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Olive Garden

April 17, 2010

I went to Olive Garden with Gram tonight.  This was once my favorite restaurant – stuffed chicken parm, cheese ravioli, never-ending pasta bowls, BREADSTICKS! – I loved it all.  I think this was my first time going to Olive Garden since transitioning to a healthier way of life.  I was scared! Part of me was excited to go back, to approach the restaurant with a new perspective.  The other part of me felt trapped by bowls of cheese, cream, and crazy amounts of pasta!

When the menu came, I was pleasantly surprised.  I quickly picked out a few options that looked pretty tasty.  Gram and I debated what to get and ended up going with a sampling of things.

WARNING:  Beck the food photographer didn’t come to dinner with us.  Apparently she was busy packing for a fun trip to Boston.  In her place, you get photos taken by Beck the shaky, blurry camera girl.  I apologize in advance for the slight inconvenience!

Dinner started with an endless bowl of salad.

I had a couple bowls of the salad.  It was really cold, crisp, and fresh.  I love the dressing, too.  Every good dinner starts with salad!

Steaming hot bowls of minestrone arrived next.

This soup was slightly salty – something I’ve come to expect at restaurants -but delicious, nonetheless.  It was loaded with chunks of veggies, beans, and little pasta shells.  It soothed my soul on a rainy, tired Friday night.

Don’t even think for a second that I left that place without a breadstick!  It would be criminal of me.  I had already started on the soup, when I realized that a basket of buttery, garlicky goodness was staring me in the face.  I paired one with my soup and my life was complete!

My gram was intrigued by the bruschetta on the menu and decided to give that a try.  It was simple slices of toasted ciabatta with a side of the bruschetta blend – diced Roma tomatoes, basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.

My meal was satisfying, but light, so I helped Gram out with this one.  I enjoyed one warm, crusty slice of toast with a heaping spoonful of bruschetta.

Delish!  All this needed was a little fresh mozzarella to reach perfection.  I loved the mix and would love to add heaping scoops of it to me salads at home.  Hmm….I think I’ll start researching bruschetta recipes.  Got a good one? Do tell!

At no extra charge, the fine folks at Olive Garden brought dessert to the table.

Ok, ok….maybe it wasn’t an extravagant, Italian masterpiece, but this was probably the best part of the meal!  I am a sucker for after dinner mints.  After dinner mints with chocolate?!  Life is good.  I know I could just buy a box of these, but it would ruin all the fun at a restaurant.

It was a great dinner to wind down a busy week.  Time to pack my bags for my Boston adventure!  Three cheers for vacation!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 17, 2010 2:01 pm

    Yum, I used to love Olive Garden also! I must admit that I haven’t been in years – but I would definitely still devour some breadsticks 🙂

    Have a great time in Boston! Can’t wait to hear about the adventures that you have with Melissa.

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