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(Huffington Post)   Wait, you mean Olive Garden is NOT authentic Italian cuisine??   (huffingtonpost.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, Olive Garden, Italian cuisine, Italy, pork ribs, Parmesan, cream cheese, Tuscan  
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5692 clicks; posted to Business » on 14 Jan 2013 at 9:47 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



160 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2013-01-14 08:33:01 AM  
Nope, but it will cause authentic American diarrhea.
 
2013-01-14 08:39:30 AM  
Heard somewhere that they don't even actually make their own food, it's just heated up. The only thing they make in the restaurants are the sauces.

Which makes me wonder, what the hell takes them so long?
 
2013-01-14 08:47:34 AM  
Irish pubs in America also don't serve genuine Irish "Cuisine" thank God.
 
2013-01-14 08:48:00 AM  
I was so mad when I went to Italy and the restaurants wouldn't give me endless salad and breadsticks.
 
2013-01-14 08:51:56 AM  
Yes, but the Hospitaliano is 100% authentic.
 
2013-01-14 08:52:33 AM  
Leave Olive Garden alone!

I don't understand the hate.  They're a bit pricey in my opinion, but I've never had a meal there I didn't enjoy on some level.  As far as whether or not it's 'authentic,' I've given up on authentic-anything when it comes to 'ethnic' food in the U.S.
 
2013-01-14 09:19:43 AM  

TonnageVT: Heard somewhere that they don't even actually make their own food, it's just heated up. The only thing they make in the restaurants are the sauces.

Which makes me wonder, what the hell takes them so long?


Absolutely true. I worked as one of their marketing writers for about a year.
Even wrote some internal web copy touting their newest microwave oven technology.

Bonus: all wines, no matter color or type, had to be described in all menu and 'public' copy as
"sweet" or some permutation thereof.  It was what the Darden Restaurants focus group rubes all wanted.  Sweet wine.


Red Lobster has also been nukalicious for quite some time, but that almost makes sense, with the fragility of "seafood" being distributed across the country.
 
2013-01-14 09:20:11 AM  

Cythraul: I don't understand the hate.


ooh, i know! because the food is farking terrible?
 
2013-01-14 09:21:30 AM  

elvisaintdead: It was what the Darden Restaurants focus group rubes all wanted.  Sweet wine.


*shudder*
 
2013-01-14 09:21:53 AM  

FlashHarry: Cythraul: I don't understand the hate.

ooh, i know! because the food is farking terrible?


It is?  Either they've gone downhill in the past two years since I've eaten there, or I have terrible taste.
 
2013-01-14 09:22:13 AM  
Have you ever perused a real Chinese menu?
 
2013-01-14 09:23:16 AM  

jaylectricity: Have you ever perused a real Chinese menu?


What?  Your appetite isn't stimulated by the idea of eating various animal penises?
 
2013-01-14 09:33:13 AM  
Every community needs that go-to restaurant where they can have a family gathering that includes the one pickypants relative who will piss and moan about the slightest whiff of unfamiliarity with the menu items.

That said, if you're anywhere north or east of Philly there's no farking excuse you can't find a decent old-fart red-sauce joint.
 
2013-01-14 09:34:32 AM  

Cythraul: It is?  Either they've gone downhill in the past two years since I've eaten there, or I have terrible taste.


well, obviously this is subjective, but i've eaten at OG probably three or four times in my life (never my choice, mind you). and every time, the pasta was overcooked, the sauces were flavorless, and the atmosphere was like a middle-school cafeteria. all in all, it was terrible, pretty much every time.

again, your mileage may vary. maybe i've just hit the bad franchises. who knows? but, yeah, i'll never eat there again if i can avoid it.
 
2013-01-14 09:37:42 AM  

FlashHarry: Cythraul: It is?  Either they've gone downhill in the past two years since I've eaten there, or I have terrible taste.

well, obviously this is subjective, but i've eaten at OG probably three or four times in my life (never my choice, mind you). and every time, the pasta was overcooked, the sauces were flavorless, and the atmosphere was like a middle-school cafeteria. all in all, it was terrible, pretty much every time.

again, your mileage may vary. maybe i've just hit the bad franchises. who knows? but, yeah, i'll never eat there again if i can avoid it.


I've only ever eaten at the one in Cary, North Carolina.  Maybe you should try that one if you're ever through this way?
 
2013-01-14 09:38:01 AM  

Gulper Eel: That said, if you're anywhere north or east of Philly there's no farking excuse you can't find a decent old-fart red-sauce joint.


not just the northeast. i would say that any american city over 250,000 people should have at least one or two "real" italian (meaning italian-american) restaurants.

here in omaha, there is a sizable italian-american population. there is (or was) even a "little italy" neighborhood. sadly, though, most of the family italian joints in this town focus on giant portions of sauce-drenched pasta. not terrible, but hardly italian. luckily there are several places here that do northern italian cuisine too.
 
2013-01-14 09:39:41 AM  

Cythraul: Maybe you should try that one if you're ever through this way?


lol, thanks, but no thanks. four strikes and i'm done. stuff like that is designed to appeal to a mass american audience - meaning it's designed to offend as few people as possible. that means that it's boringand inauthentic.
 
2013-01-14 09:41:06 AM  

www.wearysloth.com

RIP Foster Brooks

 
2013-01-14 09:41:45 AM  
whoops - wrong thread!
 
2013-01-14 09:44:50 AM  

Cythraul: Either they've gone downhill in the past two years since I've eaten there, or I have terrible taste.


Olive Garden is your basic fast-food quality fare, so it's not like eating dogshiat, but it's hardly worth eating.
 
2013-01-14 09:50:47 AM  

jaylectricity: Have you ever perused a real Chinese menu?


not being able to read real chinese, no.
 
2013-01-14 09:52:00 AM  

Cythraul: Leave Olive Garden alone!

I don't understand the hate.  They're a bit pricey in my opinion, but I've never had a meal there I didn't enjoy on some level.  As far as whether or not it's 'authentic,' I've given up on authentic-anything when it comes to 'ethnic' food in the U.S.


You should go to a real city.


Olive Garden isn't horrible though. I went skiiing and was starving and it was the only place I could find nearby. It did the job that night for sure.
 
2013-01-14 09:52:48 AM  

jaylectricity: Have you ever perused a real Chinese menu?


I have only perused imaginary, fraudulent, and/or counterfeit Chinese menus.
 
2013-01-14 09:52:50 AM  

FlashHarry: elvisaintdead: It was what the Darden Restaurants focus group rubes all wanted.  Sweet wine.

*shudder*


man, you have *no idea* how truly painful that was.
the $ was good and it was easy.  But damn, I love to cook, and just felt  dirty walking out of there every day.
 
2013-01-14 09:52:59 AM  

Cythraul: As far as whether or not it's 'authentic,' I've given up on authentic-anything when it comes to 'ethnic' food in the U.S.


If you want authentic get a cookbook and take some classes. I took cooking courses in Tuscany and Paris and have cookbooks from the 60s that call for unprocessed everything. I make some farking awesome meals I must say.

The only problem is after eating only organic for the past 10 years I can barely stomach any restaurant food. I can taste the processing in everything and rarely does restaurant meat pass my gums without me flinching. Especially anything creamy. I don't think I could eat anything at Olive Garden except a salad.
 
2013-01-14 09:56:24 AM  

FlashHarry: elvisaintdead: It was what the Darden Restaurants focus group rubes all wanted.  Sweet wine.

*shudder*


www.wegmans.com

Ooga booga!
 
2013-01-14 09:58:04 AM  
Olive Garden is fair, I think the only reason people go there is for the salad and bread sticks.
 
2013-01-14 09:59:36 AM  
Nothing really is "authentic". Everything is a bastardization created by whatever culture existed crossed with whatever ingredients were available. The pursuit of authenticity is this romantic idea that culture can exist in a pure state within a vacuum free from outside (re: inauthentic) influences. It isn't and it hasn't been since man learned that he could walk to the next village and check out what they were cooking.
 
2013-01-14 10:01:27 AM  

elvisaintdead: TonnageVT: Heard somewhere that they don't even actually make their own food, it's just heated up. The only thing they make in the restaurants are the sauces.

Which makes me wonder, what the hell takes them so long?

Absolutely true. I worked as one of their marketing writers for about a year.
Even wrote some internal web copy touting their newest microwave oven technology.

Bonus: all wines, no matter color or type, had to be described in all menu and 'public' copy as
"sweet" or some permutation thereof.  It was what the Darden Restaurants focus group rubes all wanted.  Sweet wine.


Red Lobster has also been nukalicious for quite some time, but that almost makes sense, with the fragility of "seafood" being distributed across the country.


I hate ordering wine in a restaurant in general. Menus never get the taste correct and between brands and years, a pinot noir can be completely different in flavor.

Plus a lot of places are selling stuff that had been opened the week before.
 
2013-01-14 10:01:27 AM  

xynix: Irish pubs in America also don't serve genuine Irish "Cuisine" thank God.


My preferred Irish pub in Raleigh served Guinness, Beamish, and O'Haras, so I have to disagree.

/until it burned down
 
2013-01-14 10:03:42 AM  

FlashHarry: four strikes and i'm done. stuff like that is designed to appeal to a mass american audience - meaning it's designed to offend as few people as possible. that means that it's boringand inauthentic.


The thing that also sucks...ymmv on this...but the restaurants that open near me are either chains like OG or overpriced foodie-hipster douche magnets who can't wait to tell you about the surpassing wonderfulness of their pan-seared sweetbread dumplings wrapped in braised boar scrotum ($31.95).

If I know there's a little old lady in the kitchen making strawberry pie, then I am at a restaurant at which I am happy.
 
2013-01-14 10:04:21 AM  

xynix: The only problem is after eating only organic for the past 10 years I can barely stomach any restaurant food. I can taste the processing in everything and rarely does restaurant meat pass my gums without me flinching.


Oh god, you can taste organic.
 
2013-01-14 10:07:21 AM  

Gulper Eel: The thing that also sucks...ymmv on this...but the restaurants that open near me are either chains like OG or overpriced foodie-hipster douche magnets who can't wait to tell you about the surpassing wonderfulness of their pan-seared sweetbread dumplings wrapped in braised boar scrotum ($31.95).


i hear you. we have plenty of those too here. my favorite restaurant here in town is a belgian brasserie run by a FCA-schooled chef who's amazing. and it's super-reasonable. their steak frites is $20 and mouthwatering (best fries i've had anywhere - including france and belgium - plus, he uses actual onglet.) good food doesn't have to be expensive. it just has to be, well, good.
 
2013-01-14 10:09:32 AM  

UNC_Samurai: xynix: Irish pubs in America also don't serve genuine Irish "Cuisine" thank God.

My preferred Irish pub in Raleigh served Guinness, Beamish, and O'Haras, so I have to disagree.

/until it burned down


Did somebody shout "McIntyre"?
 
2013-01-14 10:11:52 AM  

FlashHarry: plus, he uses actual onglet.


Hard to get that in the states. I have a butcher a dozen miles away from me that I order it from. There is no substitute!
 
2013-01-14 10:12:29 AM  
Olive Garden isn't Italian and HuffPo isn't journalsim. Shocking.
 
2013-01-14 10:13:25 AM  
Is this where I post that I don't have a television?
 
2013-01-14 10:13:39 AM  

Lt. Cheese Weasel: Olive Garden isn't Italian and HuffPo isn't journalsim. Shocking.


And this news is reported on Fark... oh wait...
 
2013-01-14 10:19:27 AM  

Donnchadha: UNC_Samurai: xynix: Irish pubs in America also don't serve genuine Irish "Cuisine" thank God.

My preferred Irish pub in Raleigh served Guinness, Beamish, and O'Haras, so I have to disagree.

/until it burned down

Did somebody shout "McIntyre"?


Is that a Coronation Street reference? That fact that I caught that may indicate I need to spend less time on BBC forums.
 
2013-01-14 10:19:46 AM  

Gulper Eel: If I know there's a little old lady in the kitchen making strawberry pie, then I am at a restaurant at which I am happy.


Fresh made pie? That sounds pretty foodie-hipster to me. Actually, the frickin' best lunch place downtown has fresh made hand pie and is also about as hipstery as it gets. They also make as decent a Cuban sandwich as you can find in Pittsburgh, and their egg-and-cheese breakfast sandwiches are worth killing a man over.

I'm a flexible gourmand, myself. When it comes to lunch, I tend to prefer these little hidden dives that charge $5/plate or less and run a kitchen made out of health-code violations. But I'm also cool with pan-seared sweetbread dumplings wrapped in braised boar scrotum. So long as the food is rich and flavorful, I don't care what story you write about it, or what I'm paying for it. Price isn't the object.
 
2013-01-14 10:23:49 AM  
Abby Huntsman is hawt.
 
2013-01-14 10:24:25 AM  

xynix: FlashHarry: plus, he uses actual onglet.

Hard to get that in the states. I have a butcher a dozen miles away from me that I order it from. There is no substitute!


no kidding. i've gotten it at our farmer's market a couple of times. he has a relationship with a local farm and butcher, so he can get whatever he wants. (his sous-vide short ribs are to die for.)
 
2013-01-14 10:30:18 AM  
Here in the Atlanta area, we've seen a lot of (relatively) authentic ethnic cuisine show up over the past couple of decades. This seems to be especially true for Asian and Hispanic fare (mileage varies when you get to specifics, but it's an improvement over the crap that was available before). Foraging for ethnic food tends to be a lot of fun. That said, I found this over the weekend, and have been looking for an excuse to post it:

img17.imageshack.us
/It's People!
 
2013-01-14 10:32:57 AM  

MugzyBrown: Oh god, you can taste organic.


You must have just moved to Vermont.
 
2013-01-14 10:34:16 AM  

Gulper Eel: The thing that also sucks...ymmv on this...but the restaurants that open near me are either chains like OG or overpriced foodie-hipster douche magnets who can't wait to tell you about the surpassing wonderfulness of their pan-seared sweetbread dumplings wrapped in braised boar scrotum ($31.95).

If I know there's a little old lady in the kitchen making strawberry pie, then I am at a restaurant at which I am happy.


I don't even need that. Just give me a decent pub with a good burger or steak pie. Or a local pizza joint. Something good and affordable that doesn't also reach for the lowest common denominator.
 
2013-01-14 10:38:32 AM  

jaylectricity: Have you ever perused a real Chinese menu?


Yes.
 
2013-01-14 10:38:37 AM  

FlashHarry: xynix: FlashHarry: plus, he uses actual onglet.

Hard to get that in the states. I have a butcher a dozen miles away from me that I order it from. There is no substitute!

no kidding. i've gotten it at our farmer's market a couple of times. he has a relationship with a local farm and butcher, so he can get whatever he wants. (his sous-vide short ribs are to die for.)


Ohh yes I make a braised shortrib too. Takes about 4 hours to make but when they're done they are spectacular. I can't really take credit for my food as I simply follow the instructions on the recipes. My short rib recipe is in French ;)
 
2013-01-14 10:41:17 AM  

Guuberre: Here in the Atlanta area


There's a Brazilian Steakhouse downtown that is excellent.
 
2013-01-14 10:43:25 AM  
In unrelated news, I bought my wife the Julia Childs French Cookbook for her birthday.

Let me just say, it may be one of the greatest investments I have ever made.

/we are also now out of butter
 
2013-01-14 10:47:55 AM  
I'm currently living in southern Italy, and I kinda wish they would introduce some variety into their diet. I'm not knocking it outright, because the food is good, but there aren't too many places that try to innovate. Pushing the envelope is a big part of the fun when you're cooking. When I make a pasta dish at home I like to put many different vegetables in it. When I go out to eat, quite often all of the menu items include only one or two types added to oil or marinara. In no way am I condoning what Olive Garden does, because I generally don't eat at chain restaurants in the US, but coming up with dishes inspired by a certain culture is legit.
 
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