10 Things You Didn't Know About Carrabba's Italian Grill

Carrabba's Italian Grill is one of America's most popular Italian-themed chain restaurants, with about 250 locations throughout the country. What started as a family-owned restaurant in 1986 is today a certified behemoth (it's the second-largest Italian-themed chain restaurant, behind Olive Garden), but our pick for America's best Italian restaurant chain hasn't forgotten its family roots. 

The Carrabba Family Still Owns the Original Two Locations

Those two Houston locations that initially sparked Outback's interest? While they may look like all the others (they've been thoroughly renovated by now), they're still owned by the Carrabba family, separate from Bloomin' Brands. 

Many Menu Items Are Real Carrabba Family Recipes

Lots of the dishes you'll find on the Carrabba's menu were inspired by Damian's mother, Grace, and his sister, Rose.  

Carrabba and Mandola Host a PBS Cooking Show

Called Cucina Sicilia, the cooking show can be found on your local PBS station; the duo prepare Sicilian classics, some of which can be found on the Carrabba's menu.

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Chicken Bryan Isn’t Named After Someone Named Bryan

The dish, which tops a chicken breast with goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, and a basil lemon-butter sauce, was created by Mandola and was named after Bryan, Texas, the town where Carrabba's parents settled after immigrating to the U.S. in the early 1900s. You can find the recipe here.

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They’ll Bring Your Order Directly to Your Car

The restaurant offers Carside Carry-Out; all you have to do is call ahead and pull up in your car, and your takeout meal will be brought right to you.

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They’ll Let You Play with Pizza Dough at Your Table

If you ask for a ball of pizza dough, you'll get one; this is typically something only kids are interested in, but adults can get dough, too!

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Joining the Amici Club Comes With Some Nice Perks

If you sign up for their loyalty club, you'll receive updates about new menu specials, as well as invitations to events including wine tastings, special dinners, and cooking demonstrations.

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The Unhealthiest Menu Item Is…

Surprisingly, the unhealthiest item on the Carrabba's menu is Cavatappi Franco, which tops spiral-shaped pasta with grilled chicken, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli, olives, garlic, olive oil, and ricotta salata. A bowl contains 1,266 calories, 76 grams of fat, and 1,917 milligrams of cholesterol.

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They’re Toying With Delivery

A handful of Carrabba's locations in the Tampa Bay area have recently begun experimenting with home delivery. No word on whether this will become permanent or if more locations will roll out delivery as well.

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They Recently Gave Away 1 Million Dishes

Carrabba's added 20 new items to their menu in January, and they really pulled out all the stops to promote it. One million customers received a voucher for a free appetizer, entrée, or small plate, and between January and early March all customers received a flat 20 percent discount off their checks. Pretty generous!