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.