Cigarette Smoke Ruins Food At Carrabba's Boca Raton

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Eating outside at Carrabba's Boca Raton means being subjected to cigarette smoke.

BY MORTY EATOWITZ/Food Critic — (Boca Raton, FL) — Carrabba’s Itallian Grill often advertises specials that are “here for a limited time.” Sadly, anyone who decides to enjoy winter in South Florida by eating on the deck at Carrabba’s Boca Raton will be here for a limited time as well. Your odds of dying from lung cancer likely increase exponentially from just spending minutes on the restaurant’s lakefront deck.
Located at 6909 SW 18th Street in Boca, Carrabba’s is part of the national chain owned by OSI partners which is incredibly based in Tampa, where Morty Eatowitz would think patrons like to eat outside as well. OSI also owns Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s, and Roy’s. But despite Florida’s smoking ban, and decisions by several notable hospitality companies — like Marriott (NYSE:MAR) — to take it a step further and ban smoking altogether, OSI’s Carrabba’s brand is apparently more concerned with drumming up the alcohol sales that accompany smoking than doing the right thing by keeping the air clean for all patrons, regardless of where they choose to sit.
It is appalling that the chain promotes itself as family friendly.
Morty Eatowitz on Friday evening hoped to enjoy a quick bite with his pregnant wife and two year old son. The hostess offered us seating outside, yet never mentioned that it was full-on smoking time. For this we fault local management and a lack of corporate training. Morty Eatowitz would think a hostess would be trained to spot a pregnant woman and a child and suggest that they not sit in a smoke filled area. Instead, Morty Eatowitz was later told by the hostess, “Florida law doesn’t apply. Anyone outside can smoke.”
While that is true, as Florida law only covers seating inside a restaurant, the law sends a strong message to restaurants in the Sunshine State. That OSI Restaurant Partners LLC and its
Carrabba's Logo is a Trademark of OSI Partners LLC. Used under the news media clause of the Fair Use Copyright Act.

Carrabba’s brand doesn’t hear that message, or chooses to ignore the message, is simply astonishing. The chain is not one that can argue it needs the revenue generated by smoking customers. It is a chain that, Morty Eatowitz believes, that just needs to do the right thing and ban smoking altogether.
The food, which is what we hoped to review for this article, was adequate. But Morty believes most patrons will lose any sense of enjoyment that comes from eating it if they have to inhale cigarette smoke between bites. Morty Eatowitz and his dining crew were ultimately moved inside, and the waitress could not have been nicer.
But an move in the middle of a meal should have never been necessary.
One of the great joys of living in or visiting Florida in the winter is the ability to eat outside. If that is a joy you seek, know that there is no joy at Carrabba’s Boca Raton.
EDITOR’S NOTE:, a division of MetroDesk Media LLC, will provide Carrabba’s with two free weeks of advertising on this website if it eliminates smoking from all of its restaurants nationwide.

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15 thoughts on “Cigarette Smoke Ruins Food At Carrabba's Boca Raton

  1. what a piece of anti-smoker snobbery this article is! Why don’t you find out what smoking bans are really about?

    “EDITOR’S NOTE:, a division of MetroDesk Media LLC, will provide Carrabba’s with two free weeks of advertising on this website if it eliminates smoking from all of its restaurants nationwide.”
    Two weeks of free ads isn’t going to substitute for the business lost due to discrimination. Please, get a life!

  2. Hmmm… maybe they should have the smokers smoke *inside* instead? Oh. Wait. Sorry. They passed a law moving them outside. So maybe they should get rid of the dumb law and let the bars and restaurants make their own arrangements depending upon their mix of customers so that they can make their clientele happy … as they used to do before the government stuck its nose into things?
    I’d like to make an additional note however: Morty wrote, and, sadly, probably believes, that “Your odds of dying from lung cancer likely increase exponentially from just spending minutes on the restaurant’s lakefront deck.”
    Actually Morty, I’ve done some work on this while trying to help out college students who write me for help in fighting outdoor campus bans and senior citizens who write for help when they’re being evicted from their senior homes for smoking. If you use the EPA’s own figures and adjust for the comparative exposures, a tourist sitting out on that deck and eating and drinking every day, 8 to 12 hours day, would have to sit there, on the average for roughly 40,000,000 tourist-years to get one lung cancer.
    No, I am not kidding, nor am I exaggerating. If you make this post public and would like to see the figures (they’re not that complicated) I’ll be happy to make a followup post explaining them. Basically you’ve been lied to about the magnitude of the “threat” you face from secondhand smoke because the fear of that smoke is an incredibly important tool in the “War On Smoking.” It’s that fear which drives smoking bans, and for the last 30 years smoking bans have been seen as the most effective social engineering technique available to “shock” the smokers (i.e. the lab rats) into changing their behavior.
    The down side is that you then, the “innocent nonsmoker,” are laboring under an unjustified fear.
    To see a bit more of the “how and why” that’s at work here, read my “Lies Behind The Smoking Bans” at: and feel free to offer any specific, substantive criticisms of it that you might have. I promise I won’t mind, and I’ll try to stop back to respond.
    The other part of your article: the concern about not liking smells of smoke or other things interfering with a meal is quite valid … and a decent restaurant will always be sensitive to your desires in that regard and provide accommodations — as long as they’re allowed to by the government.
    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

    1. You Sir, are an idiot. I think smoking should be banned everywhere but that’s just me. I’m obviously a NON-smoker but a bar will NOT lose my business just because they DON’T allow smoking, but they will if they do allow it, so why wouldn’t they keep my interests in mind. My drinking will also NOT directly affect anyone else. For every smoker that feels they have a right to blow there smoke at my downwind deserves to get me spraying Raid at them, its only fair. I also don’t think you “researched” jack$hit, googling stuff doesn’t count either. As long term RN/BSN I’m telling you second hand smoke does affect people.

  3. No smoking ruins a great meal as the best cigarette of the day is after a great meal! What’s appalling is that business owners shoot themselves in the foot by allowing the Prohibitionists to dictate how they run their own business. And what’s even more appalling is that there hasn’t been a criminal investigation into the paid for “studies” that come up with the results that those paying for them want. Tobacco is in the nightshade family that includes potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower. Should we ban those too?
    A Cigarette has 3 mg of nitrogen oxide (NO) and 40 mg of carbon monoxide (CO). One single 747 takeoff/landing 115 pounds of NO and 32 pounds of CO (That’s 52 million mg of NO and 14 million mg of CO) 500 takeoffs/landings per day has the CO equivalent of over 160 million cigarettes and the NO of Eight and a Half BILLION cigarettes. How many businesses are near airports?
    So one MUST ask, who is REALLY funding this charade? Who is REALLY funding 2 weeks of ads? TOBACCO CONTROL PROHIBITIONISTS?

  4. Thank you for pointing out a smoker-friendly establishment. I will make sure to put it on my list of places to visit. Anti-smokers whined years ago, “Can’t you just go outside?!” So tossed to the outdoors as demanded anti-smokers want that too now. Zero compromise. And no respect for the decision of an owner of private property who knows best what keeps his business in the black. No matter when you discovered smoking going on (though I find it hard to believe you didn’t know within a few minutes of sitting down) it’s a double dose of sour grapes in having to complain about moving. But most outrageous of all — and which speaks volumes about your dependence on others instead being able to manage your own life — is believing it’s any place of the hostess to act as your nanny. Others would view it as intrusive and unwelcome. Carrabba, you have my patronage and recommendation!

  5. Here is the best one: on a bench AT THE SHORE of San Fancisco Bay, less than ten feet from the water – where the Pacific winds customarily blow quite noticeably, there is a “no smoking” sign. How ludicrous!

  6. “Your odds of dying from lung cancer likely increase exponentially from just spending minutes on the restaurant’s lakefront deck.”
    What irrational trash the tobacco-control movement (funded by Nicoderm interests) has infected upon the globe. As an industrial air quality expert people should understand that air quality testing from around the globe shows that secondhand smoke levels are 4 – 25,0000 times SAFER than OSHA regulations:
    Meanwhile smoking bans decimate the hospitality industry, jobs, and our economy:

  7. Thank you for posting this. As someone who lost family members to lung cancer, I think it is outrageous that a major chain restaurant is still permitting smoking like it’s 1985. I work with one of the major cancer associations and will ask them to call for a boycott of Carrabba’s. There are two types of people in the world now. Smart people who want to protect themselves and their families, and dumb people who smoke and believe they have the right to sicken others.

  8. Thank you Boca! 🙂 I have a lot of respect for web/blog-masters who believe in their position strongly enough to allow voices from “the other side” — regardless of the issue!
    A suggestion for places like Carrabba’s would be to make sure they have some fairly prominent signage indicating “Smoking allowed in our patio dining area.” They’ll still get complaints from some of the hard-core folks who “want it all,” but at least the host/hostesses will be off the hook when someone complains. The managements of such places should also be aware of the degree to which antismoking advocates are ENCOURAGED to complain whenever they see smoking in an area where they might be able to get it banned. Take a look around at the various glitzy web-sites of the larger antismoking organizations and read their “handbooks” on how to get and expand smoking bans and you’ll get the idea.
    Marbee’s figures on airport emissions are accurate: their original sources come from the FAA, the EPA, and the Surgeon Generals’ figures. No one is dying out there from people smoking outdoors (I believe the same is true for indoors and nonsmokers as well for the most part, but that’s a different argument and has some actual evidence on both sides — the concern about outdoor smoking really has no evidence other than the fact that (Horrors!) it’s actually possible to measure that it exists!
    – MJM

    1. We overlooked this comment when it was submitted but are happy to publish it, as requested.

  9. Jim, you have the whole indoors. You have tons of other places to choose from that allow no smoking anywhere. So who are the selfish ones in all this? There is no doubt in my mind that if the last restaurant in the world — on top of an Alp in Switzerland — had been reviewed and found to allow smoking, you’d be calling for a boycott there too. Nevertheless, while you call for a boycott there’s plenty of others to take your place through recommendation. Carrabba’s need not worry. Lastly, your opinion about “two types” is wholly subjective. It’s “says you.” And provides further evidence that the anti-smoker crusade propagates hate with the employment of broad statements. If there’s one bar out of four on a street where smoking was allowed, you are free not to enter that ONE bar and choose one of the other three where you will not be “sickened.” But no, you want that last bar too which is the only way your statement has any chance of being “smart.”

  10. So who actually wrote this article and who is Morty Eatowitz? Is there a reason why you choose to write in the 3rd person? Are you in 3rd grade? Did you take English lessons in school? What do you mean by “incredibly based in Tampa”? Or “full-on smoking time”? If Morty were so concerned about his pregnant wife he should have noticed the “full-on smoking” going on and politely waited to be seated inside where there was no smoking. But I can only assume that Morty did not care to wait to eat the “adequate” food at Carrabba’s, what with a 2-year-old son and a pregnant wife in tow. Or perhaps next time Morty should use Carrabba’s “call-ahead seating” to ensure that the wait for a non-smoking table would be minimal. Or maybe, just maybe, Morty or his wife should learn how to cook, stay home and not be bothered by other people that, gasp…smoke cigarettes.
    Get a life Morty!

    1. Wow. The passion of people who want to die of cancer, and kill everyone around them, never ceases to amaze us.
      Back to the elliptical machine.
      — Morty