Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Lunch at Carrabba's Italian Grill

Much to my surprise, lunch at Carrabba's Italian Grill was very good today! I had eaten there several years ago when I initially started my gluten-free adventure and was not very impressed. I don't recall them having an actual GF menu at the restaurant other than the paper from the internet, and the staff didn't seem very aware of celiac disease or gluten-free.  I even recall our server making some comment about not understanding why someone would bother to eat the chicken without the grill baste. Needless to say, I never went back... until today.

Knowing they had a gluten-free menu, my sister suggested eating there for Mother's Day because she had a gift certificate and one of their locations is right across the street from my 96-year old grandmother's apartment.  Since someone always goes to pick up my grandmother when we all get together, we figured this time we would just eat closer to her home.  I was still a little skeptical about going back there, but I knew everyone else would enjoy the change (we don't eat out at Italian restaurants that often). 

As soon as we arrived and I noticed the gluten-free menu the hostess had placed on the table, I knew this experience would be very different than my last visit.  The GF menu actually looked just like their regular menu but it was clearly marked gluten-free.  When I started to order, I told the server that I had the gluten-free menu and I got the impression that he clearly knew what that meant (well enough to know how to enter the order so my food would be made correctly).  It was tough to make a decision with all of the options on the menu, but I ordered the Insalata Carrabba with grilled chicken (without the grill baste).

My meal tasted delicious and the rest of my family enjoyed their food as well.  I will definitely not wait as long to return for my next visit, and I think I'll try the Sirloin Marsala with garlic mashed potatoes.

I want to thank my sister for suggesting we eat there.  I hope my mother and grandmother (and all you moms out there) had a Happy Mother's Day!  


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