Florida Guide > Dining
Carrabas Italian Grill
If you like Italian food why not try Carraba’s Italian Grill?
This South West chain was founded in Houston Texas and is growing all the time. It is a family run chain that was started by two Sicilian’s, Damian Mandola and Johnny Carraba. The recipes served daily at Carraba’s have been handed down through generations and 80% of the recipes used today were from the founders’ mother’s and grandmother’s own cookery books, indeed some of the dishes bear the name of Rosa Mandola, for example, Pollo Rosa Maria, chicken stuffed with fontino and prosciutto, topped with mushrooms and a basil, lemon butter sauce or Mama Mandola’s Sicilian chicken soup, both absolutely delicious!
The menu changes periodically and varies from one location to another to take advantage of the local fresh meat, seafood, and vegetables. The old favourites, however are ever present; Pasta Carraba, Pasta Weesie, and Lasagne to name just a few. The meat dishes are equally delicious and their Marsala sauce is one of the best we have ever tasted. All entrees are accompanied by soup or salad, the soup is a choice of minestrone or soup of the day and the salads feature Caesar salad, house salad or a green salad. The server will bring you warm Italian bread fresh from the oven accompanied by pesto and spice infused oil for dipping, at this point it is difficult not to indulge, just leave room for your meal! !
There is a huge wood burning grill open to the kitchen where you can watch pizzas going in and out of the stone oven, see fresh pasta being made and catch glimpses of the preparation of your meal. If you are unfortunate enough to encounter a wait there is a large bar where you can choose to eat if you wish.
Dining takes place in booths, centrally situated tables or on stools against the kitchen counter. In the warmer weather there is outdoor seating on the patio in some locations, although the views across the car park and the busy roads are none too exciting.
Carraba’s at Formosa Gardens Plaza is a good location for visitors to the 192 area and there are locations close to Premium Outlets and The Florida mall, convenient to visit prior to or after a shopping trip.
Carraba’s is popular, especially at peak times, so if you don’t want to wait, eat early, later or call ahead and whichever location you choose and whatever your choice from the menu, enjoy! !
You will find several Carraba’s restaurants in the Orlando area, they are popular, so if you don’t want to wait, eat early, later or call ahead.
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