VideosMy Roommate Went to the Olive GardenMolly McAleer

It would be a lie to say that I don’t enjoy chain restaurants (who didn’t love Chili’s in high school?! Chili’s in high school seems like a rite of passage, a true jam) but I have never been to The Olive Garden. Something about hearing it be made fun of my whole life by almost all people probably kept me away. That and the fact that I’m from Boston, a city known for its amazing Italian cuisine. However, two very important blonds in my life, Kendra Wilkinson and my roommate Sara, both say it’s amazing.

When Sara and I were both home the other evening, I decided to ask her all about The Olive Garden meal she had that day. There’s plenty of insight in this video about what is perhaps America’s most unjustly put down restaurant and also secrets given to Sara directly by TOG’s “overly-friendly” staff.

  • Kydlan Duchek

    “oh the bowls are chilled, I understand the appeal”


  • Ali Smith

    Fab. For more OG fun watch the ‘Will and Grace’ episode ‘ I Never Promised You an Olive Garden’

  • April Camacho

    I <3 Olive Garden!!! Never tried the wine but It's one of my favorite places to eat at.

  • Lindsay Moseman

    The white wine is always good with breadsticks there. I always order salad and my boyfriend orders soup and we totally share. The waiters are always cool about it too. Guilty pleasure when we want to eat realy rich tasting food.

  • Shaylynn Middlenameless Kilfoyle

    Olive Garden.. Oh so not my favorite place.

    Oh Molls, the fact that you have never been there makes me laugh and laugh oh and then laugh some more.

    I love that you devoted a clip to it.

  • Danni Marie

    I LOVE Olive Garden!! :D Can’t get enough of those breadsticks!

  • Brittany Foote

    Wow from the looks of the comments on here, og has some Dedicated employees

  • Mary Carole Maroney Dolce

    Olive Garden is one of my favorite chain resturants! LOVE the Eggplant Parmesan and I subsitute the spaghetti side for the portobello mushroom ravioli…really good! Funny thing, my husband is a TOTAL Italian and he LOVES their salads…to the point that I had to call in a to-go order for just the salad because he was having a craving! The saying is true, Italians have really BIG…

    appetites! ;-)

  • Lauren Nespoli

    Olive Garden is so good! I love the soup, salad, and breadsticks! (I get the minestrone soup). Also, during certain seasons (spring, maybe?) they have a dessert with different types of berries and Zabaione, which is delicious!

  • Lucia Juliao

    I guess many people are going by the old adage: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Well, I am opinionated and must put my two cents in. I appreciate Italian food and I don’t think the Olive Garden should be considered an Italian restaurant. Not my cup of tea.

  • Steph Fleming

    I worked at an Olive Garden in a suburb of Minneapolis for a year and a half…I still love the food. I was also lucky to have really amazing coworkers and managers, so I had a great experience. Growing up in a different area of Minnesota, though, I was raised thinking OG was a “nice” restaurant–admittedly, it’s certainly not ACTUALLY fancy, but it’s good enough. The Americanized Italian cuisine is designed in Tuscany, so…even though it ends up catering to our fatty-fat-fat/flavorless needs, it still starts from somewhere awesome. I am struggling to remember my favorite wines, because I haven’t drank in a couple years, but they have a variety for different price points. (and yes–the Bellinis are good.)
    Special note about the soup, salad, and breadsticks lunch: your server does EVERYTHING (except MAYBE preparing the salad bowl) for you when you order this. We used to hear people say “I’ll make it easy on you” when ordering this special ALL the time, which is really irritating. So–even though OG peeps are awesome enough to work quickly and get it all done for you, keep in mind that they ARE working harder than if you ordered an entree or anything else. Tip accordingly.
    Oh! One clarification–the Never-Ending Pasta Bowl comes with a large portion to start, like Sara said, and then every subsequent serving (refill) is served in the soup bowls. So they don’t get smaller EACH time–just the first time you get a refill. …The most I’ve ever served was 6 refills, to a college guy.

  • Carrie Cook

    Here’s the thing: in order to enjoy the Olive Garden, you need to abandon all expectations that what you’re about to eat is AUTHENTIC ITALIAN CUISINE and just eat the damn pasta, because it’s tasty. Also, skip the wine, get a pitcher of SANGRIA instead. Delicious.

  • Ilah Grimes

    If i want to eat at an “italian” restaurant, ill go to carabbas. The olive garden has always been just okay for me, but the last time i ate there was the last straw. I went for lunch and ordered the soup and salad. Has anyone ever thrown up pure soup? Well if you havent, its probably the most disgusting thing like, ever. I was sick for two weeks. I will never eat there again. It was such a horrible experience. Carabbas is much better. The taste the atmosphere, everything. If you want to eat at a chain italian restaurtant, skip TOG and go to carabbas.

  • Frank Fraone

    The OG deoesn’t alot of good reviews in health mags and books but it is a guilty pleasure. When I went with a friend recently he had seven bowls of minestrone! But if you want real Italian food(esp for dinner)you have to go elsewhere. But yes going there for lunch once in awhile is good. Try the lasagna!

  • Jenn Nagel

    My favorite joke about the Olive Garden told to me by my 77 yr old Italian Grandma: “What the 1 thing you won’t find in an Olive Garden?”….(wait for it)…”Italians!” LOL!

  • Kevin Kelly

    I actually a bartender and certified trainer at Olive Garden.
    All our soups and sauces are made fresh each morning by our culinary team members , not from a can like popular belief. Our soup bowls are kept in a bowl warmer to ensure you soup stays piping hot at your table , and like you said the salad plates are chilled to keep the fresh crisp taste.
    Our wine list really has something for everyone , we offer complementary wine samples for any wine available by the glass. The wine is listed from mildest to boldest , to help make the best selection. At dinner the server brings a bottle of featured wine to the table when first greeting and offer a sample , but the samples are available all day.
    Principato is our signature wine that comes in red (Rosso) , blush (Rosato) and white (Bianco) , they are all blends , for example the red is a chianti – merlot blend. They are larger then the average bottle of wine so more guests at the table can enjoy it. They are bottled in Italy by Cavit winery and sold exclusively by us at Olive Garden. We also have a corking offer (in states where legal) which is when you enjoy a bottle of wine with your entree and just cant finish the bottle so we’ll cork it up put it in a clear plastic bag that seals at the top and forms a handle for you. Once sealed the only way in is too rip the bag open , so its safe (and legal) to pop it in your trunk on the ride home. It’s perfect for guest who love the signature wines since you can’t buy them in stores.
    At Olive Garden we take pride in offering fresh , simple delicious Italian food complemented by a great glass of wine , and of course welcome people like family.

  • MJ Rojas

    Kendra side comment…KENDRA SIDE COMMENT!!! Love it.

  • Sara Hoffhaus

    I had the wine at Olive Garden once. My friend and I couldn’t finish our second bottle, so they sealed it in a plastic bag and let us take it home. It was a wine doggie bag!

  • Caitlin Fitzgibbons

    There have been so many Shovelhead sketches written about the Olive Garden. I’m glad Sara enjoyed The OG. The last time I went I had to go with my entire Poms team/squad while on a trip to a state competition in Southern Illinois. I’ve been unable to return since. I’ve burried these memories DEEP.

  • David Apol

    love your roomy

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