Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Carrabba’s Italian Grill - Columbus

Who? My Wife and I

When: April 6, 2010 around 6:30 pm

Where? Carrabba’s Italian Grill, 5555 Whittlesey Boulevard Columbus, Ga.

What did I have? I had the Pollo Rosa Maria with a salad and garlic mashed potatoes and my wife had the Mezzaluna with a salad.

Why? I love Italian food and have spent 4 weeks in Italy. I have been to other Carrabba’s and enjoyed the food. So when my wife and I were looking for an Italian diner I thought this would be a great choice. Wrong:

There was about a fifteen-minute wait, which is not bad considering I have had several 45 minute waits in Anchorage. The wait staff was courteous but inattentive. We ordered and were promptly forgotten about. The salad was a plain iceberg salad with few embellishments. The chicken was over cooked and not very flavorful. The mashed potatoes were too salty to be enjoyed. Carrabba’s has a small and a regular entre size. They didn’t offer this the last time I was there, but I knew if I ordered a regular meal I would have enough leftovers for a second meal for only $2.00. I was so disappointed in this meal that the leftovers sat in the fridge un-eaten till they spoiled. I had to spend 10 minutes trying to get my waitresses attention to get a refill for our drinks. When we had this meal we had just moved here from Alaska the day before, and we expected more for the price. For a comparable price in Alaska the salad would have had at least 6 species of vegetable and cheese and such a simple entre would have been so good that there would be no leftovers. In Alaska food prices average 50% more than Columbus, so based on my recent experience and previous experiences with Carrabba’s I expected more.

What would I change? I would find a chef that can consistently cook high quality food and I would make sure my wait staff knew what is expected of good service. I know that bad food is not their fault, but as long as they get the order right, refill my drink regularly, and don’t try to rush me out the door by giving me my check before I am through eating or wait 10 minutes after I ask for the check to bring it to me then I am a happy tipper.

Would I eat there again? No, I would not eat at this Carrabba’s location again without assurances that significant changes had been made. Neither my wife or I thought we would be in a hurry to return to Carrabba’s.

On a scale of 1-10 I would rate this establishment a 4.

Recipe: Rosemary Lemon Chicken

1 sprig Rosemary, about 3 tbsp chopped (only use fresh, dried looses all of its flavor and does not rehydrate well)

1 chicken breast, 8-10 ounces (In our home one chicken breast this size is enough for both my wife and I)

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp honey

3 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

Use fresh chicken or thaw frozen chicken. Chop the rosemary into small pieces place it into a small mixing bowl. Dice the garlic and add it to the mixture. Pour in the lemon juice and honey. Make sure the honey is dissolved in the mixture and pour it into a zip lock bag with the chicken breast in it. Allow the chicken to marinade in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Remove the chicken from the marinade and let it drip dry. Heat olive oil in a small skillet and when it is hot place the chicken in the pan and cook till lightly brown. Be careful not to overheat the olive oil. It has a low smoking temperature and will give food a bitter taste if you overheat it. A medium to medium-high heat will be sufficient, depending on your stove, to cook the chicken. Serve the chicken over a salad of fresh greens or with pasta drizzled with an olive oil and basil sauce.


  1. This is a BIG healthy boy who knows what he is talking about. I have enjoyed his own cooking many times and would gladly wait for a seat at an establishment he praises.

  2. I'm not that big any more, I have managed to loose 60 pounds so far. But my cooking and taste are still just fine. I just know how to control my portions a little better.