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Thread: Olive Garden versus local fare?

  1. #106
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by RBA View Post
    The best Italian Food I have ever had was on a Ferry from Athens to Venice.
    Ferry? Isn't that something like 1200 miles. That's cruise ship distance.

    As far as chain restaurants go, we tend to avoid them, but I like PF Changs/Pei Wei. We also still have an Old Spaghetti Factory in Denver, and going there reminds me of the one I went to in Cincy as a kid.
    Last edited by cincinnati chili; 04-20-2011 at 12:58 AM.
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  3. #107
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili View Post
    Ferry? Isn't that something like 1200 miles. That's cruise ship distance.

    As far as chain restaurants go, we tend to avoid them, but I like PF Changs/Pei Wei. We also still have an Old Spaghetti Factory in Denver, and going there reminds me of the one I went to in Cincy as a kid.
    I do like the Spaghetti Factory. The Italian Sausage is excellent as is the Minestrone Soup. It's the same every time I get it whether it was 1995 in Cincinnati, 1980 in Portland, 1985 in Tacoma, 2000 in Salem, or 2012 in John's Landing. Don't care for their other sauces, as I tried them all, from the clam sauce to the mizithra. And, the buildings are always gorgeous. I probably ate at the Cincinnati one five or six times the 10 days I was visiting. (Could walk to it from the Hyatt, where I stayed).

    Have had some nice Bratwurst with cold sauerkraut and Beaver Brand spicy mustard (from a company in Mt. Angel, Oregon where they have an annual Oktoberfest, as it was always a German community) the last few weekends as I've been stopping at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival on the way towards doing other things.

    http://www.ropesausage.com/processing.htm

    http://www.woodenshoe.com/
    Last edited by Kingspoint; 04-20-2011 at 03:53 AM.

  4. #108
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingspoint View Post
    I do like the Spaghetti Factory. The Italian Sausage is excellent as is the Minestrone Soup. It's the same every time I get it whether it was 1995 in Cincinnati, 1980 in Portland, 1985 in Tacoma, 2000 in Salem, or 2012 in John's Landing. Don't care for their other sauces, as I tried them all, from the clam sauce to the mizithra. And, the buildings are always gorgeous. I probably ate at the Cincinnati one five or six times the 10 days I was visiting. (Could walk to it from the Hyatt, where I stayed).
    I am a big fan of Calm Chowder. I had the best cup of clam chowder at a Spaghetti Factory. Kinda ironic if you ask me.

    The best Italian I had was in an Italian village called Monterosso al Mare. It was some kind of sea food pasta combo that we sat overlooking the sea. It may have been the view along with the beers, wine, and champagne.

    I have found that even the Italian restaurants that call themselves "authentic" are a far cry from the actual food served in Italy. Most of the food Italian food is more American than it is Italian.

  5. #109
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I am a big fan of Calm Chowder. I had the best cup of clam chowder at a Spaghetti Factory. Kinda ironic if you ask me.
    You think that's ironic? The best Tex-Mex food I've ever eaten was in Bordauex, France. Little hole in the wall we stumbled across w/ excellant, excellant food.

  6. #110
    C-A-T-S CATS! CATS! CATS! WVRed's Avatar
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    The Olive Garden here is ok. I actually have a friend of mine from college who worked there and upon graduation got into management there and is now in Huntington.

    That being said, there are only three italian restaurants I would consider in the Parkersburg area, and they are all pricey:

    Paolo's just opened in Vienna. It's not bad.

    Da Vinci's in Williamstown. The rumor I have heard is that they use Stouffer's lasagna and pass it off as their own. Spaghetti Mona Lisa is good though.

    Spagna's in Marietta. Never ate there, but my fiancee liked it.

    I'd like to try a Romano's Macaroni Grill or a Carabba's. or even Maggiano's Little Italy.
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  7. #111
    My clutch is broken RichRed's Avatar
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili View Post
    As far as chain restaurants go, we tend to avoid them, but I like PF Changs/Pei Wei.
    Now PF Chang's is a chain I can get behind. I'm sure it's not authentic either but the food is quite tasty.
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  8. #112
    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by RichRed View Post
    Now PF Chang's is a chain I can get behind. I'm sure it's not authentic either but the food is quite tasty.
    You can buy their food in the freezer section in most grocery stores.

  9. #113
    Administrator Boss-Hog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WVRed View Post
    I'd like to try a Romano's Macaroni Grill or a Carabba's. or even Maggiano's Little Italy.
    While it's a chain, which I try to avoid when I have the opportunity, I'm a big fan of Maggiano's. IMO, it doesn't have a chain "feel" to it. This post makes me hungry for my visit there next weekend.

  10. #114
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by medford View Post
    You think that's ironic? The best Tex-Mex food I've ever eaten was in Bordauex, France. Little hole in the wall we stumbled across w/ excellant, excellant food.
    Here we go on a tangent but the best Pizza I had was in Interlaken, Switzerland. We were on the outskirts of the city and walked around for about an hour before we finally settled on a place close to our hotel. The pizza was cooked in a brick oven and was the best I have ever had. I had some good Pizza in Napoli (the birthplace of pizza) but it didn't hold a candle to this restaurant.

  11. #115
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    It may have been the view along with the beers, wine, and champagne.
    That's quite a combination. I'm in awe...

  12. #116
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Here we go on a tangent but the best Pizza I had was in Interlaken, Switzerland. We were on the outskirts of the city and walked around for about an hour before we finally settled on a place close to our hotel. The pizza was cooked in a brick oven and was the best I have ever had. I had some good Pizza in Napoli (the birthplace of pizza) but it didn't hold a candle to this restaurant.
    The best pizza I ever had was at a place in Salzburg, Austria called Sankt Pauli Stubl. Don't try to look for it. You won't find it. There is no sign for it out front. You just have to walk along this street that runs up against the Monchsberg (small mountain in the center of the city) and find the right door. Walk up to the second floor and there's another door. When you open it, it's a bar with a connecting terrace that has a nice view of the city. The guy that ran the joint looked like Vincent Van Gogh (+1 ear) and seemed permanently ticked off. However, the pizza was awesome. My favorite was the Pizza Frutti di Mare (Seafood Pizza) and the Pizza Quattro Stagioni (4 seasons pizza).
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  13. #117
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    That's quite a combination. I'm in awe...
    We were traveling with our friends and it was their anniversary that day. We started at our hotel's lemon garden overlooking the sea with champagne or prosecco if you wish. Then we went to dinner and my wife and the other couple were enjoying wine while I stuck to beer. As the night wore on and more bottles were ordered someone needed to drink the rest of the wine. So that is how you get champagne, beer, and wine. We topped the night off with beers on the city streets (because you can't do it in America) It wasn't the smartest idea because we had a pretty demanding hike the next day.

  14. #118
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Worst pizza I have ever had was in Northern New Jersey, as well as the worst calzone.

    Alas all is not perfect in Italian cusine on the eastern seaboard always.
    I never said there weren't bad joints, there are. But I would put several Italian places here up against the best elsewhere. Even the places I haven't been crazy about I would say are better than Olive Garden.

  15. #119
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    I had Geno's East deep dish pizza this past weekend for the first time.

    I thought it stunk.

    Give me Richard's from Hamilton/Farfield/Trenton any day.
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