Carino’s Italian Grill Giveaway and Weekend Brunch with Waffles

Happy Friday everyone!

Thank you for being patient with me while I took a fun little vacation to the amazing city of New Orleans this past week. I had so much fun, ate so much good food, and I absolutely cannot wait to go back again someday!

Now being a food blog, i’m sure at least a couple of you want to hear about the food in New Orleans. The other, just keep skipping down to look at the pictures or ENTER THE GIVEAWAY! Chef don’t judge!

Or something like that….

Anyway, I have to go with the popular opinion on the food there. Delicious. Amazing. Make you wanna slap yo mama good!

I barely just got to try the food, there is still a ton of food I wish to sample my next visit, but from what I sampled it would be more than worth it. Red beans and rice, jamabalaya, shrimp and grits, crab stuffed shrimp, and BEIGNETS!

Let’s talk about the beignets for a moment. Ya’ll know I have the biggest sweet tooth, so of course the main must see place I wanted to go to was Cafe Du Monde. I know, it’s full of tourists, it’s so mainstream, it’s overhyped. Well, yeah, maybe so, but you know what? There’s a reason for that. Located in the french quarter, you go in sit down at your desired table, and waiters come and take your order. They sell nothing but coffee and beignets so of course they kind of know what they’re doing.

Each order of beignets comes with 3 so i suggest one order per person. Although big, you won’t want to stop. Trust me. Oh, and the iced coffee Au Lait is delicious! Perfect for those sweltering summer days in New Orleans.

Everything was delicious. Now for the party scene? I was truly impressed. I mean, a Tuesday night on Bourbon St at 7 P.M. is like a Friday night on 6th St here in Austin at midnight. Yeah, it gets crazy.

The later in the week it got, the crazier it seemed. So if Vegas is out of your reach, i’m sure New Orleans will give you that guilty pleasure feeling just as well.

Now for the giveaway!

Carino’s Italian Grill is launching an entire new gluten free menu, you can check out the whole deal at the bottom, but they have generously sent me a couple of gift cards to try it out. One for me, and one to give away to you guys!

I personally haven’t tried it out yet since i’ve been away, but I thought what better way to give back to you guys for being away, than to give something to ya’ll? A $25 gift card isn’t bad right? Psh, of course not!

How to enter 


Comment on this post telling me you’re absolute favorite guilty pleasure. 1 comment per person! Contest ends Tuesday July 16th, winner will be announced Wednesday July 17th.

For additional entries follow me on twitter/pinterest/facebook and leave a comment letting me know you did!

In the meantime enjoy a nice relaxing weekend with a great brunch.

Classic Waffles with Caramel Pecan Sauce

(Recipe adapted from Alton Brown)




For the Waffles


2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tspn salt

3 tbls sugar

3 whole eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanila

2 ounces unsalted butter, melted

16 ounces buttermilk, room temperature

Vegetable spray, for waffle iron




Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In another bowl beat together eggs, vanilla, and melted butter, and then add the buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Ladle the recommended amount of waffle batter onto the iron according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Close iron top and cook until the waffle is golden on both sides and is easily removed from iron. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve.

For the Whiskey Caramel Sauce


1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tbls butter

1 tbls water

1 tbls whiskey

1 tbls heavy cream

1/4 cup pecans



In a small sauce pan melt the butter and sugar together. Let bubble and boil for about 3 minutes on high. Lower heat to medium and add in water, whiskey and heavy cream. Careful it will sizzle and bubble up! Bring back to a boil and let cook a couple of minutes longer. Add in the pecans and lower heat to low until ready to serve.

**Note: This mixture will get really thick when it cools down, so to serve it must be warm!


Johnny Carino’s Enters a Wheat-less Partnership with Udi’s to Serve Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

(June 17, 2013) – Johnny Carino’s, the family-owned restaurant group, is thrilled to announce the expansion of their gluten-free menu to 23 items, which includes items from their kid’s menu. With the popularity of their past gluten-free ordering options and the rapid growth of the movement, Johnny Carino’s is introducing gluten-free versions of fan favorites like the Skilletini and Spicy Shrimp and Chicken. Johnny Carino’s is partnering with Udi’s Gluten Free Foods, the #1 gluten-free brand in the U.S., to be able to provide certified gluten- free pizza crusts to their guests. Johnny Carino’s and Udi’s are both committed to making safe, gluten-free food available without compromising taste. With this new partnership, Johnny Carino’s is a leader in the area of gluten-free offerings.

“In this exciting partnership with Johnny Carino’s, Udi’s will help provide delicious, high-quality gluten free meal options, so everyone can enjoy dining out without restriction,” said Denise Sirovatka, Udi’s Vice President of Marketing. “Since enjoying a restaurant meal with family and friends is all about bringing people together, we’re thrilled that no one will feel left out of the dining experience.”

The new Johnny Carino’s gluten-free menu has been confirmed by Analytical Food Laboratories as meeting FDA guidelines to be considered gluten-free. This extensive process took place under the guidance of Vice President of Culinary Development Chris Peitersen. “I developed the new recipes by utilizing gluten-free ingredients, consulting nutritional experts and working in conjunction with Analytical Food Laboratories to conduct the actual scientific testing of the menu items,” says Peitersen, who started with the company as a line cook at the very first Johnny Carino’s in 1995. Creating gluten-free zones in Johnny Carino’s kitchens and using separate utensils for handling dishes are just some of the steps Johnny Carino’s has taken to prepare their new menu items. Early guest feedback has been positive, “The goal for us is to provide extensive and dynamic gluten-free offerings, so regardless of your relationship with gluten, you can enjoy the best of Johnny Carino’s,” said Peitersen. The new gluten-free menu items are now available at all participating restaurants nationwide.

4 thoughts on “Carino’s Italian Grill Giveaway and Weekend Brunch with Waffles

  1. My favorite indulge is a ginormous spoonful of peanut butter dipped in chocolate chips and white chocolate chips! My second favorite is a Moose Tracks milkshake

  2. My guilty pleasure is definitely moms special spaghetti. It tastes like heaven in your mouth. When you eat this magical spaghetti your eyes turn into hearts and your stomach turns into a vacuum cleaner. Its delicious. Also, the meat and the sauce she uses makes me want to marry that plate of spaghetti.

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