Eat Your Words. (Olive Garden)

Boy, am I about to eat them because when they say you’re family at Olive Garden, do they ever mean it.  Every terrible thing I’ve ever thought, every feeling of ill will I’ve ever felt – I’m so sorry.

Wrong is not my favourite shade to wear, but I’m not too small a person to admit when I’ve made an atrocious mistake.  So many years of harbouring distaste towards a restaurant that so often fails to hesitate when bringing out lifeless pasta dishes devoid of any flavour, excitement, or passion – all undone with one single afternoon.

Heading back home from Harrison Hot Springs over the long weekend, the only logical next step was to stop at the Olive Garden for lunch because as we are all too aware, nothing says Happy Thanksgiving like endless breadsticks, soup, and salad.

olivegardenNever have I ever been to Olive Garden when there wasn’t a line and lo and behold, this time was no different.  In life though, when unlimited appetizers, never ending pasta bowls, and generous portions of Americanized not so Italian dishes are on the table, you bite the bullet and do your time, even if that time is 45 minutes.  Which it was.

Believe you me, to serve a table of fifteen loud and hungry Asians is no simple feat, so when two lovely ladies manage to pull this off complete with smiles and hugs, I know we’re all family here.

I especially know we’re all family when she brings out my Minestrone Soup packed to the gills with veg, tomatoes, beans, pasta, and sprinkled with cheese.  Add to that a Garden Salad topped with croutons, tomatoes, olives, onions, pepperoncini peppers then drizzled with their signature Italian dressing, well you’ve got one happy clan on your hands.

Breadsticks – don’t even get me started on these plump golden beauties.  How can something that feels so right be so wrong for you?  It doesn’t even matter because once you’ve got that warm fluffy garlicky dough rolling around in your mouth, who even cares that you’re chewing on a glob of gluten?  Not I.

Once you’ve stuffed yourself to bursting with the unlimited appeteasers , then and only then, is it time to move on to your main course.

olivegarden2

Pappardelle Pescatore, a pasta tossed with shrimp, scallops, clams, and roasted asparagus in a creamy red pepper sauce was the pasta for me today.  With considerable amounts of seafood, this dish was surprisingly satisfying, even despite the slightly odd addition of roasted asparagus, a vegetable I’m not normally partial to in the first place.

Family.  Bread.  Love.  Pasta.  Laughter.  Bread.  Bread.  Bread.  Would I return?

You betcha.

A long way’s out for many in Langley and with mains priced in the $20 range, it may seem an unlikely choice but once you factor in the fact that most of your meal could potentially be coming home with you after getting your fill of bottomless starters, it’s smooth sailing.

Authentic Italian it is not, but when you’ve got a room full of love, laughter, and most importantly pasta bloat, does it really matter?

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