Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Olive Garden

A good weekend it is and Happy Easter to all!

I've decided I will only be posting weekly.  Now that that announcement is over with, today I went to the Olive Garden.

For those of you who may not know, Olive Garden is a chain of restaurants featuring Italian cuisine with obviously an American twist.  If you want authentic Italian food, go to Italy or a small Italian restaurant ran by real Italian immigrants and their offspring. 

With more than 700 Olive Gardens globally, the popularity of the restaurant is without question, but enough of that.

Walking into any Olive Garden, based on the experience of the nine or so Olive Gardens I've been to, you get the sense of familiarity.  The marble flooring and beige walls accompanied by the smell of pasta comforts you.

The staff is generally polite and friendly, although there have been times when it seems like whatever you say goes in one ear and out the other, especially when they ask for your name to put you on the waiting list.  My name is Lee, but sometimes all the hostess hears is Steve or Ali and they enunciate those names when it's time to call.  That's why I usually give them a pseudo name; I like Gordon or Billy Bob.

Besides the occasional shortfalls of the hostess, the dining experience is always a pleasurable one.  You get your choice of drinks including a delectable list of wines.

The menu itself has a wide selection of appetizers, classic pastas, chicken, seafood pastas and of course, the dessert menu.

With any main course they offer a choice of soup or salad.  The salad is always a good choice as the soups tend to change from time to time.

The salad is a mix bowl made of lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, red onions, peppers and croutons with a tasty Italian dressing.

Warm breadsticks, unlimited, are also delivered to your table to compliment your salad and your main course.

The main course, whatever is ordered, always has that freshly made and well seasoned taste.  I won't say it's ever perfectly seasoned, which is probably why they offer to sprinkle a mountain of cheese on top of every order.  But regardless of whether or not you accept the cheese, the food generally tastes good.

The waiter/waitressing staff is usually hit or miss.  Some of them are good at what they do in providing a comfortable, friendly, and well serviced experience.  This means they offer all of your options, check up on you at appropriate times and intervals, and serve your drinks, food and check in a timely manner.

However, there have been some times when the waiter or waitress just doesn't give a rats ass about obtaining repeat business, but fortunately those tend to be pretty rare at the Olive Garden although it can be frustrating when you're paying at least $12.00 a plate.

Overall, if you're craving delicious Italian-American cuisine, The Olive Garden is a good place to start, or return to.  The portions are large and delectable, the place comfortable, a worthwhile place to spend a Saturday evening or date night.

The Olive Garden: Approved.

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