Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Olive Garden - Beavercreek, Ohio

Okay, so we went to Olive Garden.  If you want to get up and leave in a huff now, I understand - but you'll come crawling back during grilling season.  Remember the Applebee's incident?  This is similar.  Mr. FvF will pretty much eat anything that's not nailed down and doesn't have onions in it.  So, when someone does something nice and buys him a gift card for food, they probably don't painstakingly think it through as much as they might if it were for me.  I mostly got soured on OG because my former boss is vegetarian and made us have lunch meetings there ALL the time.  Oh, also - it's kind of gross.  There are a handful of things on their menu not solely based around pasta, but I'll be damned if I'm ordering a steak at Olive  Garden.  I may as well go into Pottery Barn and ask them to make me a slab of ribs. I would normally order something involving chicken skewers and rosemary potatoes, but that wasn't on their dinner menu.  I settled for the Stuffed Chicken Marsala.  

The Mister got some kind of Pork Milanese with cheese tortelloni.  I think sometimes Olive Garden doesn't look up the meanings of words before they use them, because tortelloni is supposed to be a giant, beastly version or tortellini.  These suckers were about the size of a silver dollar.  I won't even get started on the ridiculous words they make up for their half-assed, unoriginal recipes.  

Here's the thing - I can't say anything was bad.  Our server was nice and attentive and the food was good, but it all tasted the same.  If I took a bite of mine and a bite of the Mister's, I could hardly tell the difference.  Here's what gets my goat:  the prices.  If you're not ordering from the "Classics" pasta menu, you're looking at the $12 and up range, which is ridiculous for food that's been sitting around all day, soaking in a vat of hot water to stay warm.  This isn't exactly culinary expertise.  It's the same shit Fazoli's is selling, plated up nicely and served with sub-par breadsticks and salad swimming in rancid dressing.  Both of our entrĂ©es were damn near $15 each.  I know we weren't paying for it, but it's the principle.  And everyone around us was sitting around with their pinkies in the air like this was their big fancy Saturday night dinner.  Have you people ever eaten anywhere else?  Do you know that this exact same meal can be made for a family of four for less than $10?  People who really like Italian food don't like Olive Garden, and vice versa.  

I'm so annoyed by all of this that I really don't even want to rate them.  Good thing for you guys, I got lucky last night and I'm feeling pretty generous, so I'm going to give them 2 out of 5 sporks.  


Duante said...

OMG. OMG. Thank you so much for your diatribe against OG. The same things I yell at the top of my lungs whenever it's mentioned. I've been there dozens of times, always tried something different, and never liked anything but the breadsticks. Between that, finding better joints, and learning to make my own Italian, I added it to my blacklist some years back. Now sometimes when I make Italian for ignorant friends they delightedly exclaim "This is like Olive Garden!" At which point I snatch their plates, give basically the rant you just did, and inform them that if they say it again they won't get any more food. That chain defines lowest common denominator. At least Fazoli's doesn't pretend to be more than just what they are--and their food tastes better!

Anonymous said...

"People who really like Italian food don't like Olive Garden, and vice versa." Truer words were never spoken! We lived in Italy for three years my mother compained we she'd visit that the restaurants we took her to "didn't know how to fix Italian food because Olive Garden was so much better." Mamma Mia!!!

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