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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Win $100 Olive Garden GC - Olive Garden & BlogHer

To share this feeling of family, Olive Garden has invited bloggers and their loved ones to dine with them and write about their experiences. Check out the links below to read about their delicious nights out. Also, be sure to enter for a chance to win a $100 Olive Garden gift card! ends 3/18

Read the reviews:

I knew exactly what I wanted to order.

I knew exactly what I wanted to order. I went for the 3 Course Italian Dinner for $12.95 because we all know I like to eat. We all started off with salad and breadsticks. I think I could eat my weight in breadsticks especially when I can dip them in Olive Garden's Alfredo dipping sauce. I ordered the Smoked Mozzarella Chicken which was to die for and so big I had plenty to take home. We’re the type of family who pass around our dinner entrees so we all can try a variety of dishes, and I loved my mother-in-law’s Steak Gorgonzola Alfredo. Yum! 

That's a lot of food for the price, my friends.

We had a great time at dinner. We were very well taken care of; the staff there is so friendly and attentive. Our drinks were always filled, the meal was presented in a timely fashion, and no one asked me to do the dishes. Come to think of it, they never ask me to do the dishes. No wonder I like it so much. 

The pasta was amazing!

Normally I get something chicken-y and cheesy and noodle-y (gee, I don't know WHERE my kid gets it!) but I decided to branch out that night and choose something a little different. I got the Asiago and Roasted Garlic Tortelloni with Grilled Sausage as my entree, plus the salad and breadsticks. The pasta was amazing! I'm not always a big fan of sausage-sometimes it's too powerful in a pasta dish for me-but this was perfect. And the sauce added a great, light, tomato flavor and of course the cheese-stuffed tortelloni? YUM. 

Yes. We had so much fun that we stayed that long.

The girls and I had such a great time catching up and the staff at Olive Garden never once made us feel rushed. We took over one of their tables on a busy Saturday evening for over three hours, and they were just as friendly as they could be! Our waitress didn't even make fun of us when my friend opened up her to-go box and started eating her food again. Yes. We had so much fun that we stayed that long. Oh, and may I just say, Olive Garden has the most comfortable chairs known to man? Why does every restaurant not use cushy wheeled chairs? I do not understand. 

I can't wait to go back!

Now, we all know how I feel about chocolate. I'm a chocolate snob. A chocoholic. Whatever you want to call it, chocolate is my thing. This chocolate mousse did NOT disappoint! With it's decadent cookie crust and soft, melt in your mouth chocolate mousse topped with chocolate shavings, it was the perfect ending to a delicious meal! My mom had the Tiramisu, and she loved it as well! The other dessert options include: Limoncello Mousse, Strawberry Cream Cake and Dark Chocolate Cake.Is your mouth watering yet? Gosh, mine is just thinking about that meal. I can't wait to go back!  

I loved catching up on “life.”

This past Sunday, our family had the treat of eating lunch at Olive Garden with some of our sweetest friends.It was such a blessing to sit down to eat with some of my favorite people in the world and eat lunch in such a fun and relaxing environment.The ladies sat on one end of the table and the men on the other side with the kiddos in the middle.I loved catching up on “life” with these two precious ladies, Julie and Lori. 

Olive Garden is still our favorite restaurant.

When I got the offer to do a review for them I squealed with joy! Olive Garden has been one of my favorite restaurants for years. When Mr. TRH and I were newlyweds we didn't have much money to eat out. It was "THE" restaurant to go to for special occasions. After we have been married for so many years with three kids, Olive Garden is still our favorite restaurant.  

Now THAT'S what I call great service!

My salad was enough for two and my entree was delicious and filling; I even had enough leftover to eat for lunch the next day! The waitress packed my leftovers in a microwavable container and put extra breadsticks to-go in an oven-heating bag. How easy can they make my life?For dessert, the bartender gave me both the chocolate cake and strawberry cream cake for to try, even though I ordered just one. Now THAT'S what I call great service! The smaller portion was perfect after a huge meal.  

I love that my family is always happy after a meal at Olive Garden.

If you happen to have room for dessert, they have some great choices. My favorite is the Black Tie Mousse Cake, but the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake and Lemon Cream Cake are great as well. The Black Tie Mouse Cake is everything a chocolate lover could expect and is so creamy. I love that my family is always happy after a meal at Olive Garden, and no one goes away from the table hungry. 

Pasta is a quick and easy leftover. It tastes great warmed up!

Well, I'd be shocked if anyone actually finished their entire meal in one sitting. The nice thing about Olive Garden is you can really make more than one meal from it. Pasta is a quick and easy leftover. It tastes great warmed up! So not only did we enjoy a tasty dinner, but we were also able to savor a second portion for lunch the following day :)

Laughing with my friends is necessary for me to be a better mom and wife.

Spending time laughing and talking with my friends is necessary for me to be a better mom and wife. Everyone needs some down time. I love sharing it with these friends. When you get away from the chaos of everyday life to reconnect with people, you are blessed. And having a fabulous meal while enjoying all that is even better.  Read more

Olive Garden offers a gluten free menu!

I ordered the Steak Gorgonzola-Alfredo, medium rare, and it came cooked to perfection. The portion was so large that I had plenty leftover to take home. In fact, my husband and I were able to have the leftovers for dinner the next evening! Score! I didn't have to cook, and hubs wasn't too sad that I partied without him :). Tip: Olive Garden offers a gluten free menu! We take advantage of this when dining with our kids. 

A fruit and a vegetable from the kid's menu, imagine that!

My two picky girls love that they can create their own pasta bowls, and I love that there are no french fries on the menu.  Both of their meals came with fruit, and all of the kids enjoyed the yummy, unlimited salad and breadsticks before their meal arrived.  A fruit and a vegetable from the kid's menu, imagine that!  The games on the kid's menu were pretty fun too.  I may or may not have picked up a few new Italian words.  

I loved the feeling of being satisfied, not stuffed.

A trick I learned from my skinny friends: when the meal comes, ask for a box right away. Divide your portion in half and put half in the box so you won’t be tempted to eat the whole gosh darn thing. I loved the feeling of being satisfied, not stuffed. I’m gonna use that trick again! I ordered the Grilled Shrimp Caprese and loved it. My husband really liked his Chicken Scampi.  

The best staff and service every time I visit.

Our waiter was so polite and funny, and he did such a great job of taking care of us. Olive Garden always seems to have the best staff and service every time I visit.  I also love the comfortable, friendly atmosphere, especially the rolling chairs if you sit at a non-booth table; it makes for an easy out if you need to visit the bathroom during your meal!    

Olive Garden is for families.

There were a few moments where Harrison became boisterous, & we reminded him to use an “inside voice” & to stay seated in his chair, but it did not disrupt the other patrons' dinners thanks to the music & bustle of the restaurant. Olive Garden is for families, & they make the dining experience as welcoming as possible for those of us with small tots. We don’t go out to eat a lot, but it is nice to know that should momma need a night off from the stove & dishes, there’s a place that welcomes our entire family. 

A restaurant that can grow with you.

It had been a while since I'd been to an  Olive Garden and I'm so glad that I was able to go back and remind myself how awesome it is to have a restaurant that can grow with you from your skinny salad-only days of college up through the years when you fill your dinner table with babies. It's nice to know that some places stay the same. That's comfort food to me. 
We were a little bummed not to be there for their new special which starts on January 23rd - a 3 Course Italian Dinner for $12.95!  The 1st course is soup or salad, the 2nd course is one of 5 new entrees, and the 3rd course is one of 5 Dolcini desserts.  Yum! And sounds like more food than you can eat in one sitting—my favorite! 

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