Saturday, October 25, 2008

Olive Garden Is A Hate Crime Against Italian Food

In August our family decided to give Olive Garden another try. The last time I had been in one was sometime around 1994 or so. That experience was so awful I vowed to never step into one again.

We gave it another try, all six of us, while traveling on our vacation this summer. The feedback from the family was almost instantaneous. 6 our of 6 votes against ever going there again.

It began as we walked towards the front door and were treated to the stench of the dumpsters nearby (a smell that lingered within our olfactory glands for a good 30 minutes). It continued with the dry tasteless cardboard breadsticks (sporting freeze dried garlic sprinkled on top), and the crapyness reached its zenith with the arrival of our entrées. Several of us really, and I mean REALLY, thought we were going to throw up after dinner.

If you’ve ever tasted fresh homemade Italian food from a family restaurant outside of Florence, or dined outside in a Roma piazza, or even had a good bowl of pasta arrabiata from Macaroni Grill (or for that matter, a nice styrofoam platter of spaghetti at a public school lunch room), you know that anything Olive Garden serves is just so much tomato saucy goop.

With the vast selections of decent independent and chain Italian restaurants in almost any city and town in the United States, why does anyone still eat at the Olive Garden?

ps. if you are a fan of Olive Garden, PLEASE, seek help. If you tell me what town you're in I'll be happy to send you a few suggestions in your area of where you might test out an alternative or two.