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Olive Garden, Zanesville Ohio

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Confessions of a food snob with little comfort with chains,
other than Popeyes. ON a road trip, passing through small towns
in Ohio, an Olive Garden appeared to be the best choice near our
motel. What a pleasant surprise!

We came in early--before 5:30pm. All you can eat soup and salad
was a nice feature, but the soup itself was the best minestrone
I have had in a restaurant to my memory. Wish I could make that
myself! Hubby's soup with kale/sausage was also good. Salad
came in a big bowl, and was fresh, varied in ingredients, most pleasing. My main, seafood over papperadelle with a blush sauce was simply yummy:al dente pasta, very flavorful sauce, 5 tasty clams, 5 large non-overcooked shrimp, some small scallops,
some squid: oh yeah that was good. No room for seconds on soup, salad, or dessert. And, so reasonable, even though I don't remember price exactly. Maybe $16.99.

My question: Has their soup/salad always been this good?
Was there something unusual about this Zanesville location--service was noticeably excellent and friendly also. Would I find this consistency in my Philly area?

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  1. I have never thought Olive Garden was bad. Middle of the road good is pretty normal. Better than that can be had at times but when a place is cranking out tables and lines are out the door, things can get a bit less than normal. that is to be expected as far as I am concerned.
    I mean, for $6 or $7 dollars more than McDonalds or Carl's Jr. you can sit down and have so pretty good food.
    Then again, I am not a food snob and hope never to catch that disease.

    1. A very good observation, genoO. By the time we left, maybe 6:30ish, there were long lines. I never thought OG was bad, it's just that I was surprised how good it was for a chain at that price point. When traveling in small towns, and even off
      a highway, it's good to know about the quality control at OG.
      I thought it was far better than middle of the road. Eat early
      would be a good tactic at OG. The noise from lots of families
      with small children was hard to take toward the end of our meal.

      1. I have been to that Zanesville Olive Garden while travelling with my husband and we had a similar experience. Our more local Olive Gardens are not as good as this one.
        We were there for lunch and it was what I considered to be uncommonly busy for lunch. Service was still excellent.