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As did taking your wife to a "Spaghetti Factory" on your honeymoon, I'd imagine.

Her idea. We were young and penniless. Like I need to justify to you.

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Ahhh Olive Garden... all the subtle culinary nuance of your grocery store's freezer section combined with the authentic Italian ambiance of Orlando, Florida!

 

Years ago, someone sent me a "copycat" recipe for Olive Garden's breadsticks. Take rock-hard frozen bread dough, melt it, fashion it into a phallic shape, spray the top with butter-flavored Pam and garlic salt, bake. Seriously. That's an Olive Garden breadstick. :yucky

 

I'm a culinary snob, and the existence of the entire Darden Restaurants family (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Bahama Breeze, Smokey Bones) makes me want to do horrible things with my 12" chef knife.

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Smokey Bones sucks. I heard they closed a bunch of those. All of the ones in Memphis(yes they put chain BBQ restaurants in Memphis) closed.

 

I'm amazed Smokey Bones even dared to try in Memphis. How long did that last? An hour?

 

There's still one in Fairview Heights, IL ... a half-mile up the road from the restaurant Bon Apetit magazine recently chose as the second-best ribs in the country. Rendezvous was first, of course.

 

And yet people still go to Smokey Bones!!! When I drive by I want to hang my head out the window and yell, "Dude! Second-best ribs in the country are over there!"

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If I'm not mistaken, the Olive Garden was mentioned by a batchelorette as a good Italian restaurant on that goofy show "The Batchelor". He looked at her like she was nuts and that was the deal-breaker.

 

I went to one once and I was definitely "meh". There is one maybe a mile from my house -- but there is also Via Venato that blows the doors off of it. More $$ for sure, but like 10x better. That's just one of maybe 10 in my neighborhood.

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:no Try Via Carducci sometime and you'll never walk into an Olive Garden again. (That's just the one really good Italian place I know in Chicago ... there are probably better ones.)

 

You can make better breadsticks at home. ;)

This place is very good also. Not real expensive and close to Michigan Ave. (In case you get hungry from shopping. :eat ) The gnocchi was killer!

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when I am surrounded by all kinds of Italian eateries, why would I go to Olive Garden. WHY?

 

I never understood why anybody in New Jersey would ever go to the Olive Garden or the macoroni grill, or get a bagel at Dunkin' Donuts. I live in a town with 2 traffic lights and we have 3 Pizza/Italian places and 2 bagel shops and there are probaly 30 Italian joints withon a 10 mile radius. Stop the insanity people!

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I went to an olive garden once in my life, and asked for the never ending pasta thing. The waiter chuckled and said "Sir, we haven't had that promotion for months." Like I pay attention to when you have your stupid never ending pasta specials. No thanks!

 

(For good Italian dining in Los Angeles, try C&O Trattoria in Marina del Rey. Their Garlic Rolls are soooooooooo good)

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I've been asked to eat at Olive Garden and declined many times. I don't have to actually go there to know it's going to be a mediocre dining experience...the advertising gives it away. I have been known to eat at places like Applebee's and Chile's because they have easy access to teh booooze. Last time I did Applebee's, my Greek salad and rum & coke refused to stay in my tummy for the 45 min. drive home. It was a miserable experience so I'll probably avoid that place in the future. :dead

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I haven't been in a long time. We have a lot of good restaurants here. It has something to do with being in the same town as the Culinary Institute of America, I think, and all the rich city people who love yummy things.

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what I got was two slices of white bread with congealed cheddar cheese in the middle. .

 

That's beyond eww.

 

I have found German food is the most veggie unfriendly. Steakhouses are pretty OK since they usually have great vegetable sides and I ask them to toss a few choice ones on a plate. Yum creamed spinach!

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Oh, dear, never go to Cracker Barrel if you're vegetarian. The first and last time I ate there, a few years ago, the only thing I found to order was a grilled cheese. Well, really it was more like the bacon grilled cheese sans the bacon... what I got was two slices of white bread with congealed cheddar cheese in the middle. .

 

pro_piccrackerbarrel.gif

Hmm...any cheese that comes in a box seems suspect.

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