What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden

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BT
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2006/05/19 03:33:29 (permalink)

What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden

I called Mom on Mother's Day and what did we talk about? We talked about the fabulous meal she had at Olive Garden where my sister took her (they both live near Daytona Beach, FL). I could not help expressing a certain skepticism. So now Mom has something to prove--so I know, just know, that the next time I visit she is going to drag me to OG. Is there ANYTHING edible there?
#1

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    lleechef
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/19 04:18:51 (permalink)
    Don't know BT, never been to one, but safe choices usually are: bread dunked in olive oil, salad, some reasonably safe-sounding pasta.
    #2
    AndreaB
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/19 05:22:02 (permalink)
    Ha ha! I agree with lleechef --- keep it simple but take mom where she wants to go! A simple spaghetti marinara should be ok.

    Andrea
    #3
    RibRater
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/19 05:50:28 (permalink)
    You know when you eat there it will be one of those "just food" meals...but that doesn't make it bad food. From a taste stand point there's nothing to get excited about but I've eaten worse at some m&p establishments.

    My wife and kids like the place so I usually order one of their chicken dishes like Chicken Con Broccoli. I like orecchiette pasta and broccoli and when they finish it right (in a saute pan), the dish is not watery and has decent flavor with a little fresh pepper.

    I stay away from anything they serve with their std red sauce...no flavor.

    Other than that, just salad!
    #4
    salsailsa
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/19 06:36:55 (permalink)
    Maybe you were adopted?

    Seriously though- you can't go wrong with bottled beer.
    #5
    Jimeats
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/19 07:15:54 (permalink)
    A freind of mine whose mother is from Italy loves the place, go figure. And his mother was a great cook. Go and savor the moment, hell I'd take my mother to Arby's for the mystery meat if she wanted. Chow Jim
    #6
    enginecapt
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/19 13:02:32 (permalink)
    My Mom passed away 12 years ago, so I see this dilemma in somewhat a different light.
    #7
    BT
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/19 13:14:20 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by enginecapt

    My Mom passed away 12 years ago, so I see this dilemma in somewhat a different light.


    Not really. My dad passed away a bit over a year ago and Mom's 88 so I savor the opportunity to have a meal with her--any meal. And of course we'll go where she wants (we had a previous thread about this that got rather nasty and I argued through it all that sometimes you do have to compromise on these things).

    Truth is, assuming they have it, I'll probably go for spaghetti and meatballs. I've loved S&MB since I was a kid and I can accept a wide spectrum of variation (I prefer if the meatballs have actual meat in them rather than "textured vegetable protein" though). And lots of cheese can cover a multitude of sins (if it's decent cheese).
    #8
    enginecapt
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/19 13:35:27 (permalink)
    You're a good son Bernard. When in doubt, I can always find pleasure in a plate of pasta, red sauce and meatballs. A restaurant would have to try real hard to screw that combo up for my tastes.
    #9
    mr chips
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/19 21:26:06 (permalink)
    All I know is that a group I chaperoned in Peoria, Arizona ate at an Olive Garden and 6 of the 9 travelers got sick.
    #10
    enginecapt
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/19 21:29:06 (permalink)
    And that would be one surefire way to screw that combo up for my tastes.
    #11
    -Tricky-
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/19 22:28:37 (permalink)
    I'm the weirdo. I definitely agree that Mom gets to go where she wants, but if I were you I'd make sure to have a beer or a glass of wine, salad and get a sirloin. It's probably Choice (even if it's Select, Select is edible) and if it's cooked correctly, it can't end up that bad. Even if it's not seasoned at all, you can do that at the table.

    That's my standby when I'm forced to eat at a place I'd prefer not to, and whose food I remember to be less than appealing. I get the Sirloin, order it Rare (then I'm likely to get an edible Medium, occasionally the Medium-Rare I actually want, and on once in a while an actual Rare, which I can definitely eat) and salt and pepper the heck out of it. {Bonus: The sirloin is usually no more expensive than the average entree. I avoid Strips and Ribeyes in places where the meat could be Select. For some reason the difference betwen the grades is much more noticeable to me in fattier steaks.)

    Assuming the meat isn't spoiled (and kitchen cleanliness / food safety is a strongpoint of the national chains, speaking in general) what can they do to it? It can't be that bad. It might not be terrific, but it can't possibly be that bad...
    #12
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/20 03:23:27 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    BT, relax. Olive Garden is not the drama you think it is.
    Olive Garden has okay food. I have eaten there once, didnt'
    really like it, but with good company and wine, it was okay.
    Even okay food is okay. It's worth it for the company.
    Perhaps your apprehension is dealing with your mother.
    I have an elderly mother that I love, but is often demanding.
    I have learnt to allow my love for mom to patch over the hard potholes in our relationship.
    In the end, the memory of food is less joyful than the time
    and effort of sharing love with her. To my joy, I discovered she loves
    me and needs me in her life as I was willing to share my time with her, doing
    the things she likes. There is no need for her to discover what I like.
    Her time is limited, and I want to give her a special joy as long as I can.
    Love is what we seek to give and expect back. In the end, giving it is better than getting it back.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #13
    Adjudicator
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/20 12:37:31 (permalink)
    Fieldthistle:

    You and I are in the same boat. Your message should be heard by all. Amen.
    #14
    sizz
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/20 12:59:01 (permalink)
    You folks have BT all wrong.................. you see it aint the food at The Olive Garden that has BT in a dither........... nor is it spending time with his Mom .............. it's having to pay $11.95 for $ .50 cents worth of pasta that has his knickers in a twist ..................
    good to have you back in the Bay Area BT
    #15
    BT
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/20 14:05:23 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Fieldthistle

    Hello All,
    BT, relax. Olive Garden is not the drama you think it is.
    Olive Garden has okay food. I have eaten there once, didnt'
    really like it, but with good company and wine, it was okay.
    Even okay food is okay. It's worth it for the company.
    Perhaps your apprehension is dealing with your mother.



    Naw. Actually, we get along really well. As is often the case, my Mom and I are pretty close whereas my sister was a Daddy's girl. My "apprehension" is strictly on account of the unappealing thought of corporate "Italian" food--I think of Italian food as somthing made with a good deal of emotion.
    #16
    BT
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/20 14:09:28 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by fpczyz

    You folks have BT all wrong.................. you see it aint the food at The Olive Garden that has BT in a dither........... nor is it spending time with his Mom .............. it's having to pay $11.95 for $ .50 cents worth of pasta that has his knickers in a twist ..................
    good to have you back in the Bay Area BT


    Well, there IS that . . . . But if she drags me there, she'll probably want to pay and I'll probably let her. I actually encourage her to spend the potential inheritance on good times (or whatever she thinks of as good times--even Olive Garden).
    #17
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/21 02:27:31 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    BT, I must apologize. I shouldn't have been so stupid to say that you have issues with your mother.
    That really was wrong of me. Again, I am sorry.
    I will join you on your quest against corporate "Italia" food. One of my true delights is eating
    at a local Italian place that serves semi-true Italian food. My wife is the one who loves Italian food,
    and whatever makes her happy, makes me happy. I have found a strange mystery...every Italian food place
    I have visited that offers French Fries, makes the best French Fries that I've eaten. Why?
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #18
    stricken_detective
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/27 00:04:09 (permalink)
    The girls dragged me there for their lunch & I've gotta say, soup, salad & breadsticks, you can't go wrong. They have a potato-sausage soup that was quite good & you're right--ask for LOTS of cheese on your salad. Everything is Very Salty.

    As a person of Italian descent, it bugged me they had zabaglione spelled wrong on their chalkboard & on their menu. If you're going to do something, at least make the attempt to do it right.
    #19
    ellen4641
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/27 23:25:57 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Fieldthistle

    Hello All,
    BT, relax. Olive Garden is not the drama you think it is.
    Olive Garden has okay food. I have eaten there once, didnt'
    really like it, but with good company and wine, it was okay.
    Even okay food is okay. It's worth it for the company.
    Perhaps your apprehension is dealing with your mother.
    I have an elderly mother that I love, but is often demanding.
    I have learnt to allow my love for mom to patch over the hard potholes in our relationship.
    In the end, the memory of food is less joyful than the time
    and effort of sharing love with her. To my joy, I discovered she loves
    me and needs me in her life as I was willing to share my time with her, doing
    the things she likes. There is no need for her to discover what I like.
    Her time is limited, and I want to give her a special joy as long as I can.
    Love is what we seek to give and expect back. In the end, giving it is better than getting it back.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle


    Fieldthistle, you brought tears to my eyes; very well written and expressive............and I agree 100%

    and yes, when all else fails, wash it down with wine or beer, (and in this case, breadsticks!)

    ellen

    #20
    roossy90
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/28 01:49:34 (permalink)
    Parses6 had the same dilemma. I wonder if he ever used his GC that he asked us to recommend dishes for.
    #21
    Sundancer7
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/28 09:10:41 (permalink)
    Fieldthistle: well written and I agree. Even though OG is not my favorite place, their salad is very good and I enjoy it. If my Mamaw Smith wanted to go there, I would take her anytime.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #22
    hefried
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/05/28 19:20:13 (permalink)
    MY MOM LIKES Olive GARden too! But,you know, i actually kinda like their all you can eat soup and salad LUNCH option. the potato- sausage kale soup is actually tasty. the salad not too bad either ( iceberg lettuce, mostly)
    The one thing that you shoold be able to count on is that everytime you order something at olive garden, anywhere it should taste exactly the same as the last time.. Go for lunch and see???
    #23
    WingLover
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/06/13 10:14:29 (permalink)
    Olive Garden has decent food. Not my first pick, but I don't mind going there when that is where friends want to go.

    ~Jessica
    #24
    Yazziegirl
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/06/14 09:42:10 (permalink)

    I actually like OG. I have many happy memories of going there with my 87 year old dad. Their bread sticks are nothing too special, their salad is good and their chicken dishes are good, especially with artichokes or something interesting. I also prefer the penne or a pasta with a little more texture then the spaghetti. Go for it. Your mom will think you're wonderful and it's not really torture! They have good beer and wine. Kerry
    #25
    roossy90
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/06/14 17:15:09 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    Fieldthistle: well written and I agree. Even though OG is not my favorite place, their salad is very good and I enjoy it. If my Mamaw Smith wanted to go there, I would take her anytime.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN

    2nd that motion, Fieldthistle, and Sundancer...
    Although mom is not around anymore, the last years spent with her gave me more satisfaction of being around her then, than in my whole life.
    Too soon, they are gone, and we wish for one more day.
    So whats a few hours with good company and food you dont care for?
    Which is more important to you?
    I vote for Mom or Dad!
    #26
    Scorereader
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/06/14 17:43:45 (permalink)
    Of course it's more important to be with one's mother than where you spend the time, but if BT is back in San Fran, maybe she'll like some of those good italian places in North Beach instead.

    I don't remember which one I went too, but it wasn't the big tourist place on the corner that was packed with people. It was small and very good. After a brief google, it MAY have been L'Osteria del Forno, but I'm not sure. the description is right, and the name is familiar, but I'm not sure.

    #27
    PapaJoe8
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/06/14 18:06:17 (permalink)
    If my mom was alive I would love to take her to OG if that's where she wanted to go. I did get to take her to see Frank Sanatra. She was a BIG fan! She was teary eyed during one song, I looked around and every woman I could see was doing the same. Hmmm, maybe that guy had something?

    Oh, about OG, some bread sticks and salad, and a few glasses of wine, and someone I love, I'm happy now!!!!!
    Joe
    #28
    Rita C. Sappenfield
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/06/16 08:56:38 (permalink)
    Olive Garden's Pasta Pomadoro is delicious.
    #29
    enginecapt
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    RE: What do I do now--my Mom likes Olive Garden 2006/06/16 09:49:09 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by PapaJoe8
    I did get to take her to see Frank Sanatra. She was a BIG fan! She was teary eyed during one song, I looked around and every woman I could see was doing the same. Hmmm, maybe that guy had something?


    Joe, I'll bet the lion's share of those tears were wistful and sentimental about the long ago days of their youth.
    #30
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