It's been around six years since I last ate at Carrino's. Last time around, I left feeling like everything looked, smelled and tasted pretty much the same. But--the advertising implied some changes and they now offer gluten-free choices. So--we went...
...and we found another chain restaurant. Consistant, tasty, decent prices, friendly staff, but nothing truly out of the ordinary.
We found one of our favorite wines on the menu, so started with a bottle of that. I'd heard of their "Two can dine for $24.99" promotion and spouse and I found dishes that fit that bill. Must say right up front--this is a very reasonable deal. Lots of choices and plenty of food for a very reasonable price. (Final price on this deal was about $10 lower than individual menu prices.)
Bread arrived with an oil dredge--nice and crusty with lots of roasted garlic in the dredge. Salads arrived shortly after. Also nice, though a bit small. This is where things began to kink. There was no suggestion of additional bread (didn't need it as spouse can't eat it, but the waitress didn't even offer.) Additional salad? Nope. Just advertising apparently. (Again, it wasn't really necessary--the quantity of food was very good, but the server should offer.)
The entree arrived with the server missing in action. (She seemed quite busy and likely was fairly new.) So, the grated cheese for our pasta? Nope. But, both dishes were very tasty and the quantities were very good.
So, desert. I believe there were five options on the "mini" menu which is free with the special. Spouse did a cheesecake and I a tirimisu. Both were very good, though not exceptional. Quantities were very small, but quite appropriate for the price and special.
So, lot's of advantages. Two salads, entrees and deserts, a bottle of wine and tip for under $60. That's positive. Food was hot, fresh, tasty and plenty to satisify. Server was friendly and really seemed to care.
Drawbacks? The server dropped the ball a couple of times. She had issues opening the wine--I was capable of doing so--we missed our grated cheese, and there were no offerings of additional salad or bread.
Overall, no regrets. We specifically were looking for a tasty but inexpensive meal and this filled the bill. Half of our total was in wine, indicating that this is a very reasonable meal for a family on a budget. Restaurant was clean, staff was friendly, food was certainly acceptable. Destination? No. Casual spur-of-the-moment family meal? Absolutely.
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