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Dec 16, 2009 07:56 AM

Suggestions on Surviving the Olive Garden? (moved from Manhattan Board)

Hi fellow chowhounders,

I'm quite thankful for my job and thankful that my company will actually be taking its employees out for a holiday lunch this year. However, the restaurant that has been chosen is the above (the Olive Garden in midtown).

I have never been to one of these places before and personally have been revulsed by their steamy gooey portrayals of apparent food in their TV commercials.

I really can't skip out on this. Does anyone have any advice on how I could order and still get a decent meal?


Glendale is hungry...

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  1. ouch.

    your company could spend the same amount and get a decent meal.

    i have never been to an olive garden, so sorry i can't suggest anything.

    2 Replies
    1. re: travpard

      Hey I would be thrilled with the Olive Garden considering we get a sandwich ring and a shrimp ring.

      I would go for soup and salad. It is a safe bet.

      1. re: punkgirl107

        Their salad is really horrible...iceberg lettuce and maybe if you are lucky, you'll get a piece of grape tomato. God, I mean, how can you mess up a salad but when I went in November (had to go for a co-worker--it was her choice) that's what it was. But that's what I had, soup (pasta fagioli) and a few bites of salad.

    2. Chicken Parm entree is respectable. The pasta dishes are very heavy on sauce. Soups are OK. Salads good. You really cant go wrong with Soup and a salad. Breadsticks are awesome.

      1. I agree. The unlimited soup/salad/breadsticks won't blow you away, but it's a safe bet. And it's unlimited so you can eat until you are full. It's honestly the only thing I ever eat there (even for dinner) if Im visiting the burbs and my companions refuse to go somewhere else:-)

        1. I agree with the other posts. Soup/salad/breadsticks are the way to go. If you're looking for an entree, stick with traditional spaghetti joint picks (chicken parm or their "capellini pomodoro") and you'll be okay, as long as you don't expect too much.

          1. chicken parm is my recommendation, too. it'll come with a pasta side. just go with the simplest red sauce. and round out with salad.

            sympathies, appycamper