I’ve been to a few Olive Gardens in my day. I wouldn’t go back on my own, but if the majority rule were in effect, I wouldn’t object to it. I’ve had a decent meal there, but far from the best Italian food I’ve ever had. The problem I have with the Olive Garden is the commercials they always air with dear old Uncle Vito making his first trip to the states. Ooh, where should we take the uncle we love the most where he can feel right at home AND get a taste of the old country? A mom and pop place serving regional delights? Nah! Hey, maybe he’ll like some of the New World Italian "red sauce" joints? Probably not. I KNOW, LET’S TAKE HIM TO THE OLIVE GARDEN!!! We’re so clever!! This happens of course, right before Uncle Vito throttles them at even thinking he’d accept this as a taste of home. Olive Garden, I know what you are and I accept it, isn’t it time you did too?
I think the problem with Olive Garden is not so much their basic recipes, but their execution. Maybe they are underpaying cooks and servers, or maybe nobody there cares. I am often dragged to Olive Gardens for work lunches, and it is really uneven.
For a place that specializes in pasta, their pasta is often gloppy, overcooked, old, cold in the middle, or just "wrong". I think that varies from location to location.
The infamous all-you-can-eat salad
Pasta Fagioli soup
"Griller" steak thing
Tiramisu (thiugh I did get it still frozen once).
The portion size is at least double what a person ought to eat for a meal. Just because something is chicken doesn’t mean it’s healthful. Pretty much everything at Olive Garden is either smothered in cheese, drenched in olive oil, or served with pre-prepared red sauce with twice the daily allotment of sodium.
Even the salad isn’t healthful. It’s iceberg lettuce with too much dressing.
Well the last (and only) time I went to Olive Garden, it seemed their menu options were mainly limited to chicken breast, pasta, and salads. Aside from some of the alfredo style sauces, I can’t think of anything there that wouldn’t be considered a lighter fare type of food- and even with then the portions are so small you’d need to order 3 entrees to get full
What could a health freak possibly like at OG?
Olive Garden is enjoyable if you’re a culinary masochist. I recommend drinking heavily. Order mass quantities of alcohol at the first sight of a waitress because it may be the last sight. Either that or get your parent loaded beforehand, take them where you want, and call it the Olive Garden.
Olive Garden is only enjoyable if you’re a health freak, or happen to love small portions of really dry chicken with pasta.
My Mom likes Olive Garden also. They give her free wine samples (I don’t drink wine, so she gets my sample too!). We have gone a couple of times, and the waitress gave us extra bowls of soup, and extra breadsticks to go with our doggie bag!
The food is food, it’s edible, slightly salty, but all right. I have had so much better, but then again, I have had so much worse.
But hey my Mom likes it, and I like my Mom (besides loving her.) so I can spend a worse time with worse food somewhere else, or hang with my Mom. I was going to say Mom wins, but actually I DO!!!
Mom’s in FL and at 88 (and legally blind from macular degeneration) she doesn’t travel any more. I go to her and we eat out near Daytona.
I also lived in that area back in the 70’s and early 80’s for 10 years so I know the area fairly well and when I’m there I sometimes ferret out places but usually we go where Mom wants. Fortunately, High Tides Snack Jack, which I refer to as the Palace of Fried Food, is actually a Roadfood gem and she likes that too so lots of times we compromise on that.
High Tides Snack Jack:
I agree. [;)]
Joe, I’ll bet the lion’s share of those tears were wistful and sentimental about the long ago days of their youth.
Rita C. Sappenfield
Olive Garden’s Pasta Pomadoro is delicious.
If my mom was alive I would love to take her to OG if that’s where she wanted to go. I did get to take her to see Frank Sanatra. She was a BIG fan! She was teary eyed during one song, I looked around and every woman I could see was doing the same. Hmmm, maybe that guy had something?
Oh, about OG, some bread sticks and salad, and a few glasses of wine, and someone I love, I’m happy now!!!!!
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