We arrived at the airport in Tampa around 11 a.m. in the morning and were starving. I looked around and saw very few restaurants that I thought would offer vegan options. Then I saw the chain restaurant Carrabba's Italian Grill and wondered if they might offer a nice pasta dish. It appeared that there were only a couple options, but as hungry as I was, a couple simple pasta options was all I was looking for.
We were seated immediately at a big booth inside the dark airport restaurant. The tables and chairs were of a dark wood and the accents were in red. On each table was a bottle of San Pellegrino so I guess that influenced me to order a San Pellegrino. How is it that that water is so good?
At Carrabba's, the fresh pasta are made with eggs so you just need to inquire as to which pasta dishes can be made vegan with the dry pastas (penne, whole wheat spaghetti, etc.). The bread that they serve is vegan as is the herbed olive oil mixture. We enjoyed hot bread as we waited for our entrees.
First came the Italian salad that comes with the meal. As it seemed that none of the dressings were vegan, I just requested olive oil and vinegar. I was unimpressed with the presentation of the salad. It was just some greens topped with carrots, onions, tomatoes, and two olives. It really wasn't anything special.
But, my entree, to my delight, was much better than expected! I ordered the Tag Pic Pac and replaced the tagliarini pasta with the whole wheat spaghetti. This was a huge bowl of spaghetti with fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and basil. It was simple, yet delicious.
In most airports, there are few vegan options at sit-down restaurants so I was very pleased to discover Carrabba's. The pasta, though overpriced at $13, was very fresh and very good. The service left a lot to be desired, but overall, I'd say it was fine. I think this is a great option in the Tampa airport.
Carrabba's Italian Grill
Tampa International Airport
4100 George Bean Parkway
Tampa, FL 33607