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Olive Garden: serving fake Italian food across North America for decades

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by JR, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. JR

    JR Active Member

    Hi Dooley ;D

    Apparently, pesto is too green and capers are weird.

    "At Olive Garden, pasta is served soft, not al dente or slightly firm, the traditional Italian method"

    Even the restaurant agrees "We don't use the word authentic," to describe the Olive Garden experience, Mr. Caron says. The chain prefers "Italian inspired."

    Here's the article--worth reading-- from the WSJ which talks about the difficulties "casual dining restaurants" have between offering new choices to more adventurous diners versus alienating the base who think gnocchi are weird or foreign .

    http://online.wSportsJournalists.com/article/SB10001424052970204466004577102464033301888.html

    My son is a line cook at Montana's (sorta like Applebee's, I guess) and he says the suits are always fucking around with the menus, but a lot of them don't have a clue about food.
     
  2. I hate when they screw with the menu.
    I used to really enjoy Applebees.. Until they started screwing with menu oh so many years ago.

    Olive Garden introduced Shrimp and Chicken Limone a few years ago and it was heavenly. And then it was gone. Haven't seen it since.
     
  3. Chef2

    Chef2 Well-Known Member

    Calling Olive Garden "Italian Food" is like calling Taco Bell "Mexican Food".
     
  4. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    I hear you Chef. It's why I enjoy eating mall Chinese food.
     
  5. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    The only thing I've found edible at Olive Garden is the pasta fagoli soup. My wife and her friends keep dragging me there.
     
  6. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    I don't understand why The Olive Garden is such a controversial restaurant.

    It seems like they provide good value and they certainly
    attract crowds much like Red Lobster.
     
  7. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    The greatest joy of living in a big city is not having to eat at chain restaurants.
     
  8. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Agreed, YF. It's why I have a hard time in Florida.
     
  9. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    My favorite Olive Garden story is told by my best friend, and sadly takes place in Toronto, a great restaurant city.

    My buddy is there for a medical conference and asks the concierge to recommend a restaurant.

    The concierge tells them about a great new Italian place that has opened, tells them how to get there and then concludes -- "and the name is the Olive Garden."

    To be fair, I believe it was new to Toronto/Canada at the time.

    And, while admittedly politically incorrect, it's even funnier when my friend tells the story. He's Pakistani, as was the concierge. And, while he has no accent, he can mimic a Pakistani accent perfectly. So, he tells the story in the voice of the concierge, complete with the excited inflections as he builds up to the reveal of the restaurant name.
     
  10. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

     
  11. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Lived in St. Pete for about two years. Just finding a decent diner was a struggle.

    So many chain restaurants. And Orlando is soul sucking.

    Do not miss it.

    And, one more hotel recommendation. On a spring training trip one year while I was still at the airline, the young girl at the front desk of the hotel we were staying at -- I think it was in Orlando -- seriously suggested the new dollar menu at McDonald's as a dining option.

    We sought further opinions.
     
  12. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    I much prefer the Open Table app on my phone over hotel recommendations.
     
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