Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Admiral_Young, Jul 4, 2009.
spaghetti and garlic bread
Last night was thin-crust sausage and roasted garlic pizza from Falbo Bros., along with some garlic bread with spinach. It was pretty awesome.
Tonight will be pork chops (marinated with brown sugar, dry mustard, white wine vinegar and some of my chili powder) paired with a romaine salad (olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing), homemade applesauce (which reminds me, I need to make more, I'm down to only two jars!) and steamed broccoli.
Horrendously bad catfish at the Black Eyed Pea. I freaking hate that place, but my Mother in Law insists we go there all the time.
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.
Fancy is the OG? Hrm...
I'm not a fan of the BEP either. I normally lean toward the veggie plate.
Thank You! I had always suspected that about OG. All those chain places are pretty dreadful, frankly. But mother in law is so insanely cheap that she doesn't want us to take her anywhere that doesn't have coupons in the Sunday paper. Then she can give the waiter a coupon and lecture us about being frugal.
Double whopper, onion rings and a coke.
Don't get me wrong -- I don't begrudge Olive Garden its existence. There's a great deal of the population that doesn't like local restaurants, because they don't have fancy commercials or the name brand, and they want over-salted, over-sugared food that is rather bland and inoffensive. Groovy. I pity those people, as they're missing out on a lot of culinary experiences, but if the businesses are making money, more power to 'em.
The reason I hate Olive Garden is how it advertises itself as high-quality, gourmet dining. It's not. It's about as far from gourmet dining as you can get. With the way the kitchen operates, Olive Garden is the McDonald's of Italian food. But all of its materials, in television, print, online, etc., they all try to push Olive Garden as the finest Italian restaurant in the country. That's my problem -- so many retarded goobers around the nation have adopted the idea of "Olive Garden = three Michelin star dining" that it's hard for restaurants that actually do produce Italian cooking to get a foothold.
Most chain restaurants don't mis-represent themselves. Chili's (which I find to be the least objectionable of the major chains), Applebee's, TGI Friday's -- they're all very up-front about what they serve. They serve quickly made food that is seasoned to the point of being inoffensively bland, and people eat it up. But they don't position themselves as fine dining. Olive Garden does.
Very good point and interesting to read what really goes on there! It always irks me: there are so many really good Italian restaurants where I live, and many for really good prices, yet when tourists come to New York they always seem to eat at the Olive Garden in Times Square!
Well, i can top that. My F-I-L loves Red Lobster. And he insists on going there whenever we take him out to dinner. Talk about shit on a plate.
Something or other from the dollar menu at BK.
Ugh! Appalling! They've perfected the dis-art of making one of the three most delectable foods in existence taste like my dad's rubber work gloves.
I get irritated with Olive Garden because the place is always packed, and many people who are there are even dressed up a bit-- like you were saying, Timby, they market themselves as fine dining and it seems a lot of people believe that. Now I'll admit my tastes aren't too sophisticated and I could eat those breadsticks until I passed out, but I've never once had an entree I like there. That's not an exaggeration! I try something new each time we go, but the only thing I really enjoy is the bread and salad.
And, hey, I'm a grown woman who will eat Chef Boyardee for lunch.
Meanwhile, we have some amazing authentic Italian restaurants (and some that even cost less!) where you can walk in on a Friday night without a wait. It really irritates me that some people are so unwilling to try anything they don't see advertised on a commercial ten times a night.
Speaking of relatives, my grandparents always want to eat at Cracker Barrel or Morrison's. I like country cookin' as much as the next Southern girl, but really, chicken fried chicken and sawmill gravy has its time and place.
Edit: On-topic, we had chicken and broccoli casserole last night.
Country fried steak, mashed potatoes with gravy and corn.
LOL! This makes me think of my grandfather. There is a seafood fastfood restaurant (and I use the term very loosely - perhaps "SeeFewd" would be more accurate) chain in my home state (Oregon) that makes Red Lobster look like haute cuisine. But, my only surviving grandfather loves the place, Lord love 'im. So, whenever we go to visit, we always have to take him to Skippers for his "phish 'n' chyps".
And, as much as I make fun of it, I do have to confess that going there does bring back fond memories of my childhood, so it's not all bad.
Oh yeah, and on topic, last night I made smoked salmon pesto penne with fresh tomatoes (and basil) from our little garden, and salmon I smoked myself on the grill.
It's one of my favorite summer dishes, once the basil and tomatoes come on.
Last night's pork chops didn't happen, as I was struck with a massive headache, massive enough that I honestly couldn't focus on anything. Cooking in that condition wouldn't have been the world's best idea.
So we had cheap Chinese takeout. Sometimes you need some "crabmeat" rangoons and hot & spicy beef.
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