Bad Expirence. 3/19/12 - I arrive at my old favorite place Carrabbas in Ellicott City and its been while. Since coming here for over 14 years I can't wait to ge my favorite Pollo Rosa chicken. I check in with hostess and tell her I will be sitting at booth. At 9pm most of the bar is packed and about 3 booths are taken. After waiting 12 minutes I noticed the bartender and 2 waiters looking and just ignoring me to order. So I walk up to bar and ask bartender if I can get served. He tells me to see the hostess which I politely tell him I did over 10 minutes ago. So I go back to hostess to tell her I need table. She seats me at same table and I wait 5 more minutes for a waitress to show up. In the mean time the bartender and 2 servers in the section ignore me. When Peggy shows up I ask her if this is her section and she says no. At end of meal I tell manager Ben or Chum about it and says I'm sorry and thats all I can do. I ask for his card and says I don't have one maybe you can tell owner?. So I ask for Store number and he replys #7101. Very shitty service and this place has gone downhill. Save your money and spend it at at local Italian restuarants where the food is and service is much better.
An open kitchen churns out wood-fired pizzas and fresh-made pastas at this casual Sicilian-American chain..
Decorated with family photos of founders Damian Mandola and Johnny Carrabba, the open dining rooms pack groups of friends and extended families into four- and six-person tables and booths; smaller parties or couples can grab stools at the open kitchen's adjoining bar to watch chefs make dinner. The traditional southern Italian menu offers grill specialties like steak Marsala and fire-roasted chicken breast with sun-dried tomatoes; pasta dishes include fettuccine Alfredo and garlic-sauteed shrimp with linguine.
Has gone downhill.
Carrabba's used to be one of my favorite places to eat. But the last few times I've been there, the overall quality seems to be rather poor.
They have changed the menu to reduce the number of offerings, the portions are smaller (yet the prices remain the same), and the quality of the ingredients has really gone downhill. The pasta just doesn't taste the same anymore. The veggies taste like they should have been pitched out weeks ago.
On a typical weekend, you will wait anywhere between 50 and 90 minutes. The wait staff can vary significantly. I've had 6 instances of horrible service and 4 instances of good service. Lots of screaming kids, so I wouldn't take your date out here. As a side note, it doesn't seem to matter what time you venture out to dinner. I've gone to eat after 10pm and still encountered a lot of kiddies running around the dining area.
Overall, for the money, I would go elsewhere. Your dinner will cost around $14 per dish, beer will cost you upwards of $3, wine will cost you around $6 per glass. You truly can do better for the money.
Incredibly Divine!. I absolutely love good food and Carabbas has it! The food was fresh and hot. The menu is more than adequate. I am Italian and it's hard to find good Italian food, but this was it. I can't wait to go back again. The Lobster Ravioli and the Veal Piccata were outstanding. We had a super friendly server who was prompt and courteous. Make sure you end your evening with a Chocolate Martini! It's a treat and a desert in inself. I feel that this food was worth every penny. I'm sure your dining experience was as wonderful as ours. Enjoy.
Carrabbas=amazing authentic Italian food. Start with hot, fresh crusty bread with yummy olive oil house spice blend. Good as this is, ask for side of butter: tastes freshly-churned perfectly matches the bread. Manicotti: too good to miss. Pasta: al dente, filling: not convoluted or over-seasoned, sauce: fresh-tasting, right blend of spice. Other not-to-be-missed dishes: lasagna, steak marsala, grilled shrimp caesar salad. Kids will love wood-fired pizza. Leave room for dessert: creme brulee (generously sized!!!) or wonderful chocolate treat 2 or 3 to share, order the Sonia. Chocolate heaven on a plate.
One bad part about this, and all Carrabba's: popularity. Food is so good, wait time's usually 45 minutes MINIMUM. Don't really accept reservations, they hold your place. If you try to arrange call ahead seating, you may not get it. It's worth the aggravation, they usually offer free drinks and appetizers to those gracious enough to wait.
Yeah, it's a chain... but it's good!. Yes, Carrabba's is a chain, with three restaurants in the Baltimore area. However, the food has yet to disappoint (and the servings are HUGE), the staff has always been nothing but friendly and helpful (a long wait was punctuated by a server circulating with a tray of free pizza) and we've always had a good time. It can get very crowded on weekends, but that's to be expected.
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