It’s time for our favourite cuisine…Italian food! Who doesn’t love pasta, pizza, salad, and bread? Now, you can get Italian food at lots of all you eats and other Italian style restaurants, but in our opinion Olive Garden is without doubt the best. It’s been our favourite for years and we always recommend it to guests.
We decided to go on a Thursday and call it ‘date night’, so we got a little dressed up and headed to the Olive Garden on the 192. We have been to this one once before, but we usually go to the one at The Loop. If you’re looking for a quieter restaurant atmosphere, then the one on the 192 is for you (this is our experience from two times, on Saturday I can imagine it would be very busy). The menu always comes with different specials and deals and the current one is buy any entree and get one to take away for $5. Yes, you read that right: $5 and we’re not talking some small portion, it’s restaurant portions! So we ordered our drinks and entrees; I was good and ordered a peach tea and Shaun ordered a beer (of course!). We would usually order an appetiser, but we knew that we wanted to load up on breadsticks and salad. From past experience, the Parmesan Zucchini Bites are a game changer!
When you order your entree, they will ask if you want unlimited soup or salad. We would recommend the salad, however, we’ve heard great things about the soup also. We don’t go for the soup as they only have one veggie choice, but also for the reason that the salad dressing is just amazing. We love it that much that we buy their signature salad dressing from the store (Aldi are currently selling the dressing). The entree also comes with breadsticks, so you really are getting great value for money. The breadsticks are usually served warm and are seasoned with salt and garlic. They are delicious, but very filling. We like to eat the first set of breadsticks so that they bring more and then we get those ones boxed up…cheeky yes, but that’s our tip and they are ‘unlimited’ after all!
After we’d finished carb loading, our entree’s arrived! Shaun ordered the Ravioli di Portobello. Ravioli can be a bit hit or miss in terms of flavour, as sometimes it can be a bit bland. This certainly isn’t the case with the Ravioli di Portobello. The pasta is packed with juicy fresh mushrooms, whilst the creamy smoked cheese and sun-dried tomato sauce gives it a very rich flavour. The finishing touch is the fresh tomatoes which cut through the cheesy flavour. I ordered the Creamy Pesto Spaghetti and I would never usually order spaghetti in a restaurant, as let’s face it; eating it is not the prettiest site and I’ve never been able to master the spoon swirling technique! Now it’s not pesto as I’ve had before as it’s “creamy”, which does mean more calories, but when you’ve eaten your way through breadsticks and salad; you’re really past caring! It’s very rich and it’s a little oily (as I’m sure the original recipe intended), but I like that as it’s great to dip my breadsticks in. It did beat me though and I couldn’t finish it all. You can ask for a take out box anyway so I had it the next day for lunch.
We ended up taking away the leftover pasta and the four fresh breadsticks. I think the server clocked our game with the breadsticks and actually brought us a breadstick bag over, which was very nice of him! They also bring you some chocolates with the bill, which are mint chocolates. The first time this happened I thought they were bringing us butter sachets a little too late for our breadsticks…easy mistake to make right?!?
Forward the clock twenty-four hours and it’s take out time! Two Olive Gardens in two days: yes, we might be kind of addicted! For our $5 take away meal we went for the Five Cheese Ziti al Forno, which is actually our favourite Olive Garden dish, but we’ve never eaten it in the restaurant. It’s possibly the cheesiest pasta dish we’ve ever eaten and we’ve eaten our fair share of mac ‘n’ cheese to compete with this! This is definitely a cheese lovers favourite! The dish combines five Italian cheeses, ziti and their signature five cheese marinara. It is amazing and very rich. You could probably share one with a side salad, but we don’t like to do things by halves so it had to be a whole one each! For an idea as to how cheesy it really was, check out our instagram.
Overall, we would recommend Olive Garden if you’re looking for the following:
- Range of great deals to eat in and take away.
- Family and couple orientated atmosphere.
- Attentive and friendly service.
- Good selection of lunch and dinner options.
- Large vegetarian selection.
Our rating for Olive Garden is 5/5.