Friday, June 19, 2015


Where: Olive Garden, 504 W 2230 N, Provo

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen

Number of Visits: 2

What We Ordered: Two Italian Sodas, Tortellini al Forno, Steak Gorgonzola-Alfredo, Ravioli di Portobello

What It Cost: $48

What We Thought: 

Man. What is it about Olive Garden that seriously sucks people in? I mean, there are almost 400 restaurants in Provo and Orem, and yet somehow, there is always at least an hour wait at this place! So, though I had visited an Olive Garden a couple of times in the past, we decided to give it another go with as much of an unbiased opinion as possible, trying to get the whole "Olive Garden Experience." 

So, when we got there, we were told that the expected wait would be an hour and a half. Cool! 

Luckily we had some friends who were also waiting in line, and we weren't in any hurry, so when we were finally seated, we were still in pretty good spirits. We OF COURSE started with the free soup and salad and breadsticks -- isn't that the big draw of this place? Owen got the Zuppa Toscana (translated: Tuscan Soup), which in theory had potatoes, sausage, kale, bacon and creaminess. It was alright -- pretty heavy, oil a little visible on top, but it wasn't bad.

We also got some Italian Sodas. Not memorable. Moving on.

This little starter was actually our favorite part of the meal -- it was cheese and prosciutto stuffed ravioli with a parmesan cream sauce, bacon crumbles and bread crumbs. Crumb. Anyway, the ravioli was surprisingly flavorful, soft and creamy with nice contrasting crunch. Pretty salty of course, but actually pretty good!

Then the salad and breadsticks arrived. Such a big bowl for a one-person salad :) The salad is nothing amazing, pretty pale vegetables, but I really think that its the dressing that makes the salad pretty dang good actually. Like in the kind of way you could just eat a million of these little salads. In fact, I weirdly want some right now...

Those breadsticks. Please, just Google Jimmy Fallon + Olive Garden breadsticks. You won't regret it.

Owen's pasta was actually pretty decent. The meat was a little overcooked and challenging to slice, but there was an appropriate amount of blue cheese, and all of the flavors meshed together pretty well. I thought the sharpness of the blue cheese counteracted the typical SALT taste you get at Olive Garden, and I would definitely replicate this dish at home.

My ravioli on the other hand was HEY-YO SALT CITY! (Different than Salt Lake City of course....) I was nervous about the mushrooms because I'm actually not a huge mushroom fan, but the flavor of salt and cream totally overpowered it, so no problem there. There were oddly a ton of green onions (healthy?) and the dish was satisfying but not anything to write home about.

What You Should Do: For the love of Italian food, please just skip this place. It's not really the food, its the whole concept that really drives me nuts. People say they like Olive Garden because its affordable and convenient and reliable. Well, nearly $50 for two people doesn't seem like that great of a deal for the quality of food we got, and I could NOT believe how long we had to wait. And it wasn't even a busy time of night! We were waiting to be seated for OVER AN HOUR, which seems literally insane when we could have walked to several other decent restaurant options in a quarter of that time. Olive Garden is Olive Garden. They have it everywhere, so you probably should enjoy some of the more unique and special (and family-operated!) places here in Utah County while you can instead! 

Read other reviews here:
Olive Garden on Urbanspoon


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