Olive Garden

Written by on September 26, 2011 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(olivegarden.com) – Arlington, Virginia

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: Huge, corner restaurant, this Olive Garden beats all others by way of space, seating areas and maze-like quality. The setting, as with most Olive Gardens is made to resemble a brightly colored, happy 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. Friendly staff greet you at the door and at the counter, while seating you and during the course of your meal.

What I ordered: My dining companion and I were very excited to have a $50 gift card, courtesy of one of her customers to treat ourselves for our birthday lunches! We started with a sweet peach iced tea for her and a sweet strawberry-mango limonata for me.

Olive Garden Fancy Drink

The endless salad and breadsticks, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese also graced our table, and satiated our stomachs, prior to receiving our main entrees. My dining companion selected the Grilled Shrimp Caprese ($12.75), grilled marinated shrimp served over angel hair pasta with melted mozzarella, fresh basil and tomatoes in a garlic-butter sauce. At the recommendation of our server, I went with the Chicken Marsala ($15.25), sautéed chicken breasts in a savory sauce of mushrooms, garlic and marsala wine. Served with Tuscan roasted potatoes and green & red bell peppers.

What I loved: I loved the roasted vegetables served alongside the chicken marsala. I loved the light, white meat, chicken breasts, thin and flavorful. I love the salad. LOVE the salad.

Why I loved it: Simply: you know what you are going to get at the Olive Garden. No surprises. Always large portions with extra flavor.

Cost: Average to high ($10-$19 per lunch entree)

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