THE OLIVE GARDEN: WHY TRAVEL 5,000 MILES AROUND THE WORLD WHEN YOU CAN JUST UBER TO TUNNEL RD. FOR AN AUTHENTIC ITALIAN EXPERIENCE?
This Olive Garden has been in business for 23 years. The last time I was here was in high school.
Of the numerous competitive traits Olive Garden employs, the name of their game is convenience.
Hayley actually drove us here but an Uber ride from Italy is only $17,029, though I would recommend waiting for surge pricing to drop.
They had me at “Everything but the kitchen sink!”
The centerpiece of the interior design was this skylight for easy access to the heavens if you drop dead.
Brutus greets you as you enter and exit the bathroom.
We scored seats at the bar. Our server was Stacey and a total sweetheart. She’s been with the company for 16 years, owns Olive Garden stock, and has a 401(k). Not bad for the times.
Wine goggles are paired with every meal.
Behold! We discovered the single greatest advancement in technology, sure to beat any Turing test, the eternal envy of sloth: the Ziosk, a convenient electronic kiosk for convenient ordering of drinks, food, and entertainment, conveniently located on every table.
Our Ziosk at the bar, however, was not functioning properly. We could play unlimited games on it for $1.99 but not order food. We were given another one for our inconvenience. Other idiosyncrasies included the ability to order appetizers and desserts but not entrees. For alcoholic beverages we had to order with Stacey first, then were given the option to reorder on the Ziosk. Here is Hayley drafting a letter of complaint to be emailed later.
Endless in every way.
I placed my napkin on the lap of my sweatpants.
This wine was not too bad.
I ordered a Jameson on the rocks—first with Stacey—then later with Stacey again because I forgot to use the Ziosk.
Another OG convenience was the “Buy One, Take One” offer. You start with unlimited soup or salad and breadsticks, then you enjoy a meal at the restaurant, then you get another meal to take home. Premium entrees are available for an additional price.
We ordered the Sampler Italiano and selected the fried mozzarella, crispy risotto bites, and fried beef ravioli.
I wanted to order six plates to see if Stacey would bring us all six but was vetoed at the last second.
No, Ziosk. Thank you.
The real secret to Olive Garden is the endless showers of grated cheese.
I wanted to play Vajazzle 1.
Golden brown Sampler Italiano.
Just like in Tuscany.
We split the meat lasagna and I ordered extra cheese showers.
In all seriousness this is perfect drunk food.
My best Chef Boyardee impression.
The tiramisu was creamy and subtly sweet.
Stacey told us some people didn’t like the Ziosk, that it marred the one-on-one interaction with the server. I say who doesn’t want yet another way for credit card skimmers to steal your identity?
Tip your servers 20% at minimum.
As a child the Ziosk would’ve been a marvel to me.
How’s the new season of Broad City? I need to watch it.
A lighted path graced our exit…
…along with this sign which I think translates to “Suckers!”
PS. For further reading check out this location’s Google reviews. They include comments from a six-foot giant that doesn’t like to bend over when eating, a hypoglycemic who ended up at Applebee’s, and someone who demanded reservations be implemented for their future visits.