Monday, February 25, 2013

French Fry Diary 464: Olive Garden

Olive Garden is the quintessential Italian restaurant chain in the United States. There's very little on the menu that doesn't come with some form of pasta. So as you might imagine, being a catastrophically picky eater who's not really into pasta, there's not much for me to get there. Surprisingly though, they do have one or two items I really like, so yeah, I do dig Olive Garden quite a bit.

We actually used to go frequently, it was our default anniversary dinner out for quite a few years. We recently made plans for dinner with a couple of friends we hadn't seen in quite some time, and decided on Olive Garden, as we had not been in a while, and it fit one of the couple's vegetarian needs. So I figured, what better time to review their potato product?

First though, like Red Lobster, one of Olive Garden's best features is their bread, in this case, the Breadsticks. About eight inches long and an inch wide each, baked and buttered garlic bread sticks, these are a terrific start to ant visit to the restaurant.

Besides the Breadsticks, I normally get the mixed grill, steak and chicken grilled on a kabob with vegetables, including onions and peppers, all marinated in a rosemary glaze. Since Olive Garden doesn't have French fries (not even on the kids menu!) the mixed grill comes with Tuscan potatoes.

The Tuscan potatoes are lightly seasoned, sometimes peeled, and chunked potatoes which seem to be deep-fried crispy but not greasy. Perhaps they are baked, but baked to the point where one might think they were deep-fried. If they are, it certainly begs the question, why couldn't Olive Garden have French fries?

Either way, these potato chunks are very good, and worth the trip to Olive Garden for fans of the favorite fried food. A great night with good friends and good food. And don't forget the Breadsticks!


Ray Cornwall said...

From Google: "Representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class". Perfect? Nooooo. Typical? Yeah, I guess. I used to love Olive Garden, but it's not anywhere near as good as a classy local Italian joint.

Heironymous said...

Have you ever been to Maggiano's Little Italy?

They have a red potato side dish that is baked and then fried. It is (to me) potato heaven if it is produced the way the executive chef designed the recipe to be served.

Unknown said...

It's on my list now. We have one in the new Cherry Hill Mall.

Anonymous said...

Olive Garden does have french fries now. They are definitely worth trying!

Unknown said...

I've tried the chips: but haven't had a chance to try the fries yet, but I will soon. Thanks for reading and commenting!