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Thread: Olive Garden versus local fare?

  1. #76
    On the brink wolfboy's Avatar
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck View Post
    Then you need to stop eating ground beef in restaurants.
    I decided to stop ordering ground beef in restaurants a year or so ago.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/31/us/31meat.html

    My parents order a side of beef from a friend. Occasionally I'll get some ground beef from them to make a burger.
    How do we know he's not Mel Torme?

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  3. #77
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by remdog View Post
    It's not a fact but your statement is an opinion. I'll agree that taste buds do change as we all grow older. However, many people consider it a maturation of the taste buds rather than a deterioration of the taste buds. It explains why children hate foods that they come to love as an adult.

    I've been around the hospitality business for more than 20 years, first on the restaurant side, now on the hotel side where the company that I work for has, literally, more than a thousand restaurants. My comments stand and I've got plenty of chefs and restaurant managers to back it up as do industry sales figures.

    Rem
    To claim that people's taste buds don't deteriorate as they grow older is the same as claiming that people's eyesight and hearing don't deteriorate as they grow older. It's simply nonsense on your part, and nothing you can say changes the fact that people's senses deteriorate as they grow older. To do so, is just being combative for combative sakes, like saying, "The Sun rises in the East" is an opinion. I gave you one link from the Oxford Journal of Medicine with a complete study, even though it's unnecessary. Look up the rest yourself, but don't be so combative to say that's it's an opinion on my part.

    And, your 20 years of experience in the hotel industry, whatever that means, also doesn't change the fact that restaurants for a generation (in the United States) now have moved away from "volume feeding like pigs to a trough", to high quality food in "moderate" amounts on smaller plates.

    I pointed out why there are still some places who cater to the '70's version of restaurant feeding (the elderly, the fat people and the cheap people still have enough income to make bland-tasting, volume meals a concept that works) and are able to make a profit still, and how some of those places are chains like Olive Garden. But, it's not the norm, it's the exception.

  4. #78
    A Little to the Left Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    What's an example of a chain that doesn't have huge portions? It's the norm for chain restaurants from what I've seen.
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  5. #79
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfaithful View Post
    What's an example of a chain that doesn't have huge portions? It's the norm for chain restaurants from what I've seen.
    White Castle and Krystal?


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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    More chains are starting to offer healthier options, portions, calorie information printed in their menus, and healthier substitutions. There are still the normal huge portioned plates that can feed 3 people for those that want them but previously those were all that were on the menu.

  7. #81
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    White Castle and Krystal?

    Yeah, but nobody eats just 1.
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  8. #82
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    I had to post this here. My daughter's 8th grade confirmation mass is this Sunday afternoon. I gave her choice of any restaurant after the service, and of course she chose Olive Garden!
    "Why are those Dodger pitchers in the Reds bullpen?"-GAC August 28, 2009

  9. #83
    Duranie Ho, Ho, Ho! KittyDuran's Avatar
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    I don't have a problem with Olive Garden, and never a had a bad meal there. Before going on vacation I purchase various gift cards of chain restaurants mostly for the road trip going to and from.

    As far as local fare is considered, I try to sample when on vacation - been lucky with finding pretty good Italian and breakfast/brunch restaurants. Unfortunately, if it's a signature dish of a city/region or very popular with the locals then it hard to get in ... like The Broken Egg in Sarasota, so it sometimes means going to a chain just to get served in a reasonable amount of time. Also, I found the some chains tend to be more flexible than local when you would like to omit an ingredient (not a true vegetarian since I eat fish and animal by-products) such as meat from a dish.
    Last edited by KittyDuran; 04-07-2011 at 11:31 PM.
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  10. #84
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck View Post
    Local fare, always. Olive Garden is particularly terrible, IMO.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/2011041...fullworldyahoo

    An anonymous poster on Reddit claims that she has been a manager for the popular Italian restaurant chain, and that the "cooking school" where chefs allegedly go to learn the secrets of of mastering Italian food isn't quite as advertised.

    She writes that Olive Garden does not own the place and that, when she went there in 2007, they just booked the whole rustic hotel for the Olive Garden management and chefs. The visitors "could use the restaurant (closed to the public-again off season) as a classroom for maybe an hour here or there and talk about spices or fresh produce for a minute before going sightseeing all day," she wrote. "The only time we saw the 'chef" was when she made a bolognese sauce while taking pictures with each of us to send to our local newspapers."

  11. #85
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    I love the last sentence from the article:

    NewsFeed can't really take one side or another, but honestly: If you thought unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks was authentic Italian cuisine, then maybe it's time to step out of your culinary comfort zone.

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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfaithful View Post
    What's an example of a chain that doesn't have huge portions? It's the norm for chain restaurants from what I've seen.
    Even the "Big" Mac is half to two-thirds the size it used to be.

    And, fortunately, there are fewer and fewer chains every year and more and more one-of-a-kind places.

    There are more Hilton Restaurants than I can think of, and I doubt if any of them have large-portioned servings.
    Last edited by Kingspoint; 04-18-2011 at 09:10 PM.

  13. #87
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingspoint View Post
    NewsFeed can't really take one side or another, but honestly: If you thought unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks was authentic Italian cuisine, then maybe it's time to step out of your culinary comfort zone.
    A contrarian view...

    My wife has been to culinary school, worked in the pastry shop/bakery at a Ritz-Carlton, and when she carries a container into our kids' school, every teacher and office worker wants to know what great thing she made this time. And she loves Olive Garden. It's not because she's an idiot that doesn't know soup, salad and breadsticks isn't an authentic Italian meal. It's because she loves soup, salad and breadsticks, along with a few other specific dishes on their menu she thinks they do well. She knows their lasagna isn't the best in the world. Hers is much better.

    By the way, have I mentioned that I weigh more than I used to?

    On the subject of chains in general -- it just kind of depends. There are "natural" chains, that grow out of the popularity of an original location, and chains that were born in corporate boardrooms. The natural chains are often better, *if* they can survive that leap when they start changing how they do things in the name of efficiencies of scale.
    Last edited by IslandRed; 04-18-2011 at 09:40 PM.
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandRed View Post

    On the subject of chains in general -- it just kind of depends. There are "natural" chains, that grow out of the popularity of an original location, and chains that were born in corporate boardrooms. The natural chains are often better, *if* they can survive that leap when they start changing how they do things in the name of efficiencies of scale.
    Totally agree.

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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandRed View Post
    By the way, have I mentioned that I weigh more than I used to?
    One of the greatest perks in life....a spouse who can cook great (which includes keeping it simple and not making a mess).

  16. #90
    A Little to the Left Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Re: Olive Garden versus local fare?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingspoint View Post
    Even the "Big" Mac is half to two-thirds the size it used to be.
    Didn't know that. I do know it seems like every time I got to Wendy's a medium drink gets bigger and bigger. A medium there definitely used to be a large. Same deal with the fries.

    We try to avoid sit down chains, but when we go I can never finish my food. But it might have been even worse 20 years ago, I dunno, I'm only 29.
    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
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