Carrabba's is offering free appetizers to current and former military members.

Becky Oberg's picture
Carrabba's restaurant

Carrabba's recently announced that on November 9 through 11 all active duty service members and veterans get a free appetizer.

"To all our veterans, a little something in return," reads an e-mail from the Italian chain. "Choose from any of our hand-prepared appetizers, like our calamari or Bacon and Caramelized Onion Flatbread. It's our way of saying thank you for serving our country."

Proof of service is required--a military ID or wearing a uniform.

Carrabba's appetizers include Calamari, Cozze In Bianco, Tomatoes Caprese, Shrimp Scampi, Crab Cakes, Bruschette, Bacon and Caramelized Onion Flatbread, Slow-Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Flatbread, Zucchini Fritte, Mozaarella Marinara, and the Antipasti Plate.

Calamari is deep-fried squid, served with either marinara or pepper and lemon Ricardo Sauce. It is one of the best-selling appetizers, according to Carrabba's.

Cozze In Bianco is steamed mussels in a sauce made from basil, lemon butter and white wine. Mussels are popular in Italy's coastal Puglia. According to Carrabba's, the mussels are grown on ropes near Prince Edward Island, Canada. This item is gluten-free.

Tomatoes Caprese are a fresh milk mozzarella dish with basil, balsalmic vinegar, heirloom tomatoes and red onions.

Shrimp Scampi is shirmp served in a garlic and white wine sauce and drizzled with lemon butter.

Crab cakes are two jumbo crab meat cakes made with breadcrumbs, hand-grated Romano cheese, herbs and spices. They are pan-seared until golden brown and served with a roasted red bell pepper sauce.

Bruschette is fresh-baked focaccia with toppings varying according to what the chef has that day. This item may contain nuts.

The Bacon and Caramelized Onion Flatbread is bread with bacon, mozzarella cheese and caramelized onions.

The Slow-Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Flatbread is bread with pesto, ricotta and tomatoes with pine nuts.

The Zucchini Fritte is battered and fried zucchini served with a roasted garlic aioli.

The Mozzarella Marinara is deep-fried Mozzarella cheese served with a marinara sauce.

The Antipasta Plate is a combination of Bruschette, Calamari and Mozzarella Marinara.

"In Italy, antipasti signify the start of the meal and are meant to prepare the taste buds for the many courses that are enjoyed during a traditional Italian dinner," reads the Carrabba's web site.

Carrabba's was founded on December 26, 1986 by John Charles "Johnny" Carrabba, III and his uncle Damian Mandolam in Houston, according to Wikipedia. They describe themselves on the Carrabba's web page as " two Sicilian boys from Texas who love to cook and eat." Many of the recipes are Mandolam's mother's or sister's. Carrabba's has 232 locations throughout the United States, with Florida having more Carrabba's restaurants than any other state.