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“Olive Garden's good looking twin"”

Carino's Italian-College Station
Ranked #200 of 270 Restaurants in College Station
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Jacksonville, Texas
Level Contributor
299 reviews
275 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
“Olive Garden's good looking twin"”
Reviewed August 5, 2011

Unlike olive garden, Carino's is a bit more "italian" in its menu items and ambiance. The food is spicier and tastier than OGarden, but still doesnt hit the mark for real Italian food.....Carino's menu items are varied, with some being better than others. The specials are good (skiletinos) as are the "recommended" dishes. Service is not consistent as one time you may be ignored and another time you are given plenty of opportunity to enjoy your dining experience. A bit pricey but no more than anybody else in town.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank gigem74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Rogers, Arkansas
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“an Ode:”
Reviewed September 9, 2010

what vain verbalization, what divine appreciation
could do justice, could express
this great love which swells my breast?

for though no connoisseur, no expert to be sure
I am yet quick and able
when it comes to the dinner table.

No stranger to curries, chuno, or clams
having feasted on hummus, hoagies, and hams
I had thought, what error! what horror! what defeat!
for this world had nothing, just nothing left to eat!

Thus had my experience not inconsiderable left me a craving that seemed quite incurable
and so in poor spirits, dejected, unstable!
did I lamenting, sink down to the table.

past each appetizer I chewed with a grimace
and on to the soups and a salad with spinach
but then with a chorus of angels celestial, or was it a growling of something more bestial?
did that platter descend, the vessel awaited
at which I sat back, my breath quite abated

I heard not a word, in profound contemplation
of the wondrous! stunning! olfactory sensation
quite miraculous as health restored to a leper
'here you are sir' she said, 'parmesan? fresh ground pepper?'

But this was too much! What more could one add?
to a dish so adorned, so handsomely clad!
for let down from on high, I was sure it had been
prepared there by angels and yes even Him

But wait, what was this? a devilish hiss?
for there lay a trap, a spice ill concealed!
there were peppers! hot chilis! as some demon might wield!
did my plate then arise to tempt, to tantalize?
or did it from the skies descend with holy cries?

how slowly passed the time, what anguish in my heart!
as I reached out for my fork, and lifted it, to start!

the tines passed through with ease, as the most delicate of cheese
that whitest, moistest flesh and the pasta oh so fresh
but as I raised the morsel, what discovery! what bliss!
as I chanced to behold the tomatoes oh so crisp!

and as it reached my mouth, well words fail me, I admit
for language, so prosaic! so austere when it is writ!
has no place, it lacks proportion, some things lie beyond it's limit.

can I compare the flare of spice to fireworks? to burning ember?
Or soft warmth of fish to summer days? to sun drenched sea? a kiss so tender?
The crunch of tomato, the crackle of spinach
and before I realized, I had quite finished.

the garlic yet lingered, light in the air
the sting of jalapeno quite potently there
the pasta all gone now, the sauces quite scant
to convey the experience, I'm sorry, I just can't

I'm sorry to say, but it will have to suffice
that try it you must, it's really quite nice!
and so hope restored! I went on my way
singing, ecstatic, oh what a day!

- Jalapeno Garlic Tilapia
At Johnny Carino's

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank gobofongo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
College Station, Texas
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Won't go back”
Reviewed August 9, 2010

Haven't been to Carino's in a couple of years due to the noise level. Decided to give it another try. The waiter didn't put our appetizer order in--nor did he offer to order after we realized that we hadn't received it (as he brought our entrees). The waiter seemed much more interested in visiting with the female waitresses. I ordered the spicy chicken and shrimp penne pasta. Bland and tasteless. The white cream sauce tasted like cream gravy used for biscuits and gravy, without the pepper. We were really looking forward to a good dessert but decided not to risk it. To top the evening off, when I got up from the table I had tomato sauce on the back of my pants--even though I didn't have anything with tomato sauce on it. I guess they have given up cleaning the tables and seats along with good service and tasty food. Won't be back.

    • Value
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2 Thank jm0reland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riverview, Florida
Level Contributor
659 reviews
317 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 407 helpful votes
“Nice quality”
Reviewed May 25, 2010

The food was good but not stellar. Portions were good the service as fast very anxious to get us out the door.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Thank Stevied888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere, great service, ok food”
Reviewed August 10, 2009

Not sure what country Italian means, but italian shouldn't be part of the name. For the most part, the food is really good: I've tried several appetizer items, salads, steak... The only thing I really dislike there is the pasta. Maybe the cook was having a bad day, but my pasta and my husband's were overcooked (WAYYYYYYY overcooked) and the sauce didn't taste that great (I had alfredo and he had marinara). That's why they should take the italian out of the name. Other than that, everything is great: great atmosphere and friendly service.

    • Value
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Thank traveller101Texas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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