Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Carrabba's Grill at the Northeast Mall

My wife suggested Carrabba's Grill  for a late dinner last night. Carrabba's is a new restaurant in the south section of the Northeast mall near the Rave movie theater. I had heard some good things about their version of Italian food, but my expectations were not high.

The problem is that I grew up with very good (read: the best) homemade, Italian food. Because of a permanently lodged comparison meter, the idea of eating-out Italian is not appealing. I am not a food snob, I'll eat darn near anything, but when I am paying for it, I do not want a tomato sprinkled with oregano and garlic salt passed off as Italian food.

But back to Carrabba's.

Our dinner was a shared mixed-greens salad tossed with oil and vinegar, and a three-cheese pizza. Both were very good. It's hard to hurt a salad if the lettuce is fresh and cold, which it was. But pizza is another thing. The crust was thin and crispy with just enough body to give it a little chewiness and it was sprinkled with some tasty dried tomatoes. It isn't the best pizza I have ever had but it was very good.

My only criticism, and it is not enough to keep me from returning, is that the portions were on the small side. A ten dollar salad and a ten dollar pizza could be a bit bigger than what they were serving, and still be very profitable for the restaurant. The cost for two without tip was $24 which included a liter bottle of Pelligrino water.

I liked Carrabba's. The service was good and friendly, and the food was good.
One final note from the curmudgeonly side of my brain. One of the reasons that I have never tried a Carrabba's is that the two guys that play the "Carrabba's boys" in the TV commercial play up the "I'm a real Italian boy with a real Italian mama" thing way too much for me. It's annoying enough to have kept me from the restaurants.
The Details:
Carabba's Grill / Hurst
(817) 595-3345
1101 Melbourne Rd, Ste 6200, Hurst, TX 76053
Mon-Thurs: 4pm-10pm
Fri: 11am-11pm
Sat: 11am-11pm
Sun: 11am-10pm


Jennifer said...

LOL. My husband refuses to ever buy anything from Pizza Hut because he *hates* those commercials where they serve pasta to "real Italians" etc. etc.
We haven't to Carraba's in a long time. Their prices are a bit too high for family dining and our first experience was nothing special.

RJG said...

I agree with you, that Carrabba's is pretty good for a chain. They're owned by OSI Restaurant partners, most known for Outback Steakhouse. They have a few chains, and they just spun off Cheeseburger in Paradise. More info here: http://www.osirestaurantpartners.com/index.asp

Since most (if not all) of the independent Italian restaurants in NE Tarrant are owned by Albanians or former Yugoslavians (and they're all good, if not too similar to each other), there isn't a lot of variety in the area unfortunately. I don't have any good recs near NE Mall beyond those two options (Balkan or National Chain).

Anonymous said...

new? where have you been?

Francis Shivone said...

Jennifer: Agree on the Pizza Hut commercial.

RJG: Thanks for the link. I'm always curious about which corp. owns which outlet.

Anon: Corrected. How about "newish."

Anonymous said...

Carrabba's has been at that same location for well over 5 years.

Francis Shivone said...

Anon. -- okay so I don't get to the mall very often. It was still new to me. :)