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Jan 15, 2008 08:19 AM

MSP - need to be rid of Olive Garden memory

My wife and I went to Olive Garden last night (her idea not mine) and I ordered the spaghetti and meatballs figuring they couldn't screw that up too badly... I was wrong! The pasta was gummy and overcooked and the sauce was just blah. Guess I should have expected that. Anyway, I'd like to rid myself of that memory by consuming some dynamite spaghetti and meatballs. I'm pretty much willing to drive anywhere in the twin cities metro area to rid myself of that awful taste. Where can I go to restore a fond memory of one of my fav comfort foods?!?!? Thanks in advance!

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  1. My favorite is Dulono's, but that's just me. I doubt many would agree, but it is 1000 times better than Olive Garden. The sauce is sweet, the meatballs are big, the pasta is a little mushy, but they deliver!!!

    1. Broders should be able to take care of this little problem, don't you think?

      Broders' Southside Pasta Bar
      5000 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

      2 Replies
      1. re: KTFoley

        My vote's al Vento-5001 34th Av. S.

        1. re: KTFoley

          I second Broders'. Otherwise, Buon Giorno Market has amazing meatballs and noodles that you can pick-up and make at home.

          I'm so sorry about the Olive Garden. Maybe if you had gone there with the people on the commercial, you would have had a better experience? They look so happy...???

        2. The thing about the Twin Cities is that very few Italians moved to the region, so the main category of food we lack is Italian. Good luck finding anything. Broders is pretty good but I think it`s overhyped. Much much better than OG though.

          3 Replies
          1. re: tasmonia

            I can tell you a lot of Italians did move to Union City NJ & King of Prussia Pennsylvania, and the options aren't any better there. They certainly don't have anything as good as Broders. If immigration had anything to do with it, we'd have a lot more Nord and Sved places around here. Granted we have Ikea now, but...yeah.

            1. re: tasmonia

              Actually, a few Italians came to St. Paul as the first settlers of what was called the "Upper Levee"'s a floodplain west of downtown on the river banks which became known as "Little Italy" (emphasis on little)...

              They eventually moved up on to W 7th (Mancini's, Cossetta's) and the area North and East of the Capitol (Buon Giorno was there before moving to Lilydale, Yarusso's on Payne Ave


              I'd recommend Yarusso's for real homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs...and it's even better in the summer when you can drink Peronis and play Bocce on the patio.

              1. re: masterA

                I suspect the Dari-ette was closed for the season in January 2008, when the OP wrote his or her post. The opening of the Dari-ette is always one of my favorite signs that spring has arrived. Their "Italian" sandwiches are crave-worthy. With a side of spaghetti, of course.


            2. Broder's is nice and light portions w.fancy flavors. If you want down-home family style italian truely huge homemade meatballs.. nothing better than Yarusso Bros on 7th & Payne in St Paul. Order the dinner for 2 and you'll be eating it for several days afterwards... or share it with 4 folks and you'll be happy you saved room for dessert. Honestly the most economical $18 (total price combined for 2 people you get a huge salad, cheesebread, and the hugest plate of pasta - think buca size but better) you'll ever enjoy :)

              1 Reply
              1. re: reannd

                I have gone to Yarusso's twice and was not impressed either time. Once it was on a really bad date-but the food was still kind of blah.

              2. Another Broders rec. I'd stay away from pasta a Buca and Cosettas for the same overcooked texture. Not much a St. Paul eater, but the eastsiders always seem to have some good Italian spots to name.