Olive Garden

Written by on June 30, 2010 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(olivegarden.com) – Burlington (Among many others)
How I heard of this place: Many, many years ago when Olive Garden first opened in Bellingham, my parents enjoyed the restaurant and would take their young family out for special occasions or when someone had a craving for the Olive Garden salad. This particular establishment was introduced to me by my friend Leslie on a shopping excursion.
Type of cuisine: Simple Italian-inspired cuisine with American flavors.
Ambiance: Large setting made to resemble a small Italian home or restaurant. Booth and table/chair seating available throughout the large space, which is broken up into smaller spaces to give a more intimate feeling while dining. Depending on the number of people sitting around you, the family-friendly atmosphere can be loud. On this dinner trip, there were few young’uns around, which meant we could hear each other in coversation from across the table without excessive raising of voices. Friendly staff greet you at the door, holding it open, and at the counter, while seating you and during the course of your meal.
What I ordered: On this venture, I ordered what I was introduced to the last time I ate at Olive Garden (also with Leslie and her family about a year ago): Lasagna Fritta ($9.50), which consists of Parmesan-breaded lasagna pieces, fried and served over alfredo sauce, topped with Parmesan cheese and marinara sauce, lightly sprinkled with fresh grated cheese (to my liking). I also ordered the side of endless salad ($6.25), without which I cannot leave Olive Garden. My dining companion ordered, also off of the appetizer menu, the Smoked Mozzarella Fonduta ($8.75) which offered a healthy portion of oven-baked smoked mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan and Romano cheese and served with soft Tuscan bread. She also ordered a bowl of the Zuppa Toscana ($5.65), prepared with spicy sausage, russet potatoes and cavolo greens in a creamy broth. For dessert, I asked for one of my unlimited refills of Olive Garden’s Garden-fresh Salad with their signature Italian dressing and my dining companion ordered a trio of mini dessert options. Her Dolcini came from the Piccoli Dolci “little dessert treats”, layered with cake, mousse, pastry creams and berries (3 for $7.35 or $2.75 each). Among the available flavors: Chocolate Mousse with Dark Chocolate Cookie Crust • Strawberry & White Chocolate Cream Cake • Limoncello Mousse with Vanilla Cookie Crust • Dark Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mousse & Caramel Cream • Amaretto Tiramisu with Almond Cookie Crumble. Leslie opted for the Limoncello Mousse, the Dark Chocolate Cake and the Amaretto Tiramisu. Considering the dishes were cleaned out, I take it they were just as tasty as she had hoped!
What I loved: I do enjoy the salad, pepperoncini and fresh grated cheese every time. On this occasion, I also loved the lasagna fritta, full of flavor, but not overwhelming or too rich.
Why I loved it: On this trip, I loved that we were seated quickly, that we were treated so well and kindly by all of the staff and that the food came out in a timely manner, all to our satisfaction.
Cost: Average ($15-$20 for dinner)

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