Carrabba’s Italian Grill Exceeded Expectations

By on December 27, 2013

It was late on Christmas Eve and we were tired. I’d been doing interviews for an upcoming article, and there we were on 71st Street needing a quick meal. We cruised past all the chain restaurants, reached the heart of the strip just east of Memorial, and pulled in to Carrabba’s. I never expected to write a review, but Carrabba’s exceeded my expectations. It is of course a national chain, despite its humble beginnings as a family-owned restaurant in Houston a lot like Mondo’s. There are over 230 branches everywhere from Tucson, Arizona to Bedford, New Hampshire. It’s affiliated with Outback Steakhouse. And so I asked the waitress if the sauces were prepared in house, a reasonable though arguably offensive question. Of course, she said, everything here is prepared in house and from scratch. How about the Linguine Pescatore ($17), I asked. Oh that’s my favorite! she gushed. What’s to lose, I thought, so I ordered it.

Carrabbas Seafood

It was amazing! There were shrimp, mussels and a few big scallops. Good pasta too. But it was the sauce that really shone. A basic homemade marinara with just a hint of the sea, its rich robust flavor would have shone in any restaurant. I ate every bit, and the free salad too.  Meanwhile, Betty and Cathe shared a plate of Chicken Parmesan ($15.50).

Carrabbas Chicken

They loved it! “This is my new favorite Italian restaurant,” said Cathe.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill
11021 E 71 Street
918-254-8888
www.carrabbas.com
Open daily from 11 AM to 10 PM

Brian Schwartz: Author

Born in NYC, age 0, on my birthday. College in Oxford at age 16. Law School in New Haven, Conn. 6 years travel in Africa and Asia. Haven’t done much lately. Still, I’m the only Tulsa member of the little-known Omega Society.  www.theomegasociety.com

I speak enough Chinese to order food not on any English menu. Spanish French Italian too (not fluently but food-ently) My favorite restaurant is Jean-Georges in New York. But those NYC chefs would sell their soul to get the produce available from the farms around Inola.

“A writer writes alone. His words tumble forth from a magical inner void that is mysterious even to himself, and that no one else can enter.” And yet, the most important thing to me the writer is YOU. Without you to hear them, my words are worth less than silence.

Brian Schwartz

About Brian Schwartz

Born in NYC, age 0, on my birthday. College in Oxford at age 16. Law School in New Haven, Conn. 6 years travel in Africa and Asia. Haven’t done much lately. Still, I’m the only Tulsa member of the little-known Omega Society. www.theomegasociety.com I speak enough Chinese to order food not on any English menu. Spanish French Italian too (not fluently but food-ently) My favorite restaurant is Jean-Georges in New York. But those NYC chefs would sell their soul to get the produce available from the farms around Inola. “A writer writes alone. His words tumble forth from a magical inner void that is mysterious even to himself, and that no one else can enter.” And yet, the most important thing to me the writer is YOU. Without you to hear them, my words are worth less than silence.

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