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Dec 4, 2013 07:13 AM

New at the Olive Garden --- hamburgers.

Don't really see the fit with the rest of their menu, unless they are about to go weirdly completely mainstream to keep up with Chilis/Applebees.

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  1. they seem to be the last of any restaurants to add them.burgers have come roaring back with a vengeance.for 40 years no one dared compete with the big 3 fast food burgers- now that the dam has broke, everyone and his cousin are in the burger business (thankfully some of the mid-level chains are actually good) . wouldn't be surprised if mc'ds rolled out a new upscale chain

    1. Is that one of the recipes developed at their Training Institute in Tuscany?

      1 Reply
      1. re: ferret

        They actually give it the fanciful name "Culinary Institute of Tuscany" --

      2. I can't remember where I read it, but I thought it was funny, the higher ups at Olive Garden were nervous about the burger, especially the arugula because they felt their clientele was only familiar with ice burg lettuce. Way to sell your audience short.

        10 Replies
        1. re: zitronenmadchen

          "Way to sell your audience short."

          Oh, I'm pretty sure they know their audience.

          Here's a little more info on their handling of arugula:

          "The solution to appease the palates of Olive Garden diners, as Nuetzi found out, was like what a lot of people do with the sometimes-troublesome green: smother it in fatty stuff until you can't taste it anymore. That includes throwing mozzarella, prosciutto, and aioli spread on it. "Nuetzi tweaked it after diners weighed in — doubling the aioli spread, slicing the tomatoes instead of dicing them into small pieces because they fell out of the bun and made a mess," Bloomberg reports."

          1. re: ferret

            I would think a hamburger would be a good introduction to arugula for someone who has never had it before, the peppery bite would blend well with the richness of the meat. But maybe that's just me, I like arugula on my burgers.

            1. re: zitronenmadchen

              I'm pretty confident that "introducing customers to new ingredients" is not on Olive Garden's agenda.

              1. re: ferret

                Very true, they are in the mushy pasta and tasteless-except-for -the-garlic-salt-on-the-outside bread sticks, business.

                1. re: zitronenmadchen

                  Their new slogan should be;

                  "Now ruining more than just Italian Food"

                  1. re: jrvedivici

                    Oh that is too funny! I was mentioning this the burgers to my son. I said why not try improving the food that they already make? Or have some REAL Italian dishes that aren't just mushy pasta and cheese/alfredo sauce?

                    1. re: libgirl2

                      if they did that the customers wouldn't recognize what was on the plate and would have to ask if they got the order right!

            2. re: ferret

              Speaking of smothering in fatty stuff- that burger clocks in at 1020 calories and 66g fat!
              That's before the side of fries or the unlimited salad and breadsticks!!

              1. re: Ttrockwood

                Or 27 Points Plus for all you Weight Watchers out there :)

          2. $10 hamburgers elsewhere shortens the payback time on my charcoal Weber.

            1. Maybe Olive Garden wanted to offer one more thing that people could complain about?