Friday, August 29, 2008
After seeing the commercials for Olive Garden for years on television we decided to try the place since it was right across the street from our hotel. We were quickly seated and greeted by a waiter that was excellent. Probably one of the best waiters we have had on a road trip or anywhere else. The Olive Garden menu is filled with soups, salads, pastas, chicken, beef and fish dishes. There is alot to choose from. My selection was made easy because the menu includes several dishes that are marked "Garden Fare". This indicates that the dish is low fat. All of the meals come with all you can eat salad and bread. The salad was actually really good. Fresh lettuce, roma tomatos, onion and olives topped lightly with Italian dressing. We shared a Caprise Flatbread appetizer ($6.35). Tomatos, garlic, basil and mozzarella cheese on flatbread crust. This dish looked like crap on the table but tasted fantastic. They put way too much cheese over the dish and then didn't melt it all the way. This turned out to be o.k. because it allowed me to pull off all of the cheese making the dish less fat. I ordered a dish from the Garden Fare menu. It was Shrimp Primavera ($14.25). Shrimp, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms in a bold arrabbiata sauce over Penne Pasta. This dish was also presented poorly and covered with too much sauce. The flavor however was good. The shrimp were small and most tasteless but the onions, peppers, mushrooms and sauce were good. I could only eat about 1/3 of the plate. The serving is big enough for two. My wife tried the Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto ($14.95). Large sauteed shrimp served over creamy parmesan risotto with asparagus. This dish was a soupy mess. Way to much liquid on the plate and not too good. My daughter ordered Chicken and Broccoli served over Angel Hair Pasta. They forgot to put the chicken in the dish. Dinner at the Olive Garden was not great but I would try it again.