Thursday, April 26, 2012

Olive Garden - Never Again

After all the commercials, all the hype, and all the referals I get from some of my friends, I finally tried Olive Garden....for the last time.  I think the last time I was this disappointed was when I had the Baked Seven Cheese Ravioli from Boston Pizza, Coquitlam.  Anyway, we were down in Washington, probably for the first time in years for me, and I wanted to try something other than Jack-In-The-Box.  Haha, we pulled into the parking lot, and there was nothing except BC plates!

We were starving, and easily susceptible to the shiny pictures in the menu.  There were only two of us, so God knows why we ordered this platter.

I almost ordered this as well, thankfully I had a pang of conscious intelligence that kept me from doing so.


One of the things I really like about American restaurants is they have unsweetened iced tea. They call the sugary stuff Nestea, which is really an abomination of the original beverage.

I guess one of Olive Garden's charm is the comp salad and bread.  The salad was nothing to write home about.  In fact, it really left me nothing to write to you about either.  Cheap greens cut unevenly, minamally dressed, and those red onions (I could have probably done without eating those) all tossed together in a cheap plastic bowl.

The bread was at least warm, but nothing particularly spectacular about them....reminded me of cheese bread, without the cheese.

Did I mention the greens (well, in this case, the whites) were unevenly cut?  I don't often find chunks like this, not even at Uncle Willy's.

So, the platter of previously frozen appies came and it was of such a substandard, it probably wouldn't have passed for food even in a university dive-bar. 


The fried cheese tasted like the standard-issue mozzerlla sticks found in Costco, or Denny's.  Not bad eaten, if you're pouring gallons of beer down your neck during a beer-bong challenge.


The stuffed mushrooms were heaving.  Overseasoned to the point where I could feel my blood pressure rise with every bite.  There was kalamari on this sampler platter as well, but I'm not even going to bother talking about it.  Bottom line, don't order the platter.

The spaghetti and deep fried eggplant didn't taste good, just weird.  The seasoning in the tomato sauce just didn't match the deep friend egg plant, and the noodles...not al dente, not seasoned, and felt like they were straight out of the boiling water....not even a drizzle of olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking together!  It was college cafeteria noodles all over again.

Mine tasted good only the first few bites, but then I realized how salty this dish was.  I like my ramen salty, but this was unreal.  There was probably twice the recommended dosage of salt in my dish, and I managed to finish it with several refills of iced tea.

There was a bonus linguini noodle that came with the spaghetti.


Classy.....instead of the chocolate, I would have preferred a mint, or a gallon of water.


My first, and last time to Olive Garden.  What a horrendous pasta experience, and with dishes like the ones we had, I really have no idea how this chain stays in business.  Thank heavens for places like Italian Kitchen, Italian Tomato, and Anton's.

Olive Garden on Urbanspoon

Moxie's on Davie

I don't know if it was me, or if it was just daytime.  I hadn't been to a Moxie's in a while, and I think I've only gone at night, but the presentation on the food just didn't look as nice as I remembered.  Who knows, maybe it might have just been this location, I'll have to give them another try sometime to make sure.

I ordered the Sirloin Steak Salad, something I knew tasted good before.  It seemed different in many ways.  First, there was a lot more food on the plate than I remembered, which is a good thing when the food tastes good.  And it did, but there was something else different about it and I still can't quite place it.  It just didn't look as appetizing as I remembered.  Maybe it was the choice of greens, or maybe it was just the lighting.  The sirloin steak was cooked just the way I like it - bloody rare, it came with the goat cheese, and the same dressing as I corn bread.  I could swear it used to come with cornbread that tasted like banana bread.  Anyway, it still tasted good, and there was a lot of food, so I wasn't disappointed at all.

Here's another shot of my steak salad.  It came with refular bread with goat cheese on top, so it was different than before, but not in a bad way.

My colleagues didn't complain about their food, nor did they offer me any so I could write about it, haha, but one thing that did catch everyon's eye.  Someone found a grape in their soup.  I have no idea if this was supposed to be there or not, but it was kind of weird to find that in one's soup, haha!

Moxie's Classic Grill (Davie Village) on Urbanspoon

The Gillnetter Pub

After spending a few hours at DVC Ventures , some of the guys and gals like to go to the Gillnetter Pub to unwinde a bit.  Haha, for me, being at the range feels like unwinding, but what the heck, I tag along after to for some unecessary calories.

They've got my favourite Scotch - Chivas, which is always a plus for me.

I heard some of the other food here is actually quite good, but I'm not usually hungry so I end up splitting a monster platter of nachos with everyone else. 

It's hard to tell in the pictures, but they really, really layer in the cheese, and just about every chip inside the pile has cheese melted to it.  There have been some days where we'd swear there was more cheese than chips.  I'll have to make an effort to try something else next time I go to DVC.

The Gillnetter Pub on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Boston Pizza Grandview Highway

I've never had a good experience with Boston Pizza before, and I don't know if it was because I wasn't expecting much or because I ordered the right thing, but I actually had a good experience at the Boston Pizza on Grandview Highway.

A couple of my old co-workers got together and went to Boston Pizza to grab a bite to eat.  I hadn't seen them in a while, so it was nice to get together with them finally. 

We started off with a couple of appies that turned out pretty tasty, including some potato skins and some sort of Thai Chicken.  Actually not too bad, and would have been awesome with a couple of cold ones, but I was driving.

I knew that my Baked 7 Cheese Ravioli was an epic fail during the last time I was at Boston Pizza, so I steered clear of any pasta they wanted for $16.  Anyway, they had some sort of special that was floating around $10, so I ordered the Taco Pasta. 
I know what you're thinking, is this the same Peter that so vehemently ripped apart the Boston Pizza (Coquitlam) in a scathing review?  Yep, I tore a strip out of them, but I guess in this case, the price matched the taste and quality so there was nothing to be bitter about.  The pasta was actually cooked al dente, the green onions were freshly cut, the garlic toast wasn't bone-dry, and the strange combination of Tex-Mexican and Italian actually worked. 

There were some other dishes ordered, and the concensus was good all around, but in combination to some appies and my own dish, I was pretty content.  The service here was good, and the staff were friendly and attentive.  Would I go back?  Probably, if I was in the area.

Boston Pizza (Grandview Hwy) on Urbanspoon

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