A1A Marathon and Half Marathon: Where to Carbo-Load Before The Big Race

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The A1A Marathon and Half Marathon is this Sunday, February 19, and thousands of runners will take to the streets on a 13.1- or 26.2-mile tour of the most beautiful parts of Fort Lauderdale. Starting at the Museum of Discovery and Science, the course runs east along Las Olas Boulevard, then north along A1A before it makes a U-turn, finishing on the beach opposite the Bahia Cabana.

In order to fuel their bodies, runners are going to need to carbo-load the night before. 

A long-standing tradition, the pre-race pasta dinner provides runners with an energy store for the next day. With no official pasta party announced, runners are on their own to find a good, hearty pasta meal in Fort Lauderdale. We've found some great options, from casual to high end.  Good luck to all the runners!

Timpano: This upscale chophouse with an Italian flair is only a few blocks from the marathon start line. Carb up with Timpano's meatball bolognese ($15.50), beef, veal, and pancetta meatballs on a bed of spaghetti or fettucine with grilled chicken breast ($18.50). Vegetarian runners will enjoy the spaghetti and plum tomatoes ($14) or seasonal agnolotti, made with local vegetables ($17).

Il Mulino: This budget-friendly restaurant has been around for more than 20 years. Serving large plates of homemade pastas with fresh sauces, Il Mulino is a great choice for groups in for the marathon. Oven-baked penne ($12.95), whole-wheat linguini with broccoli, garlic and extra virgin olive oil ($12.95), and rigatoni, mushrooms, and Italian sausage ($13.95) are runner-friendly choices.

Bravo Ristorante: Bravo looks like one of those restaurants that Tony Soprano would hang out in while vacationing with Carmela in Fort Lauderdale. Located on the 17th Street Causeway, Bravo serves authentic thin-crust pizzas and pastas. At Bravo, you can choose your pasta and sauce to customize your dish. Pastas include angel hair, ziti, penne, spaghetti, and whole-wheat spaghetti, and sauces include Neopolitan tomato sauce, Italian sausage, meatballs, aglio y olio, marinara, or bolognese (your choice of combo, $13.95).

New River Grill: This Rio Vita joint serves thick, doughy pizza pies that more than fulfill your carb intake requirements. Large pizzas, calzones, and hot Italian subs are served on toasted bread. This place is a throwback to Staten Island and Brooklyn Italian food served in storefront pizza shops. It's for those that want a hot and hearty meal without breaking the bank.


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