|Nelson @olivegarden: Since they've moved away from #Toronto, I haven't been to Olive Garden in years and years. This was actually a backup choice for us when our first choice was not available. I don't really recall how they operate but it turns out there is bottomless breadsticks, soup and salad. The breadsticks are decent with a bit of salt and cheese (or salty cheese) on them I believe.|
|I liked the salad from here, it reminded me of the salad from East Side Mario's. Lot's of cheese on top while a vinegary and salty salad dressing was used. Croutons and olives go nicely here as well.|
|Richard tried their soups and this is the vegetable minestrone. You can also get fresh grated cheese in here as well.|
|This is some seafood cream based soup. I tasted a tiny bit and it was pretty creamy. We had multiple soups and multiple salad rounds almost filling us up.|
|I tried the Stuffed Chicken Marsala described as oven-roasted chicken breast stuffed with Italian cheeses and sun-dried tomatoes, topped with mushrooms and a creamy Marsala sauce. Served with Garlic Parmesan mashed potatoes ($17.49). The fact that it comes so messily constructed is a turn off right away. Even though I know there is a lot of sauce, it felt like this dish was soggy. Or perhaps it felt like this dish had been sitting out for a long time. The flavours were pretty strong with a clumsy rich sauce and the texture was exactly the same between the chicken and potatoes. The only thing to offer more in texture were the the sun dried tomatoes, but there were very few. This dish must be popular with older people who have trouble chewing.|
This is the eggplant parmigiana with lightly breaded eggplant, fried and topped with marinara sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, served with spaghetti ($13.49). The spaghetti was a bit overcooked, but at least the simple tomato sauce was ok. The eggplant was good and truly lightly fried as advertised but an inconsistent amount of topping on each is a simple prep step that can be easily corrected.
Overall I feel like the dishes are something I could have easily made at home and perhaps even better. I can see why they are struggling in today's market as nothing distinguishes them. Perhaps their best quality is the buy one take one home deal on really basic dishes that is a good deal. In fact you can probably get full from just the appetizers, eat a bit of your main and then take home a portion and a half. All for less than $15. So that's pretty good value, but the food itself makes it less so.
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