I think that Olive Garden should hire me to write food reviews. Seriously.
I think their food should be served in HEAVEN.
Brent and I hadn't been out for a long time. And I'm pregnant. And we wanted some time "out of the house, alone." So Brent uttered my 6 favorite words: "Want to go to Olive Garden?"
Do I want to go? Are you kidding me? I would eat there every meal, every day, for my entire life. Yes, even breakfast. Who says you can't have bruschetta for breakfast?
We piled in the good 'ole Subaru and headed to St. Joe. 35 minutes later we pulled into the parking lot and I could hear the angels singing. We walked into the blessed establishment, my senses went into overdrive at the smell of such wonderful scents swimming through my brain, and we grabbed our timer and headed back outside to wait "25-30 minutes." I would wait 2 hours to eat there. I'm sure I've waited over an hour at some locations before.
I could barely carry on a conversation while we waited for our timer to buzz. All I could picture were the breadsticks and pasta and...oh my watering mouth nearly salivated into my lap.
The buzzer buzzed and I felt like everything turned from black and white to color. I leaped from the bench, nearly running over two small children and an elderly man....and my husband...in my attempt to get to the door.
A sweet teenage girl ushered us to our seat. A booth. This would make our dining experience even more perfect. I opened the menu, poured over the words as if I were reading "The Sermon on the Mount," and then we ordered.
We began with an appetizer of spinach artichoke dip with amazing bread, then for the main course decided to split Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken. Such a simple choice for such an important evening, you may be thinking. But you see, it is only the best of the best that can do simplicity well.
And then our bowl of salad came with breadsticks, butter dripping from their garlic-y golden brown tops. We bowed our heads and praised our magnificent God for the abundance of delicacies before us.
Let me break the events of the next twenty minutes down for you:
The salad: There is nothing, I repeat NOTHING, like an Olive Garden salad. From the mixture of the greens to the olives, to the croutons, to the freshly grated cheese [OH don't even get me started on the cheese!], to the splash of tangy, sweet, perfect dressing-- there is NOTHING like an Olive Garden salad.
The breadsticks: As aforementioned, they entertain the pallet with butter and garlic and warm goodness that tastes like a perfect walk on a perfect spring day. I ate one, and then proceeded to eat another while scrapping the salad bowl clean with it.
The spinach and artichoke dip: There is no appetizer that will leave you unsatisfied at Olive Garden, and this is just one example. Straight from the oven, its warm, creamy goodness has the perfect ratio of artichokes to spinach. Both are finely cut up, as well, so one is not to receive a giant chunk that he or she is unprepared for. The thin sliced bread with which it is served does not disappoint either, and we ate and ate, wishing the bottom of the bowl were unending.
ENTER ROUND TWO OF EMPTYING A SALAD BOWL AND BASKET OF BREADSTICKS. ENTER ROUND TWO OF TRUE HAPPINESS AND ECSTASY.
The Fettuccine: From the moment our waitress placed the steamy plate of noodles on our table, I knew we were in for a treat as the smell overtook my desire to continue eating the dip. I split the large portion onto both of our plates and slowly twirled the pasta around as to enjoy each moment with this meal. As I placed the bite in my mouth, I realized that life is worth the living because this meal exists. This was the absolute best plate of fettuccine I had ever been given.
The end: I looked up at Brent, with tears in my eyes, knowing that I could not fit another bite of food in my stomach. We still had some dip left, 3 breadsticks, and about 1/3 of our fettuccine. I sighed, and then flagged the waitress down. She scooped the remains into two white boxes, gave us our Andes mints [another reason this place= perfection...ANDES mints! Hello! They are not just skating by with plain 'ole peppermints, no siree], and we gave her our debit card. I didn't care what the ticket said, it was worth every penny [and I RARELY feel this way].
We made our way to the car- stuffed, happy, practically dancing.
Fast forward to yesterday in church. As we wrapped up and said our goodbyes and headed for the door, I began the traditional "What-should-I-make-for-lunch" routine in my head. And then I about jumped off the sidewalk when I remembered: I remembered that we had leftovers from OLIVE GARDEN.
It was yet another good day in our household.