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I’ll Be at the Bar

I’ve discovered a new dining experience.  I didn’t actually discover it, my SIL Trish did.  I just like to do everything she does because I want to be her when I grow up.

You all know of my deep and abiding love of All Things Carrabbas.  The takeaway service has saved my family from near starvation on many occasions.  Not to mention the added bonus of preserving the sanctity of my sanity.

But every once in a great while, we ditch the kids and Fiddledaddy and I put on clothes with no stains AND ACTUALLY GO INTO CARRABBAS.  TO SIT DOWN.  FOR DINNER.

Such was the case on Friday evening.  By the time we peeled out of the driveway after slowing down just long enough to push the children out at Aunt Trish’s house, we aimed ourselves towards Carrabbas.  Trish had made the suggestion that we sit at the bar.

My eyes lit up.

Not that bar.  The bar in front of the grill.  Where you can watch OTHER people cook.  AND, sometimes, yes sometimes, the guys behind the bar will slip you a sample or two.

SAMPLES!  I have an even greater love of samples than I do of fru-fru cocktails bearing tiny umbrellas.

When we arrived at Carrabbas, we noticed that the entire population of Armpit, Florida had also decided to take advantage of the dining out option.

Pity, since I was STARVING.  And I make it no secret how my personality undergoes a little makeover if I haven’t eaten.

Fiddledaddy assessed the situation quickly and asked if we could be seated at the bar in front of the grill.  She said, “Sure, go on in.”

Like we were VIPs or something.

And I acted the part by doing something akin to a cartwheel to celebrate the fact that I was going to eat sooner than later.  Without children. With my husband.

The bar seating was lovely.  Once I negotiated the unwedging of myself when I became entangled between two bar stools.  I may have ended upside-down at one point.  This is one of the many reasons that Fiddledaddy cherishes the times he can take me out and show me off in public.

Let me just say that I am 5 kinds of impressed with the operation that Carrabbas runs.  They are a well oiled machine, and I’ve never had bad service or a bad meal any time I’ve been there.

We sat watching in amazement 7 or 8 guys working in a two foot space between the grill and counter in perfect cooking harmony.  SEE HONEY?  MEN DO KNOW HOW TO MULTITASK!

I had no idea.

We remarked that we could never sit at the bar with our offspring, because, well, NO ROOM.  And because of Cailey’s intense fear of fire.  Which you’d think she be use to all of the flaming flare ups after watching me in action at both the stove and the grill.  But, whatever.

We ordered an appetizer of fried zucchini (you know, because vegetables are good for you) and split the Steak Marsala.  It was the perfect amount.

And yes, every once in a while I take a break from the diet, because I AM ONLY HUMAN.

I have needs, you know.  And they include a slice of Carrabbas bread or two dipped into a bit of spicy olive oil.

I just caused myself to swoon.

A totally enjoyable experience was had by the both of us.

And I didn’t have to do dishes.

What is your favorite place to enjoy the dining out experience?


18 Responses to I’ll Be at the Bar

  • Our favorite place to eat is Baker Street Pub. There are several in Houston so I believe they are a chain, but I’m not sure if they are all over the country. We’ve never had a bad meal there – everything is wonderful. They try to pass themselves off as a British pub and they do a pretty good job with it. They have some English style meals like fish and chips, shepheards pie, egg in hole, bangers and mash, etc. . And they have happy hour until 9:00 each evening ! My vodka sours are only $1.75. We go out every Saturday evening for a date and 3/4 of the time we end up at Baker Street Pub.

  • Favorite restaurant? Anywhere that I can just order without having to look for 3 meals on the kids’ menu. (i.e. eating out withOUT children).

    I really like a Brazilian grill place nearby. DELICIOUS.

  • Well this week…The Cheesecake Factory…have you tried the Red Velvet Cheesecake? Heavenly experience! Oh yeah the food was excellent too!

    Oh my word, The Cheesecake Factory is a favorite. We sometimes make the hour plus drive that it takes to get there! Oh the Pasta Carbonara!


  • Bonefish Grill. Don’t get there as much as I would like because my better half can’t do without the Sirloin Marsala at Carrabbas, with the fettucini alfredo. Maybe he will take me next week for my b-day.

  • If I am going out with my girlfriends I like to go to Outback. We husband doesn’t appreciate its wonderfulness, so therefore he is banned. It is not worth the price is he is not going to think it is heavenly. With hubby, we like to go to Chili’s. I don’t know why, we always end up beside a screaming preschooler (like I didn’t leave that at home), but they now have CHEESE FRIES. Oh my heavens…they are delicious.

  • We love Maggiano’s, even though it is a chain. Pei Wei is a second favorite. In fact, we just plain love to eat. BUT four times a year we celebrate WITH the children at Kabuto’s Japanese Steakhouse (because they get to pick their birthday go out, and the adults are forced to go there on their birthday, too). It is their hands down fav!
    Hubby likes it too, while I prefer an atmosphere without flames and flying zucchini. We have that at home.

  • There is an old family mansion in Austin that was turned into a restaurant years ago. There are acres of huge oak trees surrounding it with peacocks wandering the grounds. Town has grown in around it so it is actually this wonderful surprise now located in a residential neighborhood. They have a Sunday buffet brunch that is just the Old South for its elegance and homecooking. Each time I go I love to watch grandmothers and great grandmothers taking the generations to brunch on Sunday, while the baby grand is played by the same pianist that played there when I was in high school. Many decades ago.

  • Oh: It’s called Green Pastures.

  • Well, now I want to try Carrabas. I’ll eat out anywhere, as long as I don’t have to make it, listen to complaining as we eat it, or clean up.

  • ok after reading all that I just wanna go visit kc in Austin.
    my best friend and i its always going to have some kind of seafood either at the japanese place, or one of the seafood options. we took the baby with us last week to the japanese house for lunch…omg he was enthralled.

    now if its me and hubby its a safe bet that mexican or barbecue will be involved and beer….lol

  • Anyplace with my husband or girlfriends sans kids. If it has seafood, my life is complete.
    Glad you had a nice date with your husband.

  • DeeDee…I so want to be you when I grow up. 🙂 You have the funniest writing style. In fact I so enjoy your writing that I have been known to stalk…er I mean check your blog once or twice a day just because I enjoy reading it. 🙂 Hubby and I like to go out to either Claim Jumpers or The Ram on those rare date nights.

  • Superior Bar & Grill in Shreveport, LA. The best Mexican food around. Great Margaritas but don’t drink more than two…only 1 if you have to drive. Their Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Shrimp is devine…well the whole menu is devine. They also have a location in Baton Rouge.

  • Our very, very favorite is Gaido’s in Galveston, TX. They have the best seafood and it’s right across the street from the Gulf so the view is lovely, too. That’s a four hour drive for us so we only get it when we’re at the coast.

    Locally, we love Cool River (for steak) and Dos Salsa (a mom and pop place with the freshest Tex-Mex).

  • Hubs and I like to go to Carino’s we love their spicy shrimp and chicken. and we love a place called Tokyo, they cook on a hibachi grill in front of you, only problem is the boys also love to eat there! Glad you had a nice “date”!

  • In the U.S. it’s the restaurant where my daughter works: Ceruleans. Not that I have vast experience with it, having only eaten there once (lunch) because the place is rather upscale and out of our pay scale. But the daughter has treated us to various appetizers which are always amazing.

    Here in Argentina we haven’t gone out that much, but so far we really like a place that has the most delicious fresh pasta and homemade sauces (I usually get the mushroom and butternut filled ravioli smothered in mushroom cream sauce with walnuts). It’s near the Civil Registro where we have to go periodically to see if our national I.D. cards have arrived yet (so far not) and that’s always during a weekday. One of these Saturday nights I’d love to go to the restaurant when they have live flamenco dancing.

  • Yesterday I drove past a Carrabbas. And I thought of you. I don’t even want to know what that says about me.

  • Wait… You mean, we could actually go out to eat WITHOUT the kids?!?! (It’s been so long, I can’t even remember the last time we went out alone. Sad, I know. Depressing, yes. And I don’t think being pregnant counts, either. :O)