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“Carrabba no longer honor AARP 20% discount! what a shame” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Carrabba's Italian Grill

Carrabba's Italian Grill
700 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 875-4411
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Ranked #239 of 1,997 Restaurants in Tampa
Price range: $0 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Large groups
Dining options: Reservations
Whitehall, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
274 reviews 274 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
158 helpful votes 158 helpful votes
“Carrabba no longer honor AARP 20% discount! what a shame”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2014

As an incentive to attract older Americans, carrabba used to have a Wednesday AARP 20% DISCOUNT. They ceased to do that since March this year. What a shame. We stopped going all together as a protest to their policy change.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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111 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    44
    35
    25
    2
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC Metro Area
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“you know what you're going to get”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2014

when you're out of town and want some predictably decent pasta Carrabba's is a good place to go. We had a waiter at the Carrabba's in Tampa that was not too switched on - we didn't see angel hair pasta on the menu and when we asked whether or not they had it he answered that they did. My wife ordered Spaghetti and Meat Balls but with the Angel Hair pasta. He said, yes, with the angel hair. Then, of course, he brings her the standard spaghetti. He then acted as though we had failed to mention that she wanted the angel hair! Once the switch was made balance was restored to the world. He spilled some water on another customer a few minutes later so maybe he was new, was having a bad day, or was just a lousy waiter that they hadn't dealt with yet.

Visited April 2014
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Indian Shores, Florida
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“AARPing at Carrabba's”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

I was hesitant to write a review of a Carrabba's Italian Grill since this restaurant chain can be found nearly everywhere. I mean, if you've been to one Carrabba's, you've been to them all. Right? Not necessarily. While they all may share the same corporate philosophy and menus, the diner is still at the mercy of local managers, cooks, and wait staff.

Since I now, as my lovely bride points out frequently, am older than dirt and the possessor of an AARP card I decided to explore the possibilities available to us Noachians. I discovered that many Carrabba's offer AARP card carriers a 20% discount on Wednesdays. Well, yesterday was Wednesday, so off we went to the Carrabba's at 700 N. Dale Mabry. After all, a 20% discount is a 20% discount.

We arrived around 5:30, so we beat the crowds that soon after began pouring in. Our server, Ernesto, presented us with menus and water and inquired about our desires for adult beverages. He also pointed out that we had arrived during happy hour, so we chose two glasses of a house Chardonnay.

I wanted to try an appetizer, but the choices were rather uninspiring. After mulling it over a bit, I decided on the ubiquitous steamed mussels. I will have to say that the Cozze In Bianco, Prince Edward Island mussels steamed in white wine, basil and house made lemon butter sauce, was very good. The mussels weren't raw or over cooked and the sauce made a savory broth that was perfect for sopping.

Both my bride and I had the house salad. The lettuce was cold and crisp, but beyond that it was...well, a house salad.

For her main course, my dining partner requested the delightful Conchiglie al Formaggi. This dish consisted of shell pasta tossed in house made Alfredo sauce with mozzarella, fontina, romano, parmesan and goat cheese. With a modest up charge, juicy and flavorful chicken was added. That chicken, pasta, cheeses, and sauce was deemed heaven on the buds of taste.

I decided on the Sirloin Masala with a side of Cavatappi Amatriciana, a dish made famous by Carrabba's Restaurant. It consists of cavatappi, chopped onions, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, dry white wine, diced tomatoes in juice, freshly grated Romano cheese, pancetta and salt and pepper.

The steak came to the table cooked to a perfect medium rare over a wood grill and topped with mushrooms, prosciutto and house made Lombardo Marsala wine sauce. The steak was excellent, the pasta a little bit less so. There was no real depth of flavor. It tasted as though there was something missing.

Our server, Ernesto, was personable, professional, and provided us with great service. I thought he was a little out of place at Carrabba's. His knowledge and talents would fit in quite well at a more upscale restaurant...maybe Bern's or Donatello. That should be taken as a compliment to him.

The kitchen and bussers need to work on their timing. Salads were served before the appetizer bowl was cleared, and entrees were served before salads were consumed. Other than those two issues, we were pleased with our experience at Carrabba's and our comestibles. We would possibly go back if the menu were more expansive. There just wasn't that much that titillated the taste buds on this visit.

Before our check was presented, I produced my AARP card for the 20% discount. Our bill with the discount was $72.25. Alcohol and taxes are not included in the discount. Our gross total was $81.43 and that is what we based Ernesto's 20% gratuity upon. Discount or no discount, it is always a pleasure to waddle out of a restaurant with bellies full of food and wine, and not drop a hundred or more dollars.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Tallahassee, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Good food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014

Service and food was great. Waiter was very attentive and made our dining experience wonderful. He mentioned that he has only been a part of the staff for a few weeks but you would have never known.

Visited December 2013
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Excellent Bread! Great takeout specials”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Carabbas is a chain that always has good food. Their bread, herbs, and olive oil is all I really need to enjoy my visit. The new online ordering which has your food waiting for you during take out is a great addition. Yes, they give you bread with it too for free :) Every few months, they have $5 pizza specials which are wonderful. You should check it out.

Visited October 2013
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