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Carrabba’s Italian Grill – Portage

November 11, 2010

  • 5690 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 381-0607
  • Website
  • Menu

The work never ends.  After spending most of the afternoon on Tuesday raking and thinking we had it under control, I woke up this morning to find the maple tree decided it wasn’t done giving.

After a couple more hours outside we sat down to relaxing realizing neither of us had eaten lunch.  I still had a gift card that was good at both Carrabba’s and Outback and since we used half of it at Outback last time, we got cleaned up and headed towards Carrabba’s to use the other half.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill is part of the OSI Restaurant Partners.  The chain originated in Houston, TX in 1986.  It expanded to 10 stores seven years later before OSI acquired the rights to develop the store on a national level.

The Portage location is on Westnedge Avenue just south of I-94.  It actually shares a parking lot with Red Robin.  We had to do a little time killing before we actually went to dinner because they don’t do lunch during the week.   The restaurant opens at 4:00 and once again, we were among the first in the store at exaclty 4:00.

We were taken to a booth in the main dining room.  Other options include the bar which also had pub tables and a counter over looking the kitchen.  The last time we ate at a Carrabba’s it was in Lansing and we actually sat near that counter and thought it would be cool to watch the kitchen work on a busy night.  Neither of us remembered it until later in our meal when we noticed a cook talking to a couple who was sitting there.

The menu at Carrabba’s is pretty simple.  There are a handful of appetizers, Brick-Oven pizzas, a couple options from the wood-burning grill and, of course, the pasta.

After getting a couple Coke’s our waiter brought out a basket of bread and a plate of Italian herbs.  Of course we polished that off in no time.  The bread was just out of the oven and still warm.  J’s plan of attack is to fill up on bread and take half the pasta home for a later meal.  Not a bad option and one I started to mimmick.

Both J and I found multiple selections that tempted us which tends to be a problem when we go Italian.  We’re both huge fans of fresh pasta so that’s what usually wins out, but we both found chicken dishes that sounded really good.

First thing delivered to our table were the house salads that came with our entree’s.  Both of us chose the creamy Parmesan dressing and made short work of the lettuce, carrots, and celery that made up the salad.

I went to my old standby just because I love it so much and ordered the lasagne.  The menu doesn’t go in to much of a description and just calls it “A favorite, just like mama used to make.”  Well, not my mamma, but you get the idea.  It’s a pretty standard lasagne with layers of fresh pasta, meat sauce, and ricotta cheese topped with more sauce and fresh herbs.  When the waitress delivered it to the table, she grated fresh Romano cheese on top.  The portion size is rather large yet I took that as a challenge.  The pasta was soft and tender and the sauce had the meat flavor that I so miss when I make pasta at home for J and myself.

The menu item that really caught J’s interest was the Tag Pic Pac.  It sounds like something you’ve never heard of it, but it’s just Tagliarini that is served with a sauce of crushed tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and basil.  This is exactly the kind of sauce J likes because it’s not a very heavy sauce and it’s all veggies.  The pasta is served in a large bowl and, like we expected, she had plenty left over for at least one meal tomorrow.

Our bill was just a little under $30 and with $23 left on our gift card, we got out of there just a little over $7 plus tip.

Carrabba’s is one of those chain restaurants that we actually really enjoy.  The prices are a little on the higher side, but you end up with really good portion sizes and most people will leave with leftovers.

House Salad w/Creamy Parmesan Dressing


Tag Pic Pac

Carrabba's Italian Grill on Urbanspoon

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ken permalink
    November 11, 2010 10:11 pm

    Chicken Trio is THE BEST!! Favorite meal… EVER!

    And I am not one to love chain restaurants!

  2. November 12, 2010 1:42 pm

    thank you for all that information very nice article

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