This Week in Orlando Food: New Olive Garden Menu

I haven’t been to the Olive Garden in YEARS.  Perhaps about 5 years, and that was for a baby shower.  I can’t remember the last time I actually went there to eat.  And if I did eat, I’m pretty sure I only ate bread-sticks and salad.  So imagine my surprise to learn that they have chicken wings?! And they are good!

I was invited to taste test a new Olive Garden menu at the International Drive location in Orlando.  I suppose it helps that Darden headquarters are right down the street.  We got a chance to mingle with food bloggers, explore the expanded menu and eat way too much food.

I also had no idea the Olive Garden staff was so knowledgeable! They even send many of their servers to courses in Italy?  And the are wine experts? I had no idea.  Most of the food was great.  I’m not a fan of lots of pasta – it’s just not my thing.  It was all good – but the pasta dishes aren’t something I’m really going to order.  But I have to say I was super impressed with the non-pasta dishes!  The Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich was probably my favorite thing on the menu.  A chicken meatball? Who knew there was such a thing.

A look ahead:
Next week is going to basically be John Rivers week in Orlando.

  • Tuesday, April 15th is the OFFICIAL Grand Opening on the new 4 Rivers Smokehouse in East Orange Co., near UCF.  I say “Official” because it’s been open for a week and I’ve already been twice.  (don’t judge)
  • Thursday, April 17th: John Rivers new restaurant, The Coop, opens in Winter Park.

Disclosure:  I was provided with food at this event as part of a menu tasting.  All opinions are my own!