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Old 03-11-2012, 12:29 AM   #21
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I'm with BT and Kayelle. Olive Garden is uniformly indistinctive to me. Generic Italian.

The review says, "The Olive Garden hits some kind of middlebrow sweet spot, where people really do like it...but it's also a goofy chain with overblown pretensions toward authenticity.”

I don't know about "middlebrow sweet spot" (I like to think I'm a bit more browed than that) but "pretentions towards authenticity" rings true to me.

Like BT I'd rather go to a local mom 'n pop Italian joint, a place where maybe they might cook it just like at home... Without pretentions... and without "vases and planters with permanent flower displays on the ledges."

The Olive Garden nearby my home in NW L.A. is bland and indistinctive, and expensive! If I want expensive I'd rather go to Romano's Macaroni Grill (another national chain). Maybe it's the same sort of place and maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Really I'd rather cook my own food than eat in an overpriced restaurant anyway.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
i don't know. if i'm going to eat something "sinfully" diet breaking, it's not gonna be breadsticks.
I agree.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:35 PM   #23
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I'm not fond of Olive Garden, but have to say if I was a working stiff, still, I'd think their soup/salad/breadsticks was a pretty good deal. I don't go out for Italian food much at all, it just seems a cuisine that we do better at home. But I think it's great for the price for a fast lunch.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:32 AM   #24
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Y'all do realize that the reason that all Olive Gardens have the exact same menu and the exact same food is that there are no chefs in the restaurants? All the food is prepared in one central location and shipped to each restaurant in seal-a-meal bags.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:44 AM   #25
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yup, and i got some of the bag with mine.

when you think about it, it's essentially airline food on a larger scale.

not horrible or inedible, but unless i'm a captive audience, i wouldn't go looking for it.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:47 AM   #26
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^^ You two are so right. It's like glamorized TV dinners. hahah

It's not cheaper to eat out, it's certainly not healthier and if the food is only "meh" at best ... than what's the point?

We don't bother wasting either our time or money in chain restaurants any more since we inevitably left feeling dissatisfied; what comes out of our kitchen at home is 100% better than what comes ever comes out of theirs.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:04 AM   #27
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OG is outside of the Boston area. And they have never gotten good reviews here. We have too many excellent Italian restaurants in Boston for OG to try and complete with them. It would be like going to Italy and trying to teach them how to cook pasta.

My daugter and I went to a local Italian restaurant called Ecco. I had deep sea scallops with mushroom risotto. Even the coffee was great.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:31 AM   #28
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We don't have any "mom & pop" Italian Restuarants here to my knowledge in my little corner of SC. Our Olive Garden is less than 3 years old and still very clean with pretty good service. Now, though I do enjoy it - I do realize the comparison to McDonald's & hamburgers does apply to OG for Italian. Like I said we simply don't have those options here. If I had the ability to cook everything I wanted, I wouldn't always have the time. We had our TV services cut off because we went for two months without ever turning on the TV. My husband & I go to our OG because we don't always want to or have time to cook. And when your choices are Olive Garden versus Golden Corral - well I'd rather have airline quality over the two. It is what it is. Whether they Call themselves Italian, Greek, or Mutt, I see it for what it is, then it comes down to I like what it is or I don't. I am under no false (can't think of the word) understanding- to me it simply is what it is.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:07 PM   #29
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false assumptions? false pretenses? false assumptions would be more accurate. false pretenses is more of a legal thing.

i completely understand going to og if that's your best option, or even if friends or coworkers are gathering there.

like i said, it's not horrible, just not as good as many other places that cook things fresh or mainly from scratch.

i'm sure i'll be brow beaten into going again when we go back to that mall. it's the only restaurant within a few minutes drive of that mall and when dw's blood sugar gets low, we eat where the monster inside her says we do...
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:47 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
The review says, "The Olive Garden hits some kind of middlebrow sweet spot, where people really do like it...but it's also a goofy chain with overblown pretensions toward authenticity. .

The review in question by Marilyn in the Grand Forks paper doesn't say that.

I think Olive Garden is horrible, though not as bad as Applebees. Gloppy and oversauced. Not real Italian in the slightest. I dont think appreciating good food and not wanting to eat bad food makes you a snob.

But the review was priceless. At first I thought it was from the Onion or something. It.s unwittingly hilarious.

And I love Marilyn! She's delightful. She was on Pierce Morgan with Jane Lynch last night.
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