Olive Garden is never a place I associate with authentic Italian food. Now, I know Olive Garden will sell itself as authentic Italian cuisine, but I know better. If anything, I think the Olive Garden should sell itself as American Italian cuisine. Or does it already? I am not sure what they want you to think given their TV commercials.
My son had an eye doctor appointment late afternoon yesterday, so we all thought it would be nice to treat him to a good dinner at Olive Garden.
This review will be based on the Bethel Park location, since this is the Olive Garden we frequent the most.
We arrived around 5PM, and were immediately seated. A big plus for me, I detest waiting, especially when I’m so hungry my tongue is hanging out of my mouth.
I started off with the raspberry lemonade. While okay in its own right, it was also too damn sweet. Why so much sugar? Yikes. Sugar high city. Heck, that’s all I could taste. Where was the lemon/raspberry flavoring? I’ll pass by on this during my next visit.
I was delighted to see the “Sausage and Peppers Rustica” return to the menu. It was a favorite of mine from years ago, and I was more than willing to place an order for it. I went with the salad for my side for I am a sucker for Olive Garden’s salad dressing.
Not long after I was into my helping of salad, my main course came. Oh man, did it look good!
The “Sausage and Peppers Rustica” was pretty much the same way I remembered it. The sauce had just the right amount of tomato acidity with a slight amount of kick to it; thanks to the copious amount of garlic found throughout. The pasta was perfectly cooked al dente; just the way I prefer it. The sweet Italian sausage was also perfectly cooked, and it had a very good flavor. The only drawback to the dish? The green and red bell peppers were very much undercooked. Nearly raw. Bummer.
It took me a while to finish my plate because I was savoring each bite. After finishing up, there was no way I could even think about dessert. Who needs dessert when my beverage had so much sugar in it anyway.
Oh yeah, the waiter had no personality to speak of. Oh well, at least he managed to get our orders right. If there’s one thing I find annoying in restaurants is a wait staff who conduct themselves as if you’re bothering them. This guy demonstrated my annoyance quite accurately.
Anyway, if you’re ever at an Olive Garden, I recommend you go with the “Sausage and Peppers Rustica” dish. Trust me, it’ll satisfy your appetite. Come hungry.
Just don’t expect authentic Italian food at this place. It’s not like that.
It’s more like a place that serves something you’d make at home while calling it “Italian.”
- Aperture: ƒ/2.8
- Camera: iPhone 4
- Taken: 31 January, 2012
- Focal length: 3.85mm
- ISO: 160
- Shutter speed: 1/15s