Posted by: optionshiftk | May 20, 2008

Olive Garden( the definitive review)

In the last decade or so, a trend of chain gourmet restaurants has emerged. The one I would like to focus on in particular is the Olive Garden. There are hundreds of olive garden restaurants around the U.S and each serve nearly the same array of food. In my adventure to the restaurant, I found out many things.

Before I begin my review, a fact must be known. I am not a fan of Italian food at all. Essentially, all italian dishes are composed of 3 main ingredients; a type of pasta,sauce , and garlic. This pattern gets boring after a few times.

Apparel should consist of a collard shirt and some type of nice pants(smart casual). No need to buy extravagant clothing for the Olive Garden.

I have been to the olive garden about 3 times, so I will provide a general review of the restaurant from my numerous experiences. My dish of choice was the steak toscano.($19.95) The meat was far from tender, but had a decent flavor. It was presented quite well with carefully placed parsley and picture-perfect vegetables as a side. Now, I took a quick bite at the vegetables. They were satisfactory, but nothing special.

As for the ambience, the restaurant was appropriately decorated with shrubbery . Various indoor plants draped over the artificial stone walls. The lighting created a peaceful vibe of a dimly lit italian home. Waiters and waitresses dressed in indistinct shirts reading”olive garden” superimposed on top of an image of grapes( the company logo) zipped through the maze of seating . There was pleasant murmur of 40’s and 50’s big band music playing in the background. Thankfully, no smoking was permitted in the facility due to NJ law.

Far from a dessert junkie, I decided to skip this course. From what I have heard from other patrons of the olive garden, the dessert choices varied from tiramisu to black tie mousse cake. Once again, the dessert was elegantly displayed.

With all things considered, I would not recommend dining at the olive garden. The food is mediocre, but acceptable. A more authentic non-corporate restaurant would be more suitable for a pleasurable dinning experience




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