Unless she wants to go somewhere fancy
; then we have to go to Olive Garden.
Oh, God, my father-in-law is the same way. His idea of fine dining is Old Country Buffet or Olive Garden.
Every time that my wife and I are talking with her parents about going out to eat, Olive Garden inevitably comes up. Olive Garden microwaves everything
. The sauces come in little packets that are pulled out of the fridge and put in the microwave, and the melted sauce is then put on top of pasta that's made in gigantic batches in the morning and dished out all day long. The breadsticks arrive in par-baked batches and they're just stuffed in a toaster oven. Not a single thing there, outside of anything that goes on the grill or a saute station, is prepared fresh. It's horrifying.
I spent three days working as a cook at Olive Garden, and upon discovering this (along with realizing that I literally had nothing to do but put chicken on the grill a few times per hour), I just walked away.
Granted, every so often I want a high holy fuck-off ridiculously high-carb meal with no regard as to the genesis of the food, and about once a year I really crave those breadsticks, but I twitch when I see people talk about Olive Garden as high-quality food, and my blood boils when I see the restaurant's commercials talking about their newest cooking techniques and how they're at the cutting edge of Italian cuisine. "We sent our chefs to Italy, where they learned to dice up bacon and toss it onto pasta and call it carbonara." Fuck you
, Olive Garden.