If you read part one of this saga, you know that Olive Garden found this post on Casey’s blog Love and Waffles and loved it. They tweeted about it…and also gave Brandon and I a free dinner, to try some of their new menu items.
For such stardom, I was expecting a red carpet and a gaggle of paparazzi…but alas, I was received by neither. Regardless, they made us a reservation and we showed up promptly at 7:15 to eat more than recommended by any licensed dietician.
We started with drinks, because drinks are always a good idea. Brandon, like a responsible young man, ordered the “Sangarita,” a sangria-margarita concoction, but first asked me if I’d mind driving if needed. I pointed to the 90-pound-blonde next to us who was downing the same drink, and said that I didn’t think it would be necessary but yes, of course I would.
Since I’m blonde but neither 90 pounds or of age, I ordered the kiwi melon limonata, which is Italian for “this is basically just flavored lemonade.”
Both drinks were really good. Brandon liked his, or at least I assume he did, judging by the amount of self control he had to exercise to avoid drinking the whole thing before our appetizer arrived. I loved mine, but my only criticism would be that it was a little on the sweet side. I would have preferred it with less kiwi-melon goodness or maybe watered down with a little 7-up. Regardless, it’s probably my new favorite OG drink.
Next up was the appetizer. We stuck with what we knew, because as we say here in Wyoming, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We ordered the sampler platter with the toasted ravioli, the calamari, and the mozzarella wedges. I of course chose the selection forgetting Brandon doesn’t really like cheese, which means I ended up single-handedly downing the mozz wedges. Oh, darn.
The toasted ravioli were pockets of fried deliciousness filled with meat, which is a winner in my book, and I’m always impressed with OG’s calamari. I’m not a calamari enthusiast by any means, but I don’t find it to be the nasty, rubber-band-ish mess that people say bad calamari is. I quite enjoy it.
Salad and breadsticks were a must, and Brandon went with the chicken and gnocchi soup, another fave of ours.
When it came time to discuss the main course, Brandon and I perused the new offerings. I was leaning toward the crab-topped chicken. I asked Brandon what he was ordering, and guess what he said? The crab-topped chicken. Oh no, he didn’t. Sass ensued, as I claimed dibs for thinking of it first, while he claimed dibs for saying it first.
Like a partner in a healthy, caring relationship, I completely disregarded his claims to dibs and ordered the same thing anyway.
I was overall happy with the dish. I thought the crab topping was good, although it could have had a little more crab in it. I usually don’t love OG’s chicken, as it has this sort of “grilled” taste, but this chicken was juicy and tasted more baked than grilled. The crab topping could have been a little more flavorful and the chicken could have been better seasoned, but I enjoyed it, as did Brandon.
We downed dinner in about five seconds, and then contemplated dessert. The new desserts looked okay, but we couldn’t stay away from our favorite, introduced to us by a waiter who obviously knows my love of going Starbucks-style and adding raspberry syrup to everything. We had to order the lemon creme cake with raspberry drizzle.
As usual, it was awesome. Lemon + raspberry = heaven. The cake is light and refreshing and the raspberry balances out the sour notes of the lemon filling.
After we finished dessert, I whipped out my shiny OG e-gift card like a celeb and paid for our feast, tip and all. I then laid on the floor so Brandon could roll my now-blimp-sized self to the car, and we drove to my house, where we laid on my couch in a food coma and prayed to our stomachs for forgiveness the next day.
Do you like Olive Garden? What’s your favorite thing to order there?