Note: Susan’s daughters are guest reviewers on this post. Hannah is 10 and Hope is 8.
Much to Daniel’s dismay, I not only patronize chain restaurants, I actually LIKE some of them. (And now I am writing another review of a chain. He might have a coronary.) One of my favorite chain joints is the Olive Garden. I don’t place it on the same plane as south hills market & café, Blossom Deli or Sitar of India, but it has its place in my culinary life and I am not ashamed to admit I like it every now and then.
I just plain think it tastes good. I realize a chef isn’t making the sauces, dressings and desserts under the same roof as my table – but if it tastes yummy, sometimes I don’t really care that a lot of the food was made elsewhere and shipped to this location.
That’s the beauty of a chain, right? Consistency. I can go to an Olive Garden in Arkansas and get the same delicious garlic chicken with broccoli that I enjoy in Barboursville, WV, right? One of my other favorite chains, The Cheesecake Factory, was the best meal Ron & I had on a recent trip to Orlando, Florida. Not every city has an awesome restaurant review blog like Fork You to help diners decide where to eat. We were so downhearted about the poor food with the large price tags we were relieved to see a “familiar face” where we knew what to expect.
Even though the food usually tastes the same in all the locations, the service is another animal. The little girls and I went to the Barboursville Olive Garden on Columbus Day to celebrate Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America by partaking of some Italian cuisine.