HOME > Chowhound > Chains >


New Olive Garden Commercial Just Made Me Nauseous. Literally.

Has anyone else seen this commercial for the "Chicken Crespelles?" My gosh- its a cheese stuffed crepe, which didn't really upset me, but then they top it off with...breaded herbed chicken in a garlic cream sauce. I felt a wave of nausea watching them suggest that this would be a good meal for a child. According to thedailyplate, calories are 1260 for the entree. http://www.thedailyplate.com/nutritio...

Wow. I would love it if a chowhounder reviewed this- I don't think my digestive track could handle that ride.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This strikes me as the Olive Garden's version of the KFC Double Down (the sandwich with fried chicken cutlets instead of bread). Fat on fat is in this season.

    1 Reply
    1. re: phantomgourmand

      It totally is the OG double down! Oh man thinking about it makes me squirmy. Do you think they are actually trying to participate in the fat-on-fat trend a la bacon ice cream OR do you think they have simply run out of ways to butcher normal red sauce italian and so they are forced to get "creative"?


    2. don't forget the option to have it topped with sausage instead!

      i just saw this one a few minutes ago. it's no secret that i'm usually one of the first to be up in arms about edible abominations like that, but i think all Olive Garden commercials are gag-worthy so it didn't really strike me as any more offensive than their standard fare. over half the entrees on their dinner menu will set you back more than 1000 calories.

      2 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        I agree, every OG commercial in recent memory has made me think "if THAT'S what the food looks like at it's best, imagine what it would look like if you actually went to OG and ordered it". URK.

        Not a fan, to put it mildly.

        1. re: coney with everything

          All of that said, I have a warm spot in my heart for the "Tour of Italy," which includes enough Lasagna, Fettucine Alfredo, and other assorted goodies to make Mario Perillo (aka Mr. Italy) blush. I like it for the same reason I like neon yellow fried rice from food court Chinese restaurants. So bad it's good.

      2. If I'm consuming that many calories, it better be amazing. Definitely NOT something from Olive Garden.

        1. Don't forget the breadsticks, which can be found in the dictionary next to the definition of "empty calories." They aren't even good breadsticks. More like doughsticks.

          1. I'll be darned. I've never heard of a 'crespelle', I thought it was an O/G word, but sure enough, there are lots of heart-stopping recipes online.

            Why crespelle, though, why not manicotti?

            11 Replies
            1. re: anonymouse1935

              I thought that "fonduta" was an OG manufactured concept but it also existed pre-corporate exploitation.

              1. re: coney with everything

                I had no idea either!

                Check these out-

                Chef Mario Batali's crespelle recipe (sans breaded chicken or sausage topping) : http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ma...

                Chef Scott Conant's fonduta recipe : http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/mi...

                1. re: coney with everything

                  Almost all of the names OG uses to name their dishes are actually Italian words and exist in Italian cooking. The fact that these OG dishes bear NO resemblance to the Italian dishes they are based on, well...that's another story!

                2. re: anonymouse1935

                  If you're asking why OG is pushing crespelle now instead of manicotti, it's probably b/c crespelle sounds new/fancy. Everyone has heard of manicotti, crespelle is exotic!

                  As for the difference b/t crespelle and manicotti, my understanding is that manicotti are made with sheets of pasta cooked in boiling water then fille, while crespelle are more like crepes cooked from a batter then filled. Don't know how obvious the distinction is in an OG kitchen though...

                  1. re: mpjmph

                    Manicotti is actually an American invention, according to Marcella Hazan (I think it was her), which was where I first encountered the word crespelle. All those years I thought I was making manicotti when I was really making crespelle!

                  2. re: anonymouse1935

                    Crespelle = crepe in Italian. Manicotti are made from pasta dough and crespelle are made from an egg batter. Crespelle most certainly do exist in Italy, In fact, I had an amazing cheese-stuffed crespelle in Verona, Italy, last Decmeber.

                    All that said, I detest Olive Garden! THAT is NOT Italian food!!!

                    1. re: ttoommyy

                      What was the nutritional data for that Verona crespelle? :)

                      1. re: paulj

                        Who knows...and who cares! lol It was absolutely delicious and definitely all walked off by the end of the day. I love traveling in Italy...the food is amazing, I eat and drink all day, I walk all day...and I lose weight!

                        1. re: ttoommyy

                          You said: "Who knows...and who cares!", regarding the nutritional value of the authentic variety of crespelle that you enjoyed in Verona. I think it's a legitimate question to pose re: the nutritional numbers of the real deal, since the OG version received a dressing-down for its' outrageous calorie count/fat count, etc.. It's OK (obviously) to enjoy authentic italian crespelle, and calories be damned as long as you enjoyed it; but the OG's version (and the folks who might enjoy it) should also receive such latitude...

                          1. re: silence9

                            Sorry, I thought paulj was joking! I'm not sure of the nutritional value, but I'm sure it was high in fat. That said, all the ingredients that went into it were probably a heck of a lot fresher and more "organic" than those OG would use, thereby making the Veronese crespelle more digestible and nutritionally better. Well, that' what I like to think. Plus, it tasted 1000x better than ANYTHING I've ever had at OG, so the calories were truly worth it!

                            Side note: I bet my partner had a dish that OG would never out on their menu, pastissada de caval: a long-simmered braise of horse meat. It's a Veronese specialty...and delicious!

                    2. re: anonymouse1935

                      crespelle are pancakes, manicotti are pasta.

                    3. I have to admit there are a few things I really like at the OG, but their commercials are atrocious. The spouse and I had lunch there a few weeks ago and it set us back close to $40 when all was said and done. And at the time they had the commercial with the grandson takng gramps out to a nice meal at OG and telling him to get "whatever he wanted" and he was going to pay (or something to that extent). Just made me laugh.... OG has less and less going for it nowadays......high calorie food, long lines, lack of value, reduced quality of ingredients (they use to make the breadstick in house - now they some in frozen and you can tast the difference....HUGE drop off in taste and texture) but then again all those things seem to be the trend in fast food corporate America nowadays.

                      1. I commented to my husband that OG has to coat everything in cream sauce and cheese. Ugh!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: libgirl2

                          I don't think I'd mind so much if only OG would offer the option of having the cream sauce and cheese on the side. Maybe in a collins glass with a straw.

                        2. the above refernced "daily plate" lists the nutritional information as follows

                          Nutrition Facts
                          Serving Size: 1 Entree
                          Amount per Serving
                          Calories 1260 Calories from Fat 783
                          % Daily Value *
                          Total Fat 87g 134%
                          Saturated Fat 40g 200%
                          Sodium 1990mg 83%
                          Total Carbohydrate 56g 19%
                          Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
                          Protein 0%
                          Est. Percent of Calories from:
                          Fat 62.1% Carbs 17.8%
                          Protein 0.0%

                          pretty atrocious no matter how you slice it or top it.
                          but realy..... no protein?? how is that possible. i know cheese is fatty, but doesn't it contain some protein? And doesn't the chicken have some? what is it i'm missing here? is there some magical way they count grams that is beyond my comprehension?

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                            it's a misprint.
                            783 calories from fat plus 224 calories from carbs (56g x 4) = 1007. that leaves 253 unaccounted calories, so you can assume the dish contains about 63 g of protein (253/4 = 63.25).

                            or you could just look at the percentages: 62.1% calories from fat plus 17.8% calories from carbs does NOT = 100%, it equals 79.9%. so the remaining 20.1% of the dish's calories come from protein...and 20.1% of 1260 = 253...how about that?! ;)

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              Actually, that nutritional profile/breakdown isn't so bad.

                              My daily caloric intake is about 3500+, so 1200 calories for a single meal isn't that big of a deal. The high fat content is a bit troubling, but if I sub out that ribeye with chicken breast at dinner, then I'm good to go ...

                              And, really, think about the comparison to a typical McDonald's order -- Big Mac, large fries and a soda. If you add that up, it's actually very similar in caloric profile to the Olive Garden dish: Big Mac (540 Cal), large fries (500), large soda (300).

                              Plus, I think everyone should calm down about the OG dish, because it's not like people are eating this on a regular basis -- maybe once a week? That's so bad in the grand scope of things.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                geez, woman. you must have the metabolism of a jackrabbit! i run 35-40 miles a week, do resistance training, yoga, and other cardio, and my calorie intake is still nowhere near 3500. and i can't *imagine* consuming 1200 in one sitting - anything over 400 or so at once just makes me feel sick.

                                but i think the bigger issue with dishes like the one in question is that the majority of Americans who eat things like that don't approach it as sensibly as you would - they don't think to adjust their intake accordingly to accommodate the excess. they also likely eat the salad and bread sticks (and perhaps even order an app or dessert) in addition to the entree...so the total damage will likely be much higher than 1200.

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  That's a good point, ghg. That salad with the "Italian dressing" and those cheesy breadsticks are pretty more of a dietary bomb than the entrees.

                                  (As an aside, my typical breakfast is easily about 1100 calories. 2 bananas, apple, orange, 2 cups of yogurt, chicken breast with whole wheat bread (or pancakes with canadian bacon), handful of nuts or granola, coffee)

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    ok, woman, you are officially my hero. i can't even get that much food down by dinnertime!

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      Then you don't even want to know what I've eaten up to this point today ...

                            2. re: KaimukiMan

                              On Olive Garden's own nutrition page, there isn't a column for protein. That is probably why the 'dailyplate' listing gives 0g. It's a lack of data, not a lack of protein.

                            3. Ew. I havent seen it yet but just the thought hurts my stomach.

                              It made me think of something my dad said to me last week. "When did bacon become the 'new' lettuce for sandwiches? I cant get veggies on things anymore!" Maybe fried chicken will become the new bread? Ew.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jenwee

                                uh... fried chicken is the new bread. Thank you KFC.

                              2. In the commercial.. it appeared the target eater was the families teenage sons.
                                Basically.."this will fill up their gullets".
                                The dish (didn't look very appetizing.).kinda reminded me of that SNL skit where they parodied a tex mex joint..and all the food was encased in another food..one after another.
                                The sons are thinking...I'll go anywhere as long as mom and dad will pay for my meal. I don't think they would prefer OG over any other place. Most likely mom wanted to go there.
                                Also reminds me of that slightly humorous/weird Golden Corral commercial..where the dad says "we're hungry..it's got to be all you can eat." with a ravenous look in his eye. Settle down pop..you'll get your food. How much is your daughter really gonna eat ?

                                1. Expect to see this soon in Men's Health Magazine in their EAT THIS/NOT THAT column. I leave it to you to pick which category it will be in.

                                  Calling Dr Oz.... Calling Dr Roizen... Calling Dr. Howard. Dr. Fine Dr. Howard....

                                  1. I would NOT suggest this dish for a child by any means. My husband's Aunt ordered this but after an appetizer, bread sticks, and salad, she could only take a few bites. She took the rest of it home. She said it would probably take her 4-6 sittings to eat the entire thing. They looked marvelous and tasted great!