However, as time marches on, people move out from the inner loop to the suburbs, and such places get visited once every year or so as a reminder of good times past and of great taste that very rarely changes. A friend of mine recently mentioned the Kirby location was rebuilt from the ground up, and though it was brand new, it still was the old place I knew and loved, with the falling chef on the sign and the bold Italian food. Recalling the debacle of Ninfa's expansion followed by its collapse, I was persuaded to pack the family in the car, drive from Westchase to Inside the Loop and revisit a restaurant that was like an old friend. Houston has many such places that I've taken time to revisit and enjoy through fresh eyes, and Carrabba's was overdue .
Per their website:
Our Story Today, Johnny Carrabba and his family are proud that the two original locations on Kirby Drive and Voss Road remain family owned and operated neighborhood restaurants.
What makes us unique are the quality ingredients that go into each dish along with our lively and warm dining experiences. At The Original Carrabba's, we have an open kitchen and we take enormous pride in our food. Our pizza dough is made fresh every day and our pizzas are cooked in a wood-burning oven. We fillet our own fish daily, make fresh homemade pasta, and we even hand stuff our own signature Cappelletti. Even our fresh milk mozzarella is hand made. Our steaks, chops and seafood are all cooked over a wood-burning grill. Johnny's father, Mr. C. still mixes his own secret spices and makes his own Italian sausage for our restaurants.
The Original Carrabba's on Kirby Drive and Voss Road is where people come together to eat, celebrate, share stories, share meals and share many laughs and memories.
The Spiedino Di Mare was very tasty--bold flavours of lemon, garlic, butter, a little olive oil and other herbs, infused with the very large shrimp and meaty scallops, along with creamy alfredo sauce and al dente fettucini pasta. The Linguine Pescatore was bold and spicy, with robust tomato sauce and generously garnished with mussels, shrimp and scallops. Several pieces of seafood were scammed by the kids off of this plate, to be sure. My son dug into the Spaghetti and Monster Meatball, twisting pasta around his fork and getting some sauce on his almost 9 year old face. He declared it "Quite good!" My daughter's more health conscious choice of the grilled chicken was fine--wood grilled, herb infused, and she gobbled it up along with the herb potatoes. She shared some of her steamed broccoli with everyone--she kind of had to as broccoli is my favourite vegetable!
The staff was very prompt in serving us, refilling our beverages and making sure our food was to our liking. This is not necessarily easy to to, especially on a Friday evening during a big rush. However, I saw wait staff, bar staff, hostesses, buss staff and managers backing eachother up, reconfiguring tables on the fly and operating like a well oiled machine. Our wait for our food was not very long at all, the food was all hot and fresh, and everyone was happy with their meals. Good job, Carrabba's!!! Truth to tell, it's been a couple of years since I've been to one of the original Carrabba's. I ate at one of the chain locations outside the loop about a year ago, and while their food was pretty good, the experience wasn't like the original Kirby location. Something about that place, with its memories and the fact that it's original family owned makes a difference that stands out for sure.
Report Card for Carrabba's on Kirby:
Linguine Pescatore: A
Spiedino Di Mare: A
Spaghetti & Meatball: A
Grilled Chicken with Steamed Broccoli: A
Dining Area: A
Kitchen Area: A
Men's Room: A-
Atmosphere (Modern Classic Italian): A-
Overall Grade: A
The Original Carrabba's is located at:
3115 Kirby Dr.
Houston, TX 77098
Hours of Operation:
Monday through Thursday: 11:00AM - 10:00PM
Friday: 11:00AM - 11:00PM
Saturday: 12:00PM - 11:00PM
Eat Happy, Y'all!!!
Mangiare felicemente tutti voi!!!