Tastemaker Event at Carrabba’s

Boy-oh-boy am I stuffed!

Ryan and I just got back from a delicious Foodbuzz Tastemaker event at Carrabba’s Italian Grill and our bellies are full!

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We headed out to Carrabba’s for a private lunch at the restaurant where we learned about several dishes and enjoyed a lunch comprised of samples of several Carrabba’s entrees, as well as a calamari appetizer and dessert.

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When we arrived, we joined several other food bloggers at a high-top bar that overlooked the kitchen.

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The employees at Carrabba’s were very attentive and fun! We had our drink orders filled promptly and were greeted by Angela Gutierrez, who took the time to tell us about each dish we were going to be trying.

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First up was the calamari antipasti which Angela told us was coated simply with flour, salt and spicy Italian pepper before it was fried.

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The pepper definitely gave the calamari a lil’ kick, but it was delicious and both Ryan and I enjoyed several pieces. I would definitely order this as an appetizer again! I am a calamari-lover, and this didn’t disappoint.

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Next up was the Tag Pic Pac pasta.

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The dish featured tagliarini pasta, prepared in Picchi Pacchiu sauce with crushed tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and basil.

The sauce was light and flavorful, but the noodles stole the show! They were doughy and tasted like they were freshly made. This was my first time trying tagliarini pasta and I am now quite a fan! Ryan and I both commented that this dish would be a great option for a picky kid, but was also flavorful enough to satisfy an adult.

Our third dish was Linguini Pescatore, which I was very excited to try after I heard Angela say it featured shrimp, scallops and mussels.

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Check out those scallops! They were easily the best part of the dish. Not only were they ginormous, but they were perfectly meaty and tender.

The mussels in this dish were Prince Edward Island mussels that grow on a rope, making them less gritty than other mussels. To be honest, I couldn’t really tell a difference, but they were good and that’s all that counts, right?

I really enjoyed the seafood in this dish, but if I were to order it myself, I would substitute the tagliarini pasta for the linguine noodles.

Our final main course dish was the Penne Franco, which included penne pasta along with mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and black olives. Angela also included grilled chicken, basted with olive oil and herbs in the dish because she wanted to make sure we tried something from the Carrabba’s grill.

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I rarely order chicken at restaurants, but I absolutely loved the chicken in this dish! It was so moist and perfectly seasoned. I didn’t really care for the noodles themselves, though Ryan was a huge fan. We both raved about the artichoke hearts and olives.

Of the three main meals, Ryan liked the first the best (Tag Pic Pac) and my favorite was the second (Linguine Pescatore), but we agreed that all of them were very tasty.

Even though we were pretty darn stuffed at this point, we still managed to enjoy dessert!

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Carrabba’s offers dessert minis, and we were excited to enjoy three different flavors: canoli creme, chocolate coconut pecan and dessert rosa, which was a banana pudding-based dessert.

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My favorite was the coconut chocolate pecan. The chocolate mousse was very rich and creamy, but the cinnamon-roasted pecans were almost candied, and I couldn’t get enough!

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In no time at all, our dessert glasses looked like this:

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Once everyone was finished enjoying dessert, we took some time to mingle with the other bloggers.

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Throughout the event, Ryan and I enjoyed getting to know Raya and her mom.

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Raya and I both hope to take a photography class together to learn a thing or two about our DSLR cameras. Thank goodness I brought my Canon Powershot S90 to this event because it handles low lighting so well and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to make my Nikon DSLR take good photos in anything but natural light. I have a lot to learn when it comes to photography!

As Ryan and I headed out, the wonderful people at Carrabba’s handed each of us a bag that contained a to-go order of Penne with Fennel Sausage Pomodoro and a loaf of crusty white bread with Parmesan cheese, spices and olive oil.

I bet you can guess what’s on the menu for dinner tonight! :D

Thank you so much to Foodbuzz and Carrabba’s for a fun and filling afternoon.

***

Now we’re off to entertain Sadie at the dog park.

See ya in a bit!

Comments

    • peanutbutterfingers says

      thanks! i actually got it at a store called max rave… it’s one of those weird clubbin’-type stores that i would never normally shop in, but i saw it in the window & loved it. ;)

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  1. wnk505 says

    Ahh carrabas is one of my favorite restaurants. I work at bonefish so carrabas, outback and bonefish are all related and I LOVE going into carrabas and enjoying a good meal. My father and I always get the blackberry sangria you must try it!

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  2. Courtney says

    My roommate used to work at Carabba’s and I would always ask her to bring me home a side of the “Pikachu” (after the Pokemon.. if it isn’t obvious) but Tag Pic Pac seems like a much better nickname! ;)

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