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!