What about Carmine's?
- Will Owen
A friend of my wife's heard someone waxing enthusiastic about this place and asked her about it, and she asked me if there'd been any buzz here. I remember some pro and con remarks a while back, but don't recall any particulars aside from something about flashy-suited wiseguy wannabees hanging out there. Someone care to enlighten us?
I'd only go to Carmine's for the bar and drinks - fun place to hang out and watch a game or two.
Food is akin to Olive Garden - not a dining destination by any means.
Hi Will. Okay. Here goes.
I happen to be a fan of Carmines - both for the happy hour (excellent deals on food) and for dining (although I get delivery from there as well).
I will get shot for this, but I think their pizza is one of the best I have ever had (better than Casa Bianca, but I have not had the much-fabled sausage/eggplant(?) one from there, but Carmine's pepperoni/mush knocks theirs out of the water) - thin crust, well done. Period. They have a pasta pescatore (you can get it with red, white, pink and some other sauce, I prefer the pink). DELISHUS! They have wonderful soups - both the Minestroni and Lentil. Actually, everything is good. I have not had anything that I have not liked. Took grandma, aunt and cousins who were visiting from Norway here and they could not stop talking about how fresh and wonderful it was. They also offer chicken tenders (not on the menu) - get them with the HOT sauce. I love these. Sometimes I just order these, a side of their mozzarella garlic bread and a side salad and I am a happy girl. Their antipasto salad comes with broccoli florets as well as other veggies. I have always found the service nothing but top notch in the restaurant - however, if you are there for happy hour once you get the waitress place your order - ALL OF IT - since I have found that they tend to disappear as it nears 7 (end of HH). Their bruschetta is fantastic as well. I would definitely give it a try. They have some kind of lemon chicken thing that one of my friends swears by, but I cannot remember any of the details. Their meatballs are her favorite. Calamari is more of a tempura-style coating and is very good.
They also have a location on Live Oak in Arcadia.
For the other poster who asked how it compares to Dino's - I just had Dino's for lunch today!! ;-) However, I have never had the spaghetti at Carmine's (my favorite thing at Dino's is the spaghetti with Naploi sauce and I get it every time I go - except for the one time I ordered the pizza, it was okay, but does not come anywhere near Carmine's) so I cannot compare. But I do prefer their house dressing to Carmine's.
Next time try the Spaghetti. Top quality pasta that I could enjoy with just some butter. Also, I have been to both the South Pasadena and Arcadia locations and find dem to be da same in food and service. I like da back door takeout in Arcadia because it reminds me of waiting for a pizza one night someplace in Brick City.
Carmine's (Italian Cheese Steak, Very good pasta in Lasagna, Spaghetti w/ meat sauce -meat balls or sausage, Gumbi,Fettuccini Alfredo, Soups, Pizza, garlic bread, HOWEVER, I say NO to the seafood selections and entrée salads)
424 Fair Oaks Ave
South Pasadena, CA 91030
(At the 110 Pasadena Fwy
Carmine's Same place as above
311 E Live Oak Ave
Arcadia, CA 91006
East of Santa Anita,
One of the best Pizza's in Town...They are underrated...I might even go as far as better than Casa Bianca's Pizza Pie...and without the 1 1/2 hour wait
Try the Gumbi...oozing mess of mozzarella cheese and meatballs with al dente rigatoni, mushrooms and meat sauce. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!
I agree that Carmine's has some of the best pizza. I also love their Tomato and Onion salad. My husband loves their pasta. Big portions at decent prices as well. Karaoke night on Wednesdays are also a blast!