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Sep 23, 2012 04:57 PM

Help, being forced to go to Olive Garden.

O.K., here is the story. My wife and I are meeting some good friends from out of town for dinner. We asked them where they would like to go. Out of the hundreds of nice places within a twenty minute driving distance they decided on Olive Garden. I am not knocking the place. The first and last time I ate there, I was twenty something and did not know anything about the place. I did not enjoy any of the food. I am the type of person that says, " I would rather spend an extra five to fifteen dollars on something that I enjoy." So, if going to Olive Garden, What is the best thing on the menu? Please don't say salad.

Thank You


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  1. i do not eat at olive garden, but if forced, i would eat at home first and then eat the salad.

    1. I'm sorry. I have been in this position myself. There really is no good answer. The soup was awful, very over salted, but the salad was not as bad. For a main, I would go as simple as possible; spaghetti with red sauce. If it is inedible, at least you haven't paid a lot.

      1. It's a place I haven't been for many years, and wouldn't be my choice, but my feeling is that friendships are more important than the choice of restaurant. I'm sure there is something on the menu worth eating a little bit of for the sake of good company with old friends. Do they serve wine? That will help get through it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GH1618

          LOL my former boss went to OG, looked at the wine list and said, "Thank God for liquor!"

        2. Not a place I frequent, and not something I usually order, but chicken parm is pretty hard to screw up. What ever you don't eat you can bring home for the kids or dog as both will usually eat it. .

          2 Replies
          1. re: Tom34

            I'd agree with chicken or eggplant parm. The salad depends on location, I think...I've had it where it included brownish bits of iceberg lettuce so it's not an unqualified success.

            1. re: Tom34

              Having actually ordered their Chicken Parm, I can tell you....

              It may be hard to screw up Chix Parm, but it ain't impossible. Olive Garden managed to do it.

              To the OP: My sympathies. Go with spaghetti and red sauce-- best answer. Take Tums.

            2. I just checked the menu for South Bay Plaza. I would have scampi appetizer and grilled salmon for the main course. Or shrimp parmesan if not having shrimp appetizers. And plent of pinot grigio.

              Steak Toscano if you eat beef.