Adventures in Eating & Cooking

No Longer an Olive Garden Virgin

Yes, I went to Olive Garden for the first time to celebrate Kappi’s birthday. Oh, and what a typical elegant chain restaurant it was! Not that it was bad, but rather a pleasant experience.

Olive Garden's surprisingly delicious salad

Oddly enough, my favorite part of the meal was the giant unlimited salad bowls part of the appetizer. Just some tossed greens, tomatoes, well-seasoned croutons, and a few pepperocini peppers. All this was coated with a delicious olive oil-based dressing, which is probably what made the salad superb. I had expected Ranch or some other fatty mayo dressing from an American chain, but Olive Garden’s salad was a pleasant surprise!

Infamous Bread Sticks

And then there were those infamous bread sticks… Yes they were warm, doughy, bready, yummy but not exactly bursting with flavor. From Italian bread sticks, I always expect oil and a heaping of garlic and herbs (well, mostly garlic). Of course the fluffiness and brilliance of the bread is essential, but the flavor is also very important and I found Olive Garden’s a bit bland. My favorite bread sticks are still Pizza Hut‘s… (Oh those fluffy, warm, GARLICKY, buttery things!)

Seafood Brodetto

I thought my entree of Seafood Brodetto was so-so. (I probably should have sucked in the extra 300 calories and stuck with the Shrimp & Crab Tortellini…) Well the toasted ciabatta bread was delicious when dabbed in the soup, but some of the seafood pieces were a bit bland. The description claimed there was white wine sauce used, but I could barely taste it in the tomatoey soup. It did have a nice aroma though.

Finally, I must say the service was terrible as our waiter was prone to skipping certain people at our table. He even got the checks wrong… Funny story actually because I had almost gotten a free meal, except the check was eventually found when the waiter accidentally billed it to my friend’s account. Lovely.

Overall, I would go to Olive Garden again, just because it’s reasonably priced for Italian and I rarely get to eat Italian (so maybe I”m a bit easily impressed). Plus some of the other items on the menu sounded pretty tantalizing.

3 comments on “No Longer an Olive Garden Virgin

  1. Chris
    August 11, 2010

    Sounds yummy. Never expected Olive Garden to be good though so now I wanna try…btw wheres your grade?
    Oh, oh oh, and do your friends recommend any of their dishes? =D?


  2. Nicholas
    August 12, 2010

    I think the problem with a lot of supposed foodies is that they become snobs for the sake of seeming haute. Good on you for going to, and admitting, that Olive Garden was pretty good. Who cares if you’re easily impressed? 🙂


  3. Pingback: Good Everything but Mediocre Food « Munchi Monster

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This entry was posted on August 11, 2010 by in Philly: Center City and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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