Carrabba's Italian Grill – Orem

With a new addition to our family, Roni and I were convinced that we would never be able to eat out again.  But not being able to eat out doesn’t mean not being able to enjoy quality restaurant food.  Roni and I are big fans of doing pickup for orders.  This week we decided to try and review a place we hadn’t been to before, Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

When ordering something for pickup, the easier it is for us, the better.  Obviously, most places have some sort of system where you can call in and pick up your order.  While this allows for easy pickups, there is always the concern that the other party won’t hear everything you say. Conversely, you could have problems hearing them because of screaming kids in the background.  Our new favorite is an online ordering system.  You can take as long as you want to look over the menu.  Another bonus is that you can add in a note for any specific instructions you want to add, so you can be as picky as you want without your server rolling their eyes.  Part of the online ordering (at least at Carrabba’s) is that you put in a brief description of your car so that they can bring your food right out to you, another great service for those of us with kids.

One of my big worries when ordering for pickup is that the quality of the food will diminish.  I am glad to report that this was not the case.  Items coming from Carrabba’s wood-burning grill are heavily featured on the menu, and for a good reason.  I ordered the chicken trio (Chicken Marsala, Rosa Maria, and Bryan) and Roni ordered The Carrabba (Chicken and Sirloin Marsala).  In my dish, you could taste the smoky flavor in the chicken, and the three sauces were complimentary to the flavor of the chicken without overpowering it.  The chicken itself was cooked well– not dry, not undercooked.  While all of the chicken trio was good, the standout in my dish was the Chicken Bryan.  It was topped with sun-dried tomatoes and a soft goat cheese.  Now, I’m not normally a goat cheese kind of guy, but this cheese was milder than your standard feta, and had a soft creamy texture that left me wishing I had more of the dish to go around.  Roni’s sirloin was perfectly seasoned and cooked exactly as she ordered.

The portions were also quite generous.  My dish came with garlic mashed potato that tasted fresh, as well as a salad.  The salad dressing was flavorful, but not overwhelming.  For a side salad, the portion was actually quite generous.  One nice touch was that they gave us a loaf of the bread they usually serve to the tables to take home with us.  The crust of the bread had a satisfying crunch, but the inside remained soft (in my opinion a problem with Italian bread in general).

The one downside was that our appetizer of fried zucchini was a bit soggy by the time it got home.  I recognize that is not really their fault, so I didn’t mark them down.  Even so, you should probably stay clear of fried items, as they won’t transport as well.  That being said, the zucchini was well seasoned and came with a great dipping sauce.

Overall, I would recommend Carraba’s for pickup.  It was reasonably quick, quite delicious, and very satisfying.  We look forward to eating from there again!

Ease of Ordering: 5
Food Quality: 4
Portion Size: 4.5
Overall Experience:  4.5
Price Range: $12-$20

tl;dr: very easy online ordering for tasty food.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill
683 E. University Parkway
Orem, UT 84097


Opinionated

Do you like country music?

I didn’t. Then I came to college and my fabulous freshman roommate got me hooked. The first song I remember liking was “Speed” by Montgomery Gentry. Sometimes I need a break from country, but I have 3 country stations programmed on the car radio.

While we were in North Carolina there wasn’t much to listen to besides country music. I think even the Romgi started enjoying it a tiny bit, since he listened to the radio on his way to and from work every day. In fact, he started telling me about new songs that came out. He mentioned “Farmer’s Daughter” once, and we heard it so many times on our trip – and despite how ridiculous the song is (no offense if you enjoyed it!), I associate it so strongly with spending time with the Romgi in North Carolina that I’ve come to love/hate it. It helps that I imagine the singer (Rodney Atkins) is actually saying “dotter” (to rhyme with “hotter”), being very Southern.

I can’t ever decide if I like Jerrod Niemann’s song “Lover Lover” – a cover of the song “You Don’t Treat Me No Good No More” by Sonia Dada (thank you, Wikipedia). Sometimes it seems catchy, and other times it’s way too repetitive and annoying. Typical country, right? But it’s another that will always remind me of our trip back east.

Same with “Chicken Fried” by the Zac Brown Band. Aside from the fact that I really don’t understand why he says “chicken fried” instead of “fried chicken” (ok, for rhyming, I know, but seriously?), the song is a little too…perky. And optimistic. Wow, I sound grouchy when I say that.

I will admit to thoroughly enjoying Trace Adkins’ “This Ain’t No Love Song.” Mainly because it says “gee-tar” and how can you resist something like that? I keep meaning to buy it on iTunes, but I never get around to it…

Do you remember Hootie and the Blowfish? Of course you do. Their lead singer, Darius Rucker, went country. One of his recent singles was “Come Back Song,” which I personally find hilarious because he declares (in the song) that it’s his “‘my bad, come back’ song.” Tee hee. Do people still say “my bad”? Anyway, Darius Rucker also has an older song called “It Won’t Be Like This For Long.” Pregnancy hormones may or may not have played a part in the song making me misty-eyed.

Another pregnancy-made-me-do-it song that I heard about two weeks ago (just days before jr was born!) is Brad Paisley’s “Anything Like Me.” It’s been on the radio a lot lately, and now that I’m not pregnant anymore, the song just makes me smile – it’s cute, and fun, and silly, and parent-y. The days of being weepy are apparently over (but I’m still avoiding watching this Google commercial, just in case*).

And now…an update on my house! I spent about 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening trying to tidy up. Keep in mind that I still have the Bwun causing chaos everywhere he goes, but the room is definitely getting better. Progress! All we need is progress, not perfection, yes?

The Bwun was taking a "nap" on the floor.

*I had to link to the commercial, and it started playing before I could copy the link and close the window…I might have watched the whole thing, and I might have been wrong about that one being pregnancy-related. Yep, still a little misty.