Wednesday, August 9, 2017


My omnivore dining partners have always been happy with their meals at Carrabas.

Having said that, if you're vegetarian, you may find the menu to be very limited for you. Here is my recent experience (August 2017).

Given the fact that Italian cuisines are rich in vegetarian options, I was expecting to have a few choices. There were a few appetizers, like fried zucchini and bruschetta. I was hungry and wanting an entree. There was no eggplant, heartier pasta dishes, cheese ravioli--nothing at all like that.

I spoke with the server, who asked if I eat seafood or pork. I said no.

She pointed out they only offered either pizza or one other vegetarian entree--pasta with stewed tomatoes, garlic and oil. It was a special occasion and I didn't want pizza, so I ordered the pasta, already disappointed. The server suggested "building my own pasta" which, she explained, was ordering sauteed vegetables to go on top with it.  I ordered mushrooms.

The server let me know they did not have any vegetarian salad dressings--only Italian dressing. She said all others have meat in them. I was really surprised by that!

The pasta arrived with what seemed to be an entire box of linguine with 1 single button mushroom sliced thinly. It was ok but I am not a fan of large chunks of raw garlic in anything.

So to summarize, my dining partner freaking loved his meat entree. (I was wishing they would have offered that same entree with a portobello or eggplant instead of meat. I can actually think of hundreds of other ideas that would not be costly or difficult for them to pull off.) My meal turned out to be vegan. Even though that wasn't my goal (except for dessert, of course), it's always a bonus. My meal consisted of meh bread with the saltiest olive oil dip known to Man, a cocktail that tasted like Robitussin, a meh glass of wine, enough pasta to feed a family without much else in it, and an excellent slice of ricotta cheesecake.

I know it is totally the restaurant's decision what to put on their menu, and it's totally my choice to patronize that place or not. It never ceases to surprise me though, that restaurant owners don't have a smidge more to offer the 10%+ of its customers who influence whether their party goes to a particular restaurant. I know I can (and did) "get by" by finding something edible on any menu, but honestly, I'm not going to return if it doesn't taste good. It's just not worth the money and effort of going out.

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