to the one there about six times so far. The Caesar salad is delicious and much more "authentic" than Caesar's I've had at other chains. I, too, order the Veal Marsala (with extra sauce and mushrooms, please) and I've only been disappointed once when one of the veal portions was quite tough and difficult to even cut. My husband gets the sirloin and adds the mushroom marsala sauce to that as well, and he's always loved it. The only bad dish I've had there is the fried zucchini appetizer. What arrived was a large loaf of dough and fat and very little zucchini. When the waitress noticed that I'd barely touched it, she immediately took it off of our bill.

                    By far, my favorite chain restaurant in this area of Florida.

                    1. You have to get the mussels for an appetizer, they are my favorite. I always order mussels for my entree when I go there and then to finish get the tiramisu, its wonderful! Enjoy, Carrabas is a great chain. The staff is always consistent, very friendly and knowledgable, as you know can be difficult to find in chain restaurants.

                      1. It's not on the menu, but my favorite is the Chicken Trio: small portions of Chicken Bryan, Chicken Marsala, and Polla Rosa Maria.

                        The only time I've been unhappy was the night they gave me a pork chop that was raw in the center. They were totally unapologetic, also, so I've been off the place since then.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Vladimir Estragon

                          I would be veeery unhappy if they were nonchalant about serving raw pork. It doesn't get the attention that undercooked chicken and beef do, but it should be as much of an issue.

                        2. it's decent. i would put it on the same level as an olive garden--competent, if a bit unadventurous italian food. my brother worked her for a stint, and my parents used to take us all the time, and i enjoyed every meal. it's just not somewhere i would go out of my way to dine.

                          1. I have never been to Olive Garden, and haven;t been to Maggianos or Buca in years so the only chain I can compare it to is Macaroni Grill. I find the quality far superior, they use large shrimp as opposed to MG's medium sized ones. I also really think that carrabbas makes a great caesar salad.

                            1. Chicken Bryan & the mussels.