Cariera’s Cucina Italiana
Italian food. What can I say about it? It’s hearty, warm, carbalicious. Yes, I know “carbalicious” isn’t a word but go with it. For any individual who’s trying to go more “Paleo”, Italian food makes it difficult. Not impossible, just difficult. With that being said, I’ll have to hold off this diet for a little bit. So, I got invited to get lunch out in the Lake Nona area for Italian food. Me personally, I don’t go over that way much but for food? Hey, “will travel for food!” So, I get off the 417 and get on Narcoossee Rd. You’ll find Cariera’s Cucina in the Publix Shopping Center. I really don’t have any crazy expectations for this place since I know nothing about it.
As soon as I enter, I noticed the halloween decorations. The staff were quick to seat me, so that’s good. My server, Dan, introduces himself and I start to look at the menu. I was pretty surprised at the amount of stuff they had. Of course you have your traditional dishes, pasta, pizza, appetizers. They also had quite a bit of sandwiches so, if you aren’t really wanting Italian, you can still find something to eat.
They serve bread with warm marinara on the side, it was pretty decent. It’s very similar to my “panini all’olio”/Italian olive oil buns. So far, so good! Hey, if you make some good bread, that keeps this girl happy! My friend ordered the Caesar salad. Meh. I’m not that impressed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not horrible or anything of that sort. It’s just, average. They really ought to make their own croutons though. It’s super hard and dried like…boxed croutons. For an Italian establishment that brings out their own bread, it really wouldn’t take that much effort to use excess bread, add some seasonings, bake it and use it for croutons. Merely a suggestion.
As for my entree, I ordered the small “Italian Chopped Salad Flatbread”. It caught my eye, something I don’t typically see. It has grilled chicken, mozzarella, feta, tomatoes, olives, onions, iceberg and romaine lettuce, pepperoncinis, and Italian dressing. The warm flatbread and cold toppings was a nice balance of flavors and textures. Definitely a lot of flavors coming through where nothing was overpowering another. What could make this pizza any better? Nothing. I was very satisfied with the flatbread. My server was prompt and courteous. For a Friday lunch, this place was pretty packed. Aside from the place being a bit too chilly and the mundane croutons, I would return here.