Florida Guide > Dining
Carrabbas Italian Grill
This has to be my all time favourite restaurant and even while writing this I can imagine eating the succulent mouth watering dishes they produce. We originally found this restaurant down in Brandon about 70 miles south of Disney whilst visiting relatives and to say the least I was hooked. To my delight we found a Carrabba’s located just off the 192 at Formosa Gardens.
In fact it is now a tradition to eat here on our first full day in Orlando and it is a definite last night location as well and to be perfectly honest I eat here as often as I can.
Everything is made by hand in the restaurant every day and the kitchen is on open view so you can watch the chefs cooking your food.
Opening times are from 4pm – 10pm Sun – Thurs and till 11pm on Friday and Saturday.
Get there early to make sure you arrive early it is very popular.
There is a massive choice of where you can sit including normal tables, booths, tables outside and you can even sit at the pasta bar or pizza bar where you can watch the chefs preparing the meals and even sample some of the food. At least on one visit we sit at the pizza bar, it certainly keeps everyone entertained watching all the food being prepared.
Another reason for eating early is that there is a daily 2 for 1 Happy Hour on selected drinks from 4 – 7pm daily.
The first food you are served is their wonderful warm bread - be careful it is very moreish and you can easily fill yourself up.
There is a good choice on the menu including your classic Italian dishes, pizza, steak, chicken, veal, shrimp, lobster, mussels and scallops. I normally go for the Sirloin Marsala – a 10oz USDA choice centre cut sirloin grilled and topped with mushrooms, prosciutto and Lambardo Marsala wine sauce. This is served with a choice of garlic mashed potatoes, spaghetti pomodor, cavatappi amatriciana or the vegetable of the day. All grilled dishes also come with a cup of homemade soup or a choice of House, Italian or Caesar salad. Don’t worry if you can’t eat it all the staff are more than happy to box up any left over’s which can be reheated the following day.
If you have room try one of the delicious deserts – the staff are more than happy to allow you to share and that goes for the main courses as well. There are just 5 deserts but all are well worth trying. Our family favorite is a ‘John Cole’ – vanilla ice cream topped with a caramel sauce and roasted cinnamon rum pecans.
It is a very child friendly restaurant with children having their own menu and activity book. The waiters can also provide some pizza dough for the children to mould and play with. The children menu includes Spaghetti, Ravioli, Cheese or Pepperoni Pizza, grilled chicken or chicken fingers and the price ranging from $4.99 to $5.99 and also includes a beverage.
To summarise a fantastic restaurant, with all food prepared fresh on the premises each day, service is excellent and to top it all if you just want a quick meal there is always the carry out service - where you just phone through your order and then drive up to one of the designated parking bays and pick it up and then eat back at your villa.
Author: Mike and Michelle Walden
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