When my stomach is growling with hunger and my friends ask where I want to eat, without a moment‘s hesitation I reply, “Olive Garden! ” My favorite restaurant to dine at is the Olive Garden. The Olive Garden restaurant is a well known corporate chain of restaurants that offers a wide variety of Italian dishes. It is a mid-priced, causal restaurant specializing in Italian food. I love the experience of dining at the Olive Garden because the atmosphere is welcoming, the Italian Entrees are scrumptious, and the service is excellent.

A particular visit last month proved to me that Olive Garden lives up to the expectations of its guests. Olive gardens creed of “Treating you like you’re family” is true for me. The friendliness of the workers allowed me to feel relaxed like I was at home. The chatter from various tables became a bit loud at times, but gave me the feeling of being with a large Italian family eating great food having a good time. The walls had very decorative decor and made me feel like I was in an Italian marketplace.

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While pulling into the oversized parking lot, the first thing I noticed was all the landscaping and how well it was maintained. I found the overall restaurant very well maintained and clean, although the floors were a little on the messy side. Olive Garden offers a wide variety menu of Italian specialties. They were all at affordable prices. First, I started off with an appetizer. I ordered the “create a sampler” where you can set up two or three different appetizers on one plate. For example, calamari, stuffed mushrooms, fried zucchini, chicken fingers, fried mozzarella or toasted meat ravioli.

Next was the hearty soup, garden-fresh salads, and of course the freshly-baked garlic breadsticks. Whiles I was taking a look at the menu I could smell the breadsticks. Mmmm… I can almost taste those steamy fluffy breadsticks now! It contained a wide range of lasagna, chicken parmesan, seafood, and pastas. Choosing only one entree was tough, but I finally made up my mind and ordered the Tour of Italy entree which gave me three of my favorite foods all on the same plate. It came with homemade lasagna, lightly chicken parmesan, and creamy fettuccine alfredo.

My Friends got the Chicken Parmigiana, Capellini Pomodoro, and Lasagna Rollata al Forno. The Chicken Parmigiana were parmesan-breaded chicken breasts, fried and topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, and served with spaghetti. The Capellini Pomodoro was roma tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil, extra-virgin olive oil and marinara sauce tossed with capellini. The Lasagna Rollata al Forno was lasagna rolls stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, asiago, parmesan and romano cheese. It’s topped with mozzarella and seasoned breadcrumbs, baked in five cheese marinara.

The dessert was next. I got the Warm Apple Crostata and Zeppoli. The warm Apples Crostata was sliced apples, rich vanilla cream, and caramelized almond biscotti crumble baked a top a shortbread cookie crust. It was served warm with vanilla ice cream. The Zeppoli were soft, traditional Italian doughnuts dusted with powdered sugar. It was served with chocolate sauce for dipping. My friends got the Black Tie Mousse Cake, Triple Chocolate Strata and White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake. The Black Tie Mousse Cake was rich layers of chocolate cheesecake and creamy custard mousse.

The Triple Chocolate Strata was a classic Italian chocolate torta layered with creamy mousse and topped with dark chocolate ganache. The White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake was raspberry-swirled white chocolate cheesecake topped with slivers of white chocolate. I was very satisfied with my appetizer, the all you can eat salad and breadsticks, the tour of Italy, and of course the dessert. Finally, the service at the Olive Garden caught my attention. As soon as we walked through the door we heard, “how are you and welcome to the Olive Garden”. We were then taken to our table and asked what we wanted to drink.

I got the fresh brewed ice tea. My friends just got the San Pellegrino water. Our drinks were received and the order was taken in a timely manner. The server was very knowledgeable of the menu and was very polite while taking our order. We were told our order would be put right in, and the salad and breadsticks were on their way. When the food arrived, our waitress let us know that the oversized plates were hot and to very careful. We began to eat. As we ate our meal the server came over twice to check on us and refilled our glasses. The server was very attentive and took very good care of us.

The only problem with the service was that our check was a bit delayed getting over to the table, but it’s understandable considering how busy they were. The best part was getting the mints after paying the bill. I greatly enjoyed my experience and will continue to be an Olive Garden customer. The Olive Garden restaurant makes the best out of everyone’s visit. During my visit I enjoyed the atmosphere, the taste of the food, and the friendly service. Olive Garden continues to treat its guests like family; this well-known Italian restaurant will remain my favorite.