The experience

Well, Ogre was having a late meeting tonight.  My original plan to take Mina out to eat after I ran to the hospital was canned by Mina, who wanted to go to Lala’s house instead of coming to the hospital with me.  So, it was getting late and I had to take both kids with me after I picked them up from Lala’s house and we ended up at Olive Garden for dinner.

We arrived and after hiking with both kids across the parking lot (parking lot was packed full!) we were seated very quickly.  I did not bring the camera or his chair, I just can’t carry all that stuff!!  I strapped Benji into his high chair and Mina and Benji got started coloring on the little activity books.  Mina was not pleased that they got the exact same thing (this is probably overall a good thing to not always get the same activities!)

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I was quick to order drinks and dinner.  Unfortunately, the delivery of food was not so quick.  I came pretty close to asking what was going on with the food when the salad finally came out.  My kids won’t eat salad, so I chomped away while the kids were behaving wonderfully.  Benji was singing and Mina was continuing to color and work on activities.  I was so impressed that Benji had not complained about being in his seat and then the food arrived for everyone.  Things couldn’t be better!  Until…

Mina took one bite of her food and that good ol’ gastrocolic reflex set in and she announced that she had to go to the bathroom.  This meant I had to bring both kids to the bathroom and grab my purse to take Mina to the bathroom.  Benji requires that his hands be washed, too.  We headed back to the table and after that little taste of high chair freedom, Benji was no longer compliant.

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We spent the rest of dinner trying to distract him and keep him seated while we finished dinner.  Once Mina finished dinner, she looked at the dessert menu to order dessert.

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Thank goodness for dessert.  Benji was ready to cooperate when dessert arrived.  We all enjoyed our dessert, settled the tab and headed home.

 

The food

Italian.  If you don’t know what Olive Garden serves, I’d be very surprised and wondered where you’ve been. 

IMG00554Of course, you get salad and breadsticks.  I’m not a breadstick fan here like some people are with Olive Garden breadsticks, nor am I a salad fan.  Before Campari’s changed hands, I’d say that was the gold standard, but the salad at Olive Garden is now better than theirs.  It’s definitely a decent salad though.  Olive oil and vinegar based salad dressing with Parmesan cheese.

IMG00556I ordered Chicken Parmigiana with Spaghetti and Marinara sauce.  I actually like the marinara sauce.  I wouldn’t call the spaghetti “al dente.”  The breaded chicken was a little overdone and too crisp for my taste, but edible.  I typically ordered the lunch size because the dinner comes with 2 chicken breasts and pasta.

IMG00557The kids ordered penne pasta with sauce on the side and they liked that very well.

 

 

IMG00563We ordered two desserts!  The kids ordered the molten chocolate cake with strawberries.  They thought it was pretty good, but seemed to like the strawberries best!  I LOVE the Black Tie Mousse Cake.  IMG00562Nice and creamy with a nice balance of chocolate and cream.  It’s actually the only reason I come here to eat…to get to dessert!

 

 

The service

Service was just “okay.”  Somewhat attentive, but a long lag to get the check.  I think I finally had to just request it.

 

The kids

Surely kid friendly.  Kids activities, kids menu; laid back, casual, family oriented.

I think it’s a fine choice for any night out Italian with the family.   It’s definitely not in my top 5 choices or so, but I’d eat here and will eat here again, I’m sure!

 

Rants, Raves, and Ramblings

Of course on the way home I got pulled over.  I had no idea why, but i ALLEGEDLY did not signal as I changed lanes!!  Luckily, my kids are cute and he gave me a warning. Mina asked him why his lights are blue and red and gave her a very nice explanation and I told her that is what told me to pull over right away!

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