Thursday, August 26, 2010

My 1st Food Bloggers Event @ Carabba's Italian Grill

When I got invited to The Tastemaker Event - Carrabba's Italian Grill, I was ecstatic! My first food blogger's event!! This validates that I am indeed a food blogger and now I am enjoying the perks of being one. :) Woohoo!! LOL!

Hubby-D and I were really looking forward to see what the whole event entails but more so meeting new friends who share the same passion for food. The event turned out fantastic, the food was great and the people we met were all fun, engaging and talented. It was a great way to spend our Saturday afternoon.

We were greeted warmly by Josh Goldschmidt (the proprietor of this venue) when we arrived and immediately introduced ourselves to the other food bloggers who were there while we waited for more to arrive. First stop, a cooking demo by one of their chefs in the open kitchen. He showed us how they make their pesto & one of their signature pasta dishes Penne Franco . It was nice to know that Carrabba's made everything from scratch and serve fresh even their pasta. They have strict standard whereby pasta only had a shelf life of 2 hours and it will be discarded if not served.

Penne Franco was a dish made with their signature pesto, fresh mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and black olives with ricotta cheese. The dish looked absolutely delicious and I think some of us were ready to dig in. But Josh told us that we are going to be able to try this at home as they will be preparing goodie bags for us to take home. Goodie Bags??? We have not even started eating yet! This is turning out to be a great day :)

We were then seated to the table with our fellow bloggers and the conversations flowed. It was great to get to know each other and naturally the conversations revolved around food and more.

It was really a nice touch from Carrabba's to have our names printed indivually on the menus. I was extremely pleased and reminded myself that I have to bring it back as a momento.

The staff were extremely friendly and ready to serve and take our orders. And then the food came.

To start our meal, there were nice warm breads on the table served with bowls of extra virgin olive oil with an house special herb mix.

For Appetizers, we were served Bruschetta Con Pesto - Grilled bread topped with fresh pesto, diced Roma tomatoes, ricotta salata cheese and basil. The crispy bread with pesto was a little warm and it was the perfect blend with the fresh vegetables on top. Yummy!!

Next we offered choices of soups and salads selection. Hubby-D choose Minestrone Soup and I choose Caesar Salad so we get to sample each other's food. The Salad was extremely fresh and there was a great texture to the soup. It was indeed a hearty meal. Do I even have space for entrée ?

For entrée I selected Tag Pic Pac with Shrimp - Fresh anglehair pasta tossed with crushed tomatoes, garlic, basil and extra virgin olive oil, toppped with grilled shrimp. I must say the shrimp was so fresh and juicy and perfectly grilled. Hubby-D had the Pasta Carrabba which is Fettuccine Alfredo tossed with sauteed mushrooms, peas and grilled chicken. I must say it was really well done too as I found myself leaning over and taking more and more bites.

Hmmm, I didn't mention drinks did I? I nicely saved it for last but not the least mention. Initially we choose red wine and when the drinks came, some of my other fellow bloggers were gushing about how delicious the BlackBerry Sangria they ordered. Note to self - "Quickly finish my red wine and order the Sangria." Around the table, everyone commented how it was the best sangria they tasted. Alrite, midway through the meal, I could not wait any longer, I ordered the Sangria and it was fantastic. This is a must order if you ever visit Carrabba's. Absolutely delicious. Infact, I forgot to take a photo. So a near empty glass is all I have.

Needless to say, we could not finish our entrée as it was just too much food. The servers immediately packed it for us to bring home.

We had a wonderful time at the Carrabba's Food Blogger event. Besides the great food, the new friends we met were great. Best of all, Josh and his staff made us feel really welcomed, and I would recommend you to visit Carrabba's in your next Italian food outing.

Thank you Josh! We all had a great time!

Carraba's Italian Grill
3400 N. Central Expy, Plano, TX 75074
Phone 972-516-9900

And that's not all, before we left, each of us were given a big goodie bag filled with food for us to create a great Italian meal at home. It was fantastic and I will be sharing with you exactly what was in the goodie bag in my next post.

Till then, say hello to my new foodie friends :

The Manly Housewife

Just Food Snobs

Dinner and Conversation

Cookie Loves Eating

Sweet N Spicy Comforts


Cooking Gallery said...

You seemed to be having a good time and the spread of food is great!

mysimplefood said...

Cooking Gallery - Indeed, it was a really nice time.

Anncoo said...

Interesting Food Review and you had a great time.

Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron said...

Lucky you. I'm so jealous! :) You looked very happy in the pics

Sara said...

This sounds so fun! I haven't been to any food events quite like this, but I can relate to meeting other food bloggers and commiserating. Makes it all worth it.

baking.serendipity said...

Looks like an awesome event! I too, love that Carabba's makes everything so fresh!

"pup" said...

I am a sucker for a good alfredo!!! Delicious!! Looks like you had fun!!

mysimplefood said...

Anncoo - Thanks dear. I had a great time.

Tanantha - I hope a Foodbuzz event will go your way soon.

Sara - Yeah meeting foodbloggers is fun. Putting faces to blogs you see on the internet :)

Baking Serendipity - Yeah it was a nice revelation. Fresh food makes a big difference to taste and everything.

Pup - I agree, the first bite of good alfredo just makes you not want to stop :)

Emily Malloy said...

Looks like tons of fun was had! I love bloggie foodie get togethers!

Marisa said...

This sounds like so much fun. I think it's great that you got to meet some of your food blogger friends in real life--and over an awesome meal, too! That bruschetta looks so yummy!

mysimplefood said...

Emily - Isn't it amazing how we can make friends all over and to meet them face to face, yup it's fun!

Marisa - Hi!! The bruschetta is great, the bread warm and the tomato and basil so fresh!

Chef Dennis said...

what a wonderful event!! and how nice of Carabba's to sponsor it!

5 Star Foodie said...

What a fun blogger meet-up and a delicious meal!

mysimplefood said...

Chef Dennis - Carrabba's was really nice to sponsor the whole event and everyone of us were really impressed with their food and service.

5 Star Foodie - Yup, love the blogger event. Hope there will be another one soon.

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