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Olive Garden
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I personally have never been there, and don't think I'll ever go. (After diagnosis) I looked at their "gluten free menu" as they call it. I don't expect everywhere to try hard, and these guys really live down to that with what they have to offer. I also have been unimpressed with the caliber of people working there before my diagnosis, I don't expect that I'll be more impressed when my health is at stake. This of course is subject to vary by location.

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I don't personally think that the food is very good. And it's expensive for what you get. Now granted I have only tried the gluten-free pasta as I am not a big meat eater. But my daughter had the pasta and a piece of chicken and loved it.

The problem we have had is with the salad. Even though we reminded the waiter that we needed to have no croutons, he still brought out a salad with one crouton on it. When I told him about it, he seemed to pull an attitude and said he would take it back and pick it off. He pulled a further attitude when I told him that wasn't acceptable and we needed a fresh salad. Granted that has happened only once.

Another thing to watch for is if you have a big party. If there are over a certain amount of people, they will tack on an 18% gratuitiy. We did not know this and were tipping additionally. My brother is the one who discovered that it does say so somewhere. Can't remember if it was on the bill or the menu.

And once we had a problem with missing money. We did have a big party and there were three different checks. My SIL put $70 in the little folder thingie and told the waitress to keep the change. The waitress left with our folders and as we were getting up to leave, she ran back to the table and told my SIL that she had only put a $5 bill in there. SIL was baffled and said that no, she had put three twenties and a ten. No $5 bill at all. In fact she hadn't even had a $5 bill in her wallet.

We had to sit there for a while, while they sorted it all out. Finally the manager came and said they would give us the benefit of the doubt. SIL was very upset about it because she dines in there at least once a week.

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Bossley, I just posted to you on the "soup" thread, and I don't want to be a party pooper, but I really think if I were you, I wouldn't even consider eating in a restaurant at this point. You need to simple down your menu. Whole foods only for a while. When you're still new at this your body is going to react to all sorts of things, and the chances of CC at restaurants is just too great.

I know there will be times when your friends or family are dining out and you want to go with them. Go, but eat at home before you go and just have a beverage at the restaurant. Or if you are on the road and can't eat at home, take those little packages I spoke of in the other thread. Even if you're on vacation for a week or two, you can grocery shop wherever you are and cook in your room. Most motel rooms have microwaves, and you can also get a small George Foreman grill to cook meats on.

I know I sound paranoid, but am I paranoid ENOUGH? :blink: That is because quite frankly, I went through hell when I first started. I was literally afraid that I was not going to ever be able to eat ANYTHING. The only thing that didn't cause me problems at first was meat, and sometimes even meat was iffy.I was in our local healthfood store one day and had a total meltdown. There was not one single thing in that store I could eat! (except for the package of frozen bison - but I didn't have time for it to thaw and nothing at work to cook it on even if I could.)

A year sounds like a long time, but just be patient, be vigilant, and keep it simple. You CAN do this. Believe me, if I could do it, you can. I can't cook and I hate to cook anyway. I'm a naturally grumpy person, and I've always been good at seeing the dark side of everything. And still, with the help of the folks here, I made it through. I am adding back all of the foods I lost, I'm not grumpy and negative anymore, I feel better than I have in decades, and, well, I'd like to tell you I learned to cook, but I can't lie - I still hate to cook and I'll never be good at it, but two out of three ain't bad. :lol:

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I would only go to Olive Garden if it was necessary for a meeting or something. There is just not much there for us.

It's sad... I used to love the OG.

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I would only go to Olive Garden if it was necessary for a meeting or something. There is just not much there for us.

It's sad... I used to love the OG.

I used to love the OG too, but haven't been in a couple years, since going gluten-free. I think my biggest concern would be cc...oh the joys of eating out haha 😜

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I recently ate at Olive Garden while visiting family, it was a place we could all eat at. I had salad and pasta. It was ok, not great but at least I could eat something along with everyone else which was the main reason for going. The server was good about bringing the salad out with croutons and dressing in a separate bowl, he went over my special "alergy" request and it was a positive experience. It is not a place I would pick for a special dinner but for me it isn't always abou the greatness of the food but more about the fact that there is something available that I can safely eat with everyone else....and look "normal"! :D

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I recently ate at Olive Garden while visiting family, it was a place we could all eat at. I had salad and pasta. It was ok, not great but at least I could eat something along with everyone else which was the main reason for going. The server was good about bringing the salad out with croutons and dressing in a separate bowl, he went over my special "alergy" request and it was a positive experience. It is not a place I would pick for a special dinner but for me it isn't always abou the greatness of the food but more about the fact that there is something available that I can safely eat with everyone else....and look "normal"! :D

It's good to hear the positive experiences! I have to agree, it's nice to have a place you can go and not feel singled out, "normal", whatever that is, is what I always strived for, I don't mind attention but not because of what I'm eating! 😃😃

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Limited menu and my food was incredibly disappointing. If I am going to take the huge risk of eating out, I won't do it there again. Sorry for a negative report.

There are very few places I feel even remotely safe when I am in a situation where I "have to" eat out with people (visiting in-laws, etc.). The service I received did not inspire much confidence. I don't know that I was glutened, but I was already too sick that day to necessarily be able to tell.

If you do try it, I hope you have a better experience.

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I should have followed my original plan to order the grilled salmon after reading all the reviews here. But no -- I'm so stubbon I had to learn for myself.

Well, I can add my "yuck" to the penne pomodoro reviews. Why the heck do they cook the pasta till it falls to pieces? The sauce was fine, but the pasta -- blecch.

I enjoyed my salad, though, and the waitress was sweet enough to bring me free ice cream while everyone else had tiramisu.

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I should have followed my original plan to order the grilled salmon after reading all the reviews here. But no -- I'm so stubbon I had to learn for myself.

Well, I can add my "yuck" to the penne pomodoro reviews. Why the heck do they cook the pasta till it falls to pieces? The sauce was fine, but the pasta -- blecch.

I enjoyed my salad, though, and the waitress was sweet enough to bring me free ice cream while everyone else had tiramisu.

I have never had a problem with olive garden. I always order the pasta pomodoro. Its alwasy our "we don't want to cook lets order olive garden. :-)

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First let me say that I live in Eastern Washington State, and my sister, who was diagnosed almost 4 years ago lives in a small rural town in Eastern Kansas. When I called and told her I had been diagnosed, one of the first things she said regarding eating out is "Don't go to the Olive Garden!" I asked her why, and from her answer I would say their staff has no appropriate training. She said they cooked the gluten free pasta in the SAME WATER as the regular pasta!!!! It was never one of my favorites, and I rarely went there anyway. This has made me very cautious, knowing that having a gluten free menu doesn't necessarily mean anything! Since I have only been diagnosed for 2 months, I am very wary of eating out and haven't been anywhere yet!

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I went to the Olive Garden and ordered the Pasta Pomodoro. It wasn't great, it wasn't awful. They cooked it properly. It did not make me sick. I'd eat it again if my family wanted to go to Olive Garden. What I really miss here is the Zuppa Toscana.

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First let me say that I live in Eastern Washington State, and my sister, who was diagnosed almost 4 years ago lives in a small rural town in Eastern Kansas. When I called and told her I had been diagnosed, one of the first things she said regarding eating out is "Don't go to the Olive Garden!" I asked her why, and from her answer I would say their staff has no appropriate training. She said they cooked the gluten free pasta in the SAME WATER as the regular pasta!!!! It was never one of my favorites, and I rarely went there anyway. This has made me very cautious, knowing that having a gluten free menu doesn't necessarily mean anything! Since I have only been diagnosed for 2 months, I am very wary of eating out and haven't been anywhere yet!

To ease your mind,it's my understanding that the gluten free pasta and sauce is pre packaged in individual proportions and sent directly from the supplier. It's microwaved and placed on to the serving plates. The chance of cross contamination is minimal.

I have eaten the pasta at Olive Garden many times, but I don't find it particularly good - a bit bland.

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Okay, this may sound snobby, :lol: but the OG was not a great dining experience BEFORE I was DXed (I only went there to appease family members and to meet them for lunch ) and from what I have read on Glutenfree Registry? They do not take precautions, they cook in BULK ..and the gluten-free Pasta? well, it is FROZEN in packets and then, re-heated. Limp pasta...for a lot of money?

Guys, this food chain's main goal is to pump out lots of pasta, coated in CHEESE with lots of bread and breaded entrees... FAST.

They do not give a rat's patootie for gluten-free diners because they would have to s l o w down and pay attention to your order. That means...not making enough tips! :o

If you want to dine out, choose a place where they will cater to your needs and where the main food items are NOT pasta, tossed salad with croutons and bread-coated entrees.

Just my opinion.

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Okay, this may sound snobby, :lol: but the OG was not a great dining experience BEFORE I was DXed (I only went there to appease family members and to meet them for lunch ) and from what I have read on Glutenfree Registry? They do not take precautions, they cook in BULK ..and the gluten-free Pasta? well, it is FROZEN in packets and then, re-heated. Limp pasta...for a lot of money?

Guys, this food chain's main goal is to pump out lots of pasta, coated in CHEESE with lots of bread and breaded entrees... FAST.

They do not give a rat's patootie for gluten-free diners because they would have to s l o w down and pay attention to your order. That means...not making enough tips! :o

If you want to dine out, choose a place where they will cater to your needs and where the main food items are NOT pasta, tossed salad with croutons and bread-coated entrees.

Just my opinion.

And my opinion. Yes, I'm also a food snob. ;) But if you go to a good restaurant, you will be able to have about 75% of what is on the menu as it is naturally gluten free. No need for flour for sauces, for example. No deep fryers. No breaded stuff. And at these good restaurants, there is an actual chef who often knows about celiac, CC and so on. Sure, they are more expensive but so lovely as a treat. It is worth it to feel safe. Heck, and enjoy great food! :D

Most of us get pasta cravings. You can make much better pasta at home that tastes vastly superior. Truly and seriously and honestly. And you can use purchased noodles and just make your own sauce. If you do like OG, google copycat recipes. You can be eating a wonderful pasta dish in under 30 minutes. Easy.

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You can make much better pasta at home that tastes vastly superior. Truly and seriously and honestly.

Agreed! And if you have a pasta machine, it's so quick, easy, and cheap to make.

I've never been a big fan of Olive Garden because the sauces were always too salty for my taste. It's like they throw a bunch of salt in there to make up for the lack of natural flavors.

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I'm not a fan anyway. I went once because others I was with wanted to go there, but the food wasn't great and cost much more than it was worth. They seemed to understand what "gluten free" meant though.

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