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Chain Italian-American Style Cuisine Restaurant

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Far from authentic but their salads draw me in.

  • Dec 16, 2008
  • by
I'll just admit it. Before I went to Italy for the first time, I thought Olive Garden was authentic Italian food. Then I went to Florence and Pisa for a few days back in high school, and yeah... I was slightly surprised.

It turns out, Olive Garden is far, far, far from authentic. They've got the basic forms down, like ravioli, spaghetti, fettuccine, etc, but what goes in, on top, and around them is what differs. Let's just say in Italy, there's no such thing as marinara sauce (or at least I've yet to see it in the few times I've returned since that original trip).

Still, I go to Olive Garden far more than I eat at other chain restaurants. It's for one reason: their salad. Something about their mix, plus the dressing, is divine. And the fact that it's unlimited with any order (plus breadsticks) makes it even more worth the trip.

Their food is reasonably priced, and if you really try, it's possible to make one meal into two if you fill up with salad and breadsticks at the actual restaurant and take the rest of your food home. Plus, doing that divides one stuffed chicken Marsala dish (1300 calories) into two normal meals. Now that is a good idea- good for the walet, and good for your health!

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February 01, 2009
I'm a sucker for chicken alfredo--and I love that salad too. I usually buy a bottle or two of the dressing to take home with me.
December 16, 2008
Seriously I always bring all the food home.
More Olive Garden reviews
Quick Tip by . November 24, 2009
I like the italian food and olive garden is the closest restaurant to enjoy a delicious rainbow pasta
review by . December 15, 2008
Olive Garden
I've always been a fan of Olive Garden. Not only do I love Italian cuisine, I like the atmosphere in this restaurant. It is always nice and warm, and the staff has always been approachable and friendly during my visits.    I'd have to say that my favorite dish served at the Olive Garden would be their Steak Gorgonzola-Alfredo: Grilled beef medallions drizzled with balsamic glaze, served over fettuccine tossed with spinach and gorgonzola-alfredo sauce. Yum!    I …
About the reviewer
Ali ()
Ranked #107
Member Since: Dec 8, 2008
Last Login: Jun 8, 2012 04:51 AM UTC
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About this restaurant


Olive Garden is a casual, Italian-style chain of restaurants owned and operated by Darden Restaurants, the same company that owns Red Lobster. The first Olive Garden was opened in 1982 in Orlando, Florida, and by 2008 there were 657 throughout much of the US and several cities in Canada.

Many critics have challenged the authenticity of Olive Garden's Italian cuisine, citing the absence of cold-cut antipasto dishes and veal from the menu, both signatures of traditional Italian meals. However, many restaurants are nonetheless decorated with a rustic Italian theme.
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Restaurants, Bar, Italian Food, Olive Garden


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