BEST BETS: HAPPY HOUR

The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - Go Eat -

I knew about the in­ex­pen­sive wine at Carrabba’s happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. on week­days, but I didn’t know about the food. Af­ter see­ing a ta­ble card for $5 pizza, br­uschette, cala­mari and a few other items when I was in a few weeks ago, I headed back this week.

Well, I had no idea that the pizza was full size. I’d al­ready or­dered the cala­mari and we were wait­ing for it when we de­cided to or­der the rus­tica pizza, with egg­plant and Ital­ian sausage, and the chicken pizza, too.

When the cala­mari came to the ta­ble, I told the server that I wanted the happy hour por­tion and she said that’s what I had. Be­sides be­ing an enor­mous por­tion — for $5! — it was also ex­cel­lent. Hot, with a crisp crust and ten­der from the first piece to the last, not even slightly rub­bery. It was served with a light mari­nara, but I was happy with a squeeze of lemon.

The piz­zas were thin crust, gen­er­ously topped and plenty for two to split. One went in a box un­touched and there was no need to even con­sider din­ner af­ter such a sub­stan­tial happy hour. The wine was $2.75 per glass, and the piz­zas and cala­mari were $5. The to­tal dam­age, for what amounted to din­ner for two and a full leftover pizza, was about $22 with tax and without tip.

It’s a per­fect spot to run in for a quick bite and a glass of wine (house wine only for $2.75) af­ter a long day of shop­ping or of work­ing. Split a pizza with a friend and have a glass of wine each, and you’ll split a check of about $11.

Jen­nifer Biggs/The Com­mer­cial Ap­peal

The rus­tica pizza and a gen­er­ous or­der of cala­mari to­tal $10 at Carrabba’s dur­ing the restau­rant’s happy hour.

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