“In Hell all Italian food is from the Olive Garden”
— Patton Oswalt
We went to the Olive Garden to eat tonight. There were five of us. It was my idea.
I deserve to suffer.
It’d been a long time. Truth be told, I can’t recall the last time I stepped foot into an Olive Garden. Maybe Nashville in the mid-1990s. And I’m not entirely sure what I was thinking, save for that I recall the salad and breadsticks being strong.
So … we went.
And we waited for a table.
It’s a quirky thing, waiting for your table inside an Olive Garden. First, you notice that the restaurant has a carpet the color of vomit. And second, you notice the smell. Which isn’t the scent of garlic or sauce or fresh-baked bread. Nope, it’s the smell of … nothingness. You’re literally sitting inside an Italian restaurant, and there’s nary a scent.
So we waited.
Then, after 40 minutes, we were shown our table. My menu was sticky. Our waiter mo-v-e-d a-t t-h-i-s p-a-c-e. The salad and breadsticks were OK. Not exceptional, not awful. Just … salty and meh. I ordered soup that seemed as if it were fresh from a can. My father in law’s shrimp scampi lacked taste and smell. His girlfriend’s eggplant parm also lacked scent and smell, and the sauce was burned onto the plate—almost certainly because of a poorly adjusted heat lamp. By the time we were prepared to pay, the waiter had vanished. Never saw him.
There was nothing good about the experience. And Olive Garden is shockingly expensive—about $19, $20 bucks per entre. Which might be OK were the food fresh; were the service decent; were the ambiance charming; were the scents inviting.
But it’s just a crap chain restaurant—no different than I remember.
Thank goodness for the free mints …