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Olive Garden
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Hi everyone

My grandma is absolutely insistent on taking me to the new Olive Garden in our area and I was wondering what (if anything) you all order when you go. Are any of the soups gluten-free? I know I obviously cant do the pasta and breadsticks, but I've never been there so I don't know if they offer anything else I could try. Thanks for your help!

Amy

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I suppose you could ask them about the salad, making sure to take care that they don't let croutons near it. I don't know about the sauces, and your best bet with a place that isn't generally known to provide options for celiacs is to call the local one, so they'll be familiar with the issue before you go in.

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Olive Garden, in my opinion, is the fast food of Italian Restaurants. With that said, I can't imagine them being careful enough in the kitchen not to cross contaminate. Remember, their mainstays are pastas, breads and sauces. Perhaps you can visit them BEFORE going out to eat there and discuss celiac with a manager (not server) and review the menu choices before you really do eat there.

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I think that the salad dressing is ok to eat. I have eaten there a few times but that is the ONLY thing that does not have pasta or bread in it. I love the olive garden so it has been hard not to eat there anymore. My grandmother buys the salad dressing and I have looked at the label and it all looks ok. But check to make sure.

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B) Thanks everyone for your responses. I am actually VERY suspicious about eating there already, but that thanks for your words of caution. I only asked because I specifically remember reading someone's posting about "eating at Olive Garden all the time" but I'm not sure who the member was. If anyone knows who I'm talking about, let me know.

Thanks again

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I never seen the post you mentioned, but I do remember reading one that said their local Olive Garden was very unwilling to work with them. As someone else posted, Olive Garden's mainstays are riddled with gluten. Why would you even take the chance? I would suggest that you be MORE insistent than your grandma and inform her that there is a very good chance you could get sick from cross contamination and that you don't want to eat there.

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If it were me I'd tell grandma that would absolutely LOVE to go out to eat with her but it needs to be somewhere other than Olive Garden. It's true that some people have found cooperative managers at OG, but others have had terrible experiences. And OG's national policy is essentially "go eat somewhere else."

If I remember, the people who have eaten there had salad and plain baked chicken. I believe all or most of their sauces either have gluten or the manager doesn't know what's in them because they're all pre-made and shipped in.

richard

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I actually went to one with a very helpful manager. With her help, I ordered some kind of sauted chicken with a wine based sauce that didn't contain gluten. The seasonings they use for their sauted chicken do contain gluten, so she had him make mine in a seperate frying pan without the seasoning. The big bowl of salad arrived sans croutons and was delicious. Then...the manager returns to say another waiter took my special order and so they were rushing to prepare it again, which meant everyone else was eating while I wasn't (fairly typical these days.) Anyway, it arrived and tasted great and I was halfway through it before I realized it was coated in something (since she said they were leaving off the coating...ah well.) I was so sick that night. Anyway, it just was too much bother to go through ever again. I assume it was the coating that got me, but who knows?

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I recently went to an Olive Garden w/ a Ladies group & spoke with the chef - there were only 2 items I thought might be ok, but after speaking with the chef, I found out they DO have flour in them. One was a shish-kabob dish & I can't remember the other. But ALL of their sauces have flour in them. The side order that comes with the shish-kabob is a side of potatoes, which seems like it'd be o.k., but the chef told me even they are dusted in flour. Since it is a chain restaurant, there's not much the chef can do to change the recipes. I'm not sure about the salad dressing.

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Someone on the Delphi forum just posted (last night??) that they went to their local Olive Garden and they actually now have a gluten-free menu. It's a chain, so it must be "coming out" at some point.

hmmm....

Bridget

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I saw the same delhpi post but if you go back and read it it says that this particular manager worked with a nutritionist to come up with hiw own menu, not a national one.

richard

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OG is extremely NOT helpful. I called their 800 customer service number and was told the following.. (in so many words)...

"if you have allergies of any kind, we cannot guarantee or make any effort to ensure that you will not be contaminated or poisoned. OG is not the restauarnt for you. Sorry."

So, that's that! I wouldn't eat ANYTHING at a place that has no regard for those suffering from allergies and the like. Of course, that's their perogative, but they could be nicer about it ;)

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DON'T!!!!!

My parents were in town in August and insisted on taking us to Olive Garden. It took seven and a half weeks and two hospital stays to get the symptoms under control. The waiter, chef, and manager were very nice and appeared very helpful but I knew within minutes there was a problem.

Donna

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