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(Grand Forks Herald)   Residents of Grand Forks, ND are lining up for blocks to enjoy a one-of-a-kind European dining experience that finally puts the city on the culinary map with its unique brand of Tuscan refinery. It's called "The Olive Garden"   (grandforksherald.com) divider line 357
    More: Fail, Olive Garden, Tuscan, Europeans, North Dakota, Red Lobster, wine list, refineries, farmhouse  
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14063 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Mar 2012 at 5:52 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-07 07:01:24 PM  

Mock26: Their lobster is fresh, though.


as fresh as the easter bunny is real

/sysco frozen lobster tails
 
2012-03-07 07:02:24 PM  
Marilyn Hegarty seems to be the oldest fourth grade English student ever to write a local item.
 
2012-03-07 07:05:17 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: The Olive Garden -- What you get when General Mills decides to make a dining experience.

*shudder*


Hey--Lucky Charms are the shiat.
 
2012-03-07 07:07:35 PM  
Part of me thinks, hey, I don't want to belittle people who've grown up in a simpler environment. I'd probably want this lady on my side if the Great Depression hit again. I shouldn't be rude just because she's impressed by a chain restaurant. Film connoisseurs probably think I'm an idiot for thinking Donnie Darko was a great movie.

On the other hand, attitudes like this are why vast swaths of the country are covered in identical strip malls. Culture matters, and a widespread lack of curiosity leads to all of us being affected by cultural complacency and the mental rot that it brings. I feel like a basic ability to appreciate food is part of the modern world citizen's toolbox; not everyone has to be Anthony Bourdain, and I've been known to gleefully hoss out on Whataburger at 2am, but the attitude where you don't care about seeing what's outside the limits of your small town is taken into the voting booth where it directly affects me.

I can forgive someone disagreeing with me that Olive Garden is garbage imitation Italian food, but if they're not even interested in seeing what the real deal looks like, I can't help but imagine how that attitude informs the rest of their worldview.
 
2012-03-07 07:08:00 PM  
I wouldn't consider Red Lobster 'fine dining', I knew a kid who worked there, and he said 90% of their entree's go thru a conveyor belt type oven. No love in that cooking.
 
2012-03-07 07:09:01 PM  

meat0918: Darden, their parent company, was recently complaining that giving employees actual paid sick leave was going to kill their bottom line.

Olive Garden is sad enough as it is without knowing the CEO of Darden, the parent company, is a massive prick towards his employees (new window)


Thanks for posting that link (new window), very telling read:

"Regulatory mandates flowing from federal health care reform may be the most visible, but the list also includes measures such as new mandatory paid leave provisions that require us to change the way we accommodate employees who need to take time off when they are ill and ever more unrealistic requirements regarding employee meal and rest breaks that, in California for example, force our employees to take breaks in the middle of serving lunch or dinner."

First of all: run-on sentence. Secondly, that's a lie, and he knows it. The California DIR mandates a 30min meal break for work periods of no more than 5hrs. Rest periods are to be 10min at approx the middle of the work period, "insofar as practicable". That means so it won't interfere with work.

You would think such a clean, well spoken businessman like himself would take pride in knowing his subject matter. Wouldn't you?
 
2012-03-07 07:10:33 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: I grew up in small towns. Places like Coos Bay, OR and Port Angeles, WA. USCG brat, we went to all the fun places.


There are great restaurants in both Coos Bay and Port Angeles. Your parents just lied to you.
 
2012-03-07 07:11:19 PM  

Coelacanth Filet: On the other hand, attitudes like this are why vast swaths of the country are covered in identical strip malls. Culture matters, and a widespread lack of curiosity leads to all of us being affected by cultural complacency and the mental rot that it brings. I feel like a basic ability to appreciate food is part of the modern world citizen's toolbox; not everyone has to be Anthony Bourdain, and I've been known to gleefully hoss out on Whataburger at 2am, but the attitude where you don't care about seeing what's outside the limits of your small town is taken into the voting booth where it directly affects me.


A lot of it has to do with access. I went to college in a town in the middle of nowhere and people there were longing for places like Applebee's, Panera, Steak n' Shake, and Jack in the Box and a shopping mall.

To get to these places they'd have to drive to the nearest major city which was an hour and a half ride away just to go to these places and sometimes they did.
 
2012-03-07 07:13:31 PM  

The Jami Turman Fan Club: This is in spite of the fact that Rochester has one of the best burger joints out there in Newt's.


Been meaning to get there for some time.

I've heard it's crazy-good.
 
2012-03-07 07:13:49 PM  

naugahyde monkey: Mock26: Their lobster is fresh, though.

as fresh as the easter bunny is real

/sysco frozen lobster tails


Live lobster tank.
 
2012-03-07 07:14:36 PM  

jayhawk88: You big city folks just don't get it. I lived in a town of 900 in the middle of Kansas growing up, and "nice meal out" for us used to be going dine-in at the McPherson Pizza Hut. An Olive Garden would have been something my mom made me put on my church clothes for.


This. After driving 8 hours to Grand Rapids to visit me, my dad will sulk if we don't head straight to the Olive Garden. He finds the pasta a bit too spicy for him, though, so he usually gets the steak. For my family, the fact that I moved to a city with an Olive Garden was a sign that I had "made it".

/seriously
 
2012-03-07 07:19:47 PM  
It was front page news when a stand-alone Starbucks opened here in Roanoke, Va.

/not an exaggeration
 
2012-03-07 07:23:03 PM  

Rapmaster2000: Like they never saw a burrito before. You can't explain it!


When they think "burrito" they think Taco Bell, or frozen microwave burritos that are mostly chewy tortilla and a tiny portion of beans and cheese inside.

A Chipotle (or Qdoba, whavever) type big burrito really is foreign to many Americans before they eat at that kind of place.

Oh, and I also thought TFA read like something out of The Onion.
 
2012-03-07 07:23:22 PM  

AeAe: Louisiana_Sitar_Club: Thread Jack!



[1.bp.blogspot.com image 400x350]


I just found a lady taking a dump out of her forehead in an image search and I had to share.

Jesus that's disturbing.


It took her 20 years to have that thing removed? Dammit, I may be nothing special, but I'll be damned if I'd let a fetid toenail grow out of my face and spoil my looks entirely.
 
2012-03-07 07:23:44 PM  

Shostie: Honestly, it reads like a column from the Onion.

"Also, I live near Taco Bell. In case you don't live here in Monroe, Taco Bell is this really good Spanish restaurant they have next to the yogurt place. It's so good, in fact, they opened another one at the mall. They only sell Spanish food there, so every time you go in and give your order, you're speaking Spanish! (Unless you're just there to ask for water like I sometimes do.) And since nobody goes to Taco Bell more than I do, that is another reason I can speak Spanish so well! Ellaquanto burritõs! Grandé baloobos! El hoolio!"


/oniony
 
2012-03-07 07:26:22 PM  

Mock26: naugahyde monkey: Mock26: Their lobster is fresh, though.

as fresh as the easter bunny is real

/sysco frozen lobster tails

Live lobster tank.


yes there are live lobsters in a tank at the red lobster

no your lobster tail dish is not from a tank lobster
 
2012-03-07 07:28:05 PM  

attila the hun's space age techno-babble: jayhawk88: You big city folks just don't get it. I lived in a town of 900 in the middle of Kansas growing up, and "nice meal out" for us used to be going dine-in at the McPherson Pizza Hut. An Olive Garden would have been something my mom made me put on my church clothes for.

This. After driving 8 hours to Grand Rapids to visit me, my dad will sulk if we don't head straight to the Olive Garden. He finds the pasta a bit too spicy for him, though, so he usually gets the steak. For my family, the fact that I moved to a city with an Olive Garden was a sign that I had "made it".

/seriously


Your parents would find me *real* hifalutin'. I can walk three blocks to Olive Garden, SmashBurger, Noodles & Co., and Long John Silver's. Wooooooo . . . yay, me or something.

Moving soon!
 
2012-03-07 07:28:30 PM  
i can go get real mexican food made by mexicans where a wizened old mexican lady is slapping around homemade tortillas like red headed step-children while mexicans scarf down their menudo y tamales y chile con carne and I have to point at the menu items to the waitress 'cause mi espanol es muy malo and then I'll slam down a couple pineapple jarritos while working my way through mi carne asada y tacos de lengua.

and yet taco bell exists and thrives around here. why? why? WHY?
 
2012-03-07 07:28:34 PM  

Mock26: naugahyde monkey: Mock26: Their lobster is fresh, though.

as fresh as the easter bunny is real

/sysco frozen lobster tails

Live lobster tank.


True, If you pick one from the tank it is fresh. I you just order an entree with a tail on it, it is frozen which is what a majority of the lobster seems to be..
 
2012-03-07 07:29:49 PM  
I'm with subby..... Olive Garden is some good eats!

/more breadsticks please!
 
2012-03-07 07:30:13 PM  

atomic-age: AeAe: Louisiana_Sitar_Club: Thread Jack!



[1.bp.blogspot.com image 400x350]


I just found a lady taking a dump out of her forehead in an image search and I had to share.

Jesus that's disturbing.

It took her 20 years to have that thing removed? Dammit, I may be nothing special, but I'll be damned if I'd let a fetid toenail grow out of my face and spoil my looks entirely.


But think of the practical applications. If she ever gets stuck in the snow, you can hook a winch to that thing and POP! She's shuffling down the avenue like nothing ever happened.

I would also bet that she never ever bumps her nose on the wall.
 
2012-03-07 07:31:09 PM  

naugahyde monkey: Mock26: Their lobster is fresh, though.

as fresh as the easter bunny is real

/sysco frozen lobster tails


It's funny how many people think they are eating a restaurants food when it's just Syscos. People have no idea how much restaurant food is sourced from the same supplier.
 
2012-03-07 07:32:02 PM  
When the Chik-Fil-A in Chesterfield Missouri opened, the drive-through line was roughly a mile long. Funny thing is that it probably didn't take more than fifteen minutes to get through it. That place is crazy efficient. The amount of money the owners must make in a day is staggering.

And as for Italian food there, the unfortunately-named Babbo's Spaghetteria is really, really good. Their risotto is heaven.
 
2012-03-07 07:32:31 PM  
Have you ever wanted to go to olive garden but have a friend tell you to go to an "authentic" place nearby? Then when you try it, it's like really bad homemade mom food? Yeah, I'm sorry but the olive garden, as mediocre as it's supposed to be is many steps above these other local places if you take your head out of your ass and just taste the food.

I'm not saying it's the greatest, but for the price it's good.
 
2012-03-07 07:32:49 PM  

wambu: The same demographic believes that Red lobster is the best seafood restaurant ever.


No one thinks that. That construct only exists in the minds of bigots who haven't left their protected lifelong enclave long enough to learn a single, true thing about the rest of the country, so they invent stereotypes to fill in the gaps about people they've never met or interacted with.

In some parts of the country, Red Lobster is the ONLY place to get seafood, good or bad, so people go there. If there was a really good seafood restaurant AND a Red Lobster, people would recognize the better restaurant for what it is. Yet they still might not frequent it because it's expensive, or not kid-friendly enough, or takes too long.
 
2012-03-07 07:33:31 PM  
img138.imageshack.us
 
2012-03-07 07:33:39 PM  

Igor Jakovsky: Well shiat, its Grand Forks, OG may very well be the best Italian restaurant in the City. We can't all live in NYC. To me its like trying to find good BBQ in NY. I lived up there and the closest thing I could find to BBQ was Virgils or baby back ribs from Chilis.


Did YOU ever look for BBQ outside of Times Square?

Hill Country on 26th. John Brown Smokehouse in Astoria. Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem.
 
2012-03-07 07:35:18 PM  

Omahawg: i can go get real mexican food made by mexicans where a wizened old mexican lady is slapping around homemade tortillas like red headed step-children while mexicans scarf down their menudo y tamales y chile con carne and I have to point at the menu items to the waitress 'cause mi espanol es muy malo and then I'll slam down a couple pineapple jarritos while working my way through mi carne asada y tacos de lengua.

and yet taco bell exists and thrives around here. why? why? WHY?


I have a place like that around here, to be fair though it is in a Mexican grocery and the kitchen looks like the owner pays the health inspector to look the other way, but damn it is good and cheap. I do my best to order in espanol, the girl behind the counter taking the order who is also the cook gets a kick out of it.

/gringo
 
2012-03-07 07:36:34 PM  

Igor Jakovsky: Well shiat, its Grand Forks, OG may very well be the best Italian restaurant in the City. We can't all live in NYC. To me its like trying to find good BBQ in NY. I lived up there and the closest thing I could find to BBQ was Virgils or baby back ribs from Chilis.


Jesus, this!

I've resorted to Famous Dave's for BBQ in Philly. It's not good, but it's not bad, either. I've gotten used to bad.
 
2012-03-07 07:37:01 PM  

Igor Jakovsky: Omahawg: i can go get real mexican food made by mexicans where a wizened old mexican lady is slapping around homemade tortillas like red headed step-children while mexicans scarf down their menudo y tamales y chile con carne and I have to point at the menu items to the waitress 'cause mi espanol es muy malo and then I'll slam down a couple pineapple jarritos while working my way through mi carne asada y tacos de lengua.

and yet taco bell exists and thrives around here. why? why? WHY?

I have a place like that around here, to be fair though it is in a Mexican grocery and the kitchen looks like the owner pays the health inspector to look the other way, but damn it is good and cheap. I do my best to order in espanol, the girl behind the counter taking the order who is also the cook gets a kick out of it.

/gringo


man, in omaha I got my pick all the way down South 24th st. it is like heaven, only spicier
 
2012-03-07 07:37:13 PM  

snarketyfarker: Great, now I want to go try this OG place so I can weigh in. What's better, I found a $35 gift card for OG in a free box here in Ballard, and it's still good. So, now I have to sweet talk my girlfriend into driving up to Lynnwood (closest OG). I am trained in classical Italian cuisine for a living, so this ought to be amusing...

Wish me luck, or at the very least the avoidance of dyspepsia.


We expect an after-action report.
 
2012-03-07 07:37:56 PM  

Yanks_RSJ: Hill Country on 26th. John Brown Smokehouse in Astoria. Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem.


*takes notes*

Mexican? Is there decent Mexican anywhere in the entire northeast?
 
2012-03-07 07:39:34 PM  

Yanks_RSJ: Igor Jakovsky: Well shiat, its Grand Forks, OG may very well be the best Italian restaurant in the City. We can't all live in NYC. To me its like trying to find good BBQ in NY. I lived up there and the closest thing I could find to BBQ was Virgils or baby back ribs from Chilis.

Did YOU ever look for BBQ outside of Times Square?

Hill Country on 26th. John Brown Smokehouse in Astoria. Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem.


I will not let your omission of Fette Sau in Williamsburg stand. I will NOT, sir!
 
2012-03-07 07:40:22 PM  

Omahawg: i can go get real mexican food made by mexicans where a wizened old mexican lady is slapping around homemade tortillas like red headed step-children while mexicans scarf down their menudo y tamales y chile con carne and I have to point at the menu items to the waitress 'cause mi espanol es muy malo and then I'll slam down a couple pineapple jarritos while working my way through mi carne asada y tacos de lengua.

and yet taco bell exists and thrives around here. why? why? WHY?


Damn, this reminds me so much of a post by... I wanna say Rapmaster, from at least a year ago in a thread much like this. The way he worded it was so poetic and succinct.
 
2012-03-07 07:40:45 PM  

attila the hun's space age techno-babble: jayhawk88: You big city folks just don't get it. I lived in a town of 900 in the middle of Kansas growing up, and "nice meal out" for us used to be going dine-in at the McPherson Pizza Hut. An Olive Garden would have been something my mom made me put on my church clothes for.

This. After driving 8 hours to Grand Rapids to visit me, my dad will sulk if we don't head straight to the Olive Garden. He finds the pasta a bit too spicy for him, though, so he usually gets the steak. For my family, the fact that I moved to a city with an Olive Garden was a sign that I had "made it".

/seriously


Grand Rapids isn't exactly a food mecca. One of your premier Italian institutions is Fricanos, which is itself one of the lesser outlets of that small franchise. Grand Haven's is much better.
 
2012-03-07 07:42:10 PM  

Omahawg: i can go get real mexican food made by mexicans where a wizened old mexican lady is slapping around homemade tortillas like red headed step-children while mexicans scarf down their menudo y tamales y chile con carne and I have to point at the menu items to the waitress 'cause mi espanol es muy malo and then I'll slam down a couple pineapple jarritos while working my way through mi carne asada y tacos de lengua.

and yet taco bell exists and thrives around here. why? why? WHY?


Not everyone likes eating tongue.
 
2012-03-07 07:43:06 PM  
Red Lobster is awesome comfort food. If I want reliably decent crab legs, it's the place to go.

But they always ask us what we are there for.. a birthday, celebration, anniversary? They always seem surprised when we say "Nope, just dinner."

One day I want to say "Because I'm PMSing and could eat my weight in cheddar biscuits, faux melted butter and crab legs?"
 
2012-03-07 07:43:39 PM  

FreakinB: Yanks_RSJ: Igor Jakovsky: Well shiat, its Grand Forks, OG may very well be the best Italian restaurant in the City. We can't all live in NYC. To me its like trying to find good BBQ in NY. I lived up there and the closest thing I could find to BBQ was Virgils or baby back ribs from Chilis.

Did YOU ever look for BBQ outside of Times Square?

Hill Country on 26th. John Brown Smokehouse in Astoria. Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem.

I will not let your omission of Fette Sau in Williamsburg stand. I will NOT, sir!


I didn't want to recommend it as I have not been there yet myself, which is an unforgivable oversight, I'd agree.
 
2012-03-07 07:45:23 PM  

NuttierThanEver: I would throw stones because at least my small town has a family owned red sauce place but folks around here still brag that we not only have a McDonalds but a Subway as well.


Well, you have us beat. We don't have either one. We have a cafe and a pub though, so I guess that's nice.
 
2012-03-07 07:45:27 PM  

freewill: Yanks_RSJ: Hill Country on 26th. John Brown Smokehouse in Astoria. Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem.

*takes notes*

Mexican? Is there decent Mexican anywhere in the entire northeast?


How much do you like cilantro?
 
2012-03-07 07:45:34 PM  

Yanks_RSJ: FreakinB: Yanks_RSJ: Igor Jakovsky: Well shiat, its Grand Forks, OG may very well be the best Italian restaurant in the City. We can't all live in NYC. To me its like trying to find good BBQ in NY. I lived up there and the closest thing I could find to BBQ was Virgils or baby back ribs from Chilis.

Did YOU ever look for BBQ outside of Times Square?

Hill Country on 26th. John Brown Smokehouse in Astoria. Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem.

I will not let your omission of Fette Sau in Williamsburg stand. I will NOT, sir!

I didn't want to recommend it as I have not been there yet myself, which is an unforgivable oversight, I'd agree.


Fair enough. I've never been to John Brown so I would've done the same with them.
 
2012-03-07 07:45:49 PM  

armageddonbound: Have you ever wanted to go to olive garden but have a friend tell you to go to an "authentic" place nearby? Then when you try it, it's like really bad homemade mom food? Yeah, I'm sorry but the olive garden, as mediocre as it's supposed to be is many steps above these other local places if you take your head out of your ass and just taste the food.

I'm not saying it's the greatest, but for the price it's good.


This actually happened to me. I won a gift certificate once as part of a fundraiser at work, and the.certificate was for a local, highly reviewed, "authentic" Italian eatery. It was farking disgusting... Tasteless, greasy meats, watery sauces, and horrible service. Maybe the chef was having a bad night, maybe I don't like "real" Italian, but is have been much happier with Olive Garden that night.
 
2012-03-07 07:45:52 PM  

atomic-age: attila the hun's space age techno-babble: jayhawk88: You big city folks just don't get it. I lived in a town of 900 in the middle of Kansas growing up, and "nice meal out" for us used to be going dine-in at the McPherson Pizza Hut. An Olive Garden would have been something my mom made me put on my church clothes for.

This. After driving 8 hours to Grand Rapids to visit me, my dad will sulk if we don't head straight to the Olive Garden. He finds the pasta a bit too spicy for him, though, so he usually gets the steak. For my family, the fact that I moved to a city with an Olive Garden was a sign that I had "made it".

/seriously

Your parents would find me *real* hifalutin'. I can walk three blocks to Olive Garden, SmashBurger, Noodles & Co., and Long John Silver's. Wooooooo . . . yay, me or something.

Moving soon!


Hey don't talk shiat about SmashBurger. They've got some good burgers. Noodles isn't too bad either.

Seems unfair to pair those two with Long John Silvers and Olive Garden.
 
2012-03-07 07:46:28 PM  

wiredroach: My town had lines around the block when Burger King reopened after an absence of several years. No, really.


The town where I went to high school had a line of cars several blocks long for a couple of weeks when the Taco Bell reopened after adding a Long John Silvers.
 
2012-03-07 07:46:57 PM  

Lsherm: wambu: The same demographic believes that Red lobster is the best seafood restaurant ever.

No one thinks that. That construct only exists in the minds of bigots who haven't left their protected lifelong enclave long enough to learn a single, true thing about the rest of the country, so they invent stereotypes to fill in the gaps about people they've never met or interacted with.

In some parts of the country, Red Lobster is the ONLY place to get seafood, good or bad, so people go there. If there was a really good seafood restaurant AND a Red Lobster, people would recognize the better restaurant for what it is. Yet they still might not frequent it because it's expensive, or not kid-friendly enough, or takes too long.


The evidence against this hypothesis is the throngs of people who come to NYC from all over the country...and then eat at the Red Lobster or Olive Garden or TGIFridays in Times Square. Given the choice, these people still opt for the mediocre chains.
 
2012-03-07 07:47:31 PM  

freewill: Yanks_RSJ: Hill Country on 26th. John Brown Smokehouse in Astoria. Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem.

*takes notes*

Mexican? Is there decent Mexican anywhere in the entire northeast?


Best I've had is from Guelaguetza, a Mexican grocery and takeout place with about 3 chairs in Hell's Kitchen.
 
2012-03-07 07:47:54 PM  

Pokey.Clyde: wiredroach: My town had lines around the block when Burger King reopened after an absence of several years. No, really.

The town where I went to high school had a line of cars several blocks long for a couple of weeks when the Taco Bell reopened after adding a Long John Silvers.


I'm just hoping the Taco Bell line won't be too long for the Doritos taco starting tomorrow.
 
2012-03-07 07:47:56 PM  

Pokey.Clyde: wiredroach: My town had lines around the block when Burger King reopened after an absence of several years. No, really.

The town where I went to high school had a line of cars several blocks long for a couple of weeks when the Taco Bell reopened after adding a Long John Silvers.


That's a more farked up combo than the Taco Bell/Pizza Hut's.
 
2012-03-07 07:48:49 PM  

RodneyToady: So much of that review read like mediocre fiction. It just needs a few tweaks to kick it up a notch.


"Along with it came a plate with two long, warm breadsticks", and despite all the will I could summon, my mind returned to the last time I'd had two long, warm 'breadsticks'...
 
2012-03-07 07:48:54 PM  

buckler: Pokey.Clyde: wiredroach: My town had lines around the block when Burger King reopened after an absence of several years. No, really.

The town where I went to high school had a line of cars several blocks long for a couple of weeks when the Taco Bell reopened after adding a Long John Silvers.

I'm just hoping the Taco Bell line won't be too long for the Doritos taco starting tomorrow.


Is that what they're hyping about. I saw a billboard for that today but didn't look fast enough.
 
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