The Olive Garden

Dan here today.  As I mentioned on Tuesday, I am not opposed to eating at chain restaurants from time to time.  Particularly when I travel and don’t know the area well, it can be nice to have something that’s a known quantity.  While I’ll eat at a TGIFriday’s or an Applebee’s if one happens to be convenient, I won’t seek these restaurants out.  That honor is reserved for one particular chain which holds a special place in my heart.  I speak, of course, of the Olive Garden.

I get the sense that a lot of people like to hate on the Olive Garden, to which I say, “playas gotta play, and hatas gotta hate.”  I’ll admit that it’s not exactly fine dining, but there are UNLIMITED breadsticks!  And salad!  And the breadsticks are warm pillows of salty doughy deliciousness, with maybe just a touch of parmesan.  And I don’t know what they put in the salad dressing, but if I ever find out, I may have to keep a jug in the house just so I can pour it on everything, although it’s possible I would draw the line at pancakes.  Whenever I go there, it’s always a struggle not to fill up just on the breadsticks and salad.

As for the entrees, it’s hard to go wrong with pasta.  If you throw enough butter, cheese, and salt in there, it’s going to taste good.  Admittedly, the fat content goes way up when you do that, but fortunately, that’s not something I’ve ever had to worry about.

So there it is, my ode to the Olive Garden.  Given the crowds that I’ve seen every single time I’ve been to one, they must be doing something right.  After all, when you’re there, you’re family.