Olive Garden Review

Bedlam – A place or situation of noisy uproar and confusion. Keep that in mind as this review progresses.

I hate eating at Applebees, TGI Fridays and Chili’s for many reasons but the number one reason is they’re just too damn loud. Under normal circumstances I do not hear perfectly but you add the chaos that ensues during your average visit to any of these establishments and I’m deaf as a post.

That is why I love Olive Garden. It’s a completely different atmosphere for the same price and quality of food. Sometimes it’s almost tranquil, but it’s never snooty. I cannot abide eating at a snooty, hoity-toity restaurant.

Many Italian restaurants offer some sort of all you can eat soup / salad /breadstick lunch, but Olive Garden is the best at it. The salad is always good, the soups awesome and the breadsticks are to die for. The other great thing about Olive Garden is the endless pasta bowl they have every fall. WOW. The orecchiette with alfredo sauce is my absolute favorite. But I’ve enjoyed dozens of other combinations. Keep an eye out for this special and make sure you visit your local Olive Garden when this rolls around next.

I must say that as high as I have been on Olive Garden the last several years, they fell very far from the pinnacle I once held them on. My wife and I went there on Saturday. Feeling frisky we ordered an appetizer of Lasagna Fritta. It was soon served to us along with breadsticks and salad. We each devoured the first one and mmmm and awed at how good it was, and we ate some salad and we ate a breadstick and then we ate about half of our 2nd Lasagna Fritta, and there was no mmmming or awing. Once the core hunger was satiated just the tiniest bit, these little suckers tasted like ass. We finished our 2nd one, and I tried a 3rd, but nope. These things sucked.

For entrees my wife ordered Mediterranean Grilled Chicken (Herb-marinated grilled chicken breasts served over capellini in a light, zesty lemon-herb vinaigrette tossed with cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, spinach and olives.) and I ordered the Mixed Grill (Skewers of grilled marinated steak and chicken with a rosemary demi-glace, served with grilled vegetables and Tuscan potatoes.) Hey kids!!! Guess what also taste like ass? That’s right boys and girls Mediterranean Grilled Chicken and the Mixed Grill entrées from Olive Garden.

You know what though. All of this could be chalked up to mis-ordering on our part (not really looking at the menu close enough) and all would be forgiven except for one thing. Bedlam. Gone was the tranquility and peacefulness I had come to enjoy at Olive Garden. Gone was the non-hoity-toity sophistication I had come to expect. Instead the place was in a complete state of Bedlam. It was more akin to a McDonald’s play place but instead of kids, it was adults. Perhaps that is why we ordered hastily, and may even had something to do with how poorly everything tasted. It was as if all the loud crazy blow-hards within 20 miles decided that Italian sounded good for dinner that night and besieged Olive Garden.

I absolutely hated it. Hated it I tell you. Because of this, Olive Garden gets 3 stars. They lose 1 because the food was gross and they lose the other one because of the environment they seem to create now within their walls.


Matt said...

Restaurant fact--Turn the music up loud, and people will not sit around and chit-chat after dinner, thus leading to a faster table turn and more revenue.

I would have appreciated it if you would have calculated the exact number of combinations I could order in the never-ending pasta bowl.

Dreatori Alexis said...

The orecchiette with alfredo sauce is my absolute favorite. But I’ve enjoyed dozens of other combinations.
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JustJim said...

Every year that have a new sauce, which I will try, but have never found anything I like better than the alfredo and orechiette. Too bad I'm never going back.

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