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Carrabba's Italian Grill's Chicken Bryan: Fun Facts About the Restaurant's Wildly Popular Entrée

The entree's name goes back to the restaurant chain's roots.

Who on Earth is Bryan? We're breaking down the mystery behind Carrabba's Italian Grill Chicken Bryan, the chain's most popular dish.

Carrabba's Italian Grill serves eight "specialty" entrées, and this chicken meal is one of them. Of those eight, most of them are classic Italian dishes with equally classic names, like veal marsala and eggplant Parmesan. But two of the options, Pollo Rosa Maria and Chicken Bryan, each consisting of a chicken breast topped with cheese and lemon-butter sauce, aren't necessarily what you might think of as classic Italian fare.

Founded in 1986 by Italian-Americans Johnny Carrabba and his uncle Damian Mandola, Carrabba's has since grown to an Italian-themed restaurant chain with some 250 locations. The walls of all the locations are still decorated with prints of family photographs today, emphasizing the chain's roots.

So, who's the Bryan behind the entree?

So, which family member is Chicken Bryan named for? It turns out, it's not actually a person at all. You see, "Bryan" is the name of the Texas town where the Carrabba/Mandola family settled after emigrating to the United States from Italy.

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In fact, when the entrée first appeared on the Carrabba's menu, its name was "Chicken Bryan Texas," according to Bon Appetit. "Texas" eventually disappeared from the dish's name.

What even is Chicken Bryan?

The Carrabba's menu is inspired by Italian tradition, but it also represents American food and culture. So it's no wonder that Carrabba's most beloved dish is an amalgamation of various cultures and is named for a Texas town.

According to the Carrabba's menu, the dish features chicken that's "wood-grilled and topped with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and our lemon-butter sauce." Italian flavors combined with Americans' passion for grilling and butter? Sign us up.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods. 

How do you make Chicken Bryan?

While there are a lot of copycat recipes floating around out there, the Orlando Sentinel has the official Chicken Bryan recipe for at-home chefs.

Next time you're at Carrabba's Italian Grill, give this chicken dish a try. Even if you normally opt for the pasta dishes at the chain, you might just find your new favorite meal.

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Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a culture and food writer. Read more