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I have never eaten at _______ and I never will!

Olive Garden.

I live in a place with many, many authentic Italian restaurants run by small families. I can't imagine why I would ever need to go to Olive Garden. The commercials have no appeal for me at all.

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  1. Ya, I never say never. When your transmission fails in a small town on a Sunday.... when your connecting plane doesn't show... when a snowstorm descends as you're leaving the South Rim of the Grand Canyon... when you arrive later than you thought and everything tasty is already closed... BTDT all of these. :)

    1. I would never say never. I like a lot of different foods. And yes, I eat at Olive Garden occasionally.

      1. Never say never here too.
        Olive Garden does soup and salad with bread sticks. How bad could that be?

        17 Replies
        1. re: monavano

          Been there, done that when on the road for business in smallish towns. You can do a lot worse. Unfortunately, I have. Not every independently owned local restaurant is a gem. For those of us of a certain age, we remember the old ads for the Holiday Inn chain with the tag line of "no surprises." Olive Garden may be the culinary equivalent -- not going to wow you but it's tolerable.

          1. re: masha

            Yup, ate at a local Mexican place recently and it was awful- like I hope I don't get food poisoning awful.
            I'll take a known quantity with standards any day.

          2. re: monavano

            I ate at Olive Garden a few times in the late 1980s-90s but I haven't been back since 1995 or so.

            Ive never eaten at Chick-Fil-A

            1. re: Kelli2006

              I wish we have more CFA's around. Love the chx sandwich.

              1. re: monavano

                and their sauce! plus, great peach shake in summer -- and hot waffle fries.

              2. re: Kelli2006

                Chick-Fil-A by a mile. It's hard to give them money when they have loudly and publicly fought for me not to have basic human rights.

                1. re: TimTamGirl

                  "Basic Human Rights"?
                  I'm familiar with their anti-gay marriage stance, but is there more than that? (Not saying I agree with it, just curious, that seems like a civil right rather than human)

                  1. re: jrvedivici

                    The line between civil rights and human rights gets blurry when it comes to marriage, not because of marriage itself but because of the rights and permissions that go along with it - for example, health (spousal insurance benefits; next-of-kin rights when it comes to making health decisions or even just being able to see your spouse in hospital - the time it takes to prove health care proxy status to an unwilling staffer can be the difference between seeing your loved one alive and not); parenting (having access and decision-making rights to a child you didn't physically produce); and financial and property rights (inheritance, access to financial benefits, etc.). I would say that these are pretty fundamental human rights. YMMV.

                    1. re: TimTamGirl

                      Yeah I hear ya, I just didn't know if there was something I had missed. I'm not sure I would use the term "human rights" but I can see and respect why you did.

                      1. re: jrvedivici

                        I was thinking that too jrvediv. My friend John will only eat at chik fil a if I am paying. It doesn't happen often but damn their slaw is good. Givemecrumbs he he. At least that thread didn't get locked. Oh wait.

              3. re: monavano

                I rather like the soup and salad meal. The salads are always fresh and the sausage and potato soup is tasty. I've never understood the anti-chain vehemence I encounter here. Is it a destination? Nah, but it's a decent meal and I'm not above it.

                1. re: monavano

                  "soup and salad with bread sticks. How bad could that be?"

                  Been there. Done that. Even tried them a second time thinking the first time was a fluke.

                      1. re: alkapal

                        I went there with my Italian aunt with the Italian accent and the waitress in this fake italian restaurant did't understand when she pronounced fettucine correctly. And it was awful. Everything was. First and last time.

                        1. re: wincountrygirl

                          did she pronounce it as giada does? LOL.

                          1. re: alkapal

                            Ha! Spagheetti will never not be an eye roller. What's funny is when she sometimes forgets to lay on the silly accent and pronounces the words normally.

                  1. Olive Garden and Red Lobster. The commercials are UNappealing. Living on the East coast, there are many better options for seafood, and the same goes for Italian food as well.

                    Personally I avoid chain restos of all kinds, other than Capital Grille.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: ChefJune

                      I ate at Red Lobster once. Never again. And I can easily say never. I will never eat Olive Garden even if stranded. I would rather eat candy from a vending machine.

                      1. re: Jpan99

                        So I have a question for you. What will you do if the candy machine says "out of order" and the guy at the front desk won't give in to your demands for the next day crummy bagels? Then there is an Olive Garden next door with snow falling - the "open" light is on and the cozy lights look inviting. Servers are there. Are you going to starve yourself out of principle for the night or what?

                        1. re: miss_belle

                          Honestly, I would never be in the scenario you are describing. I don't get stranded in some remote place where there is absolutely no food to eat except an Olive Garden restaurant. I don't think such a place exists. Have you ever seen an OG next to nothing else? I guess if we are in this fantasy world then maybe I'm being chased by flesh eating zombies and I'm hiding in the OG hoping they won't want to go in there either.

                          1. re: Jpan99

                            Since you mentioned a candy machine and nothing else I took it to mean there nothing else available. You Should have mentioned this to the concierge service and 24 hour room service at your hotel.

                            1. re: Jpan99

                              How silly. Never say never. ever.
                              trust me, Olive Garden is 100 times better than a vending machine.

                              1. re: genoO

                                beg to disagree if the vending machine carries any one of my "cheap thrill" chocolate bars.

                              2. re: Jpan99

                                really? have you travelled much in the U.S.? such places do exist, and if you're staying at a hotel without room service- this could very well be your situation.

                              3. re: miss_belle

                                Not to mention that the OG has a liquor license!

                          2. I used to shamelessly crave that hot mashed xxx-berry thing they called a crostata, and the salad was endlessly decent, but everything I ever had in between was either gluey or tough or both.