Thursday, March 08, 2012

Olive Garden Finally Comes To Grand Forks

(above) An Olive Garden has finally opened in Grand Forks and the lines have been long
Marilyn Hagerty is a national treasure
by Marilyn Hagerty

My first visit to Olive Garden was during midafternoon, so I could be sure to get in. After a late breakfast, I figured a late lunch would be fashionable.

The place is impressive. It’s fashioned in Tuscan farmhouse style with a welcoming entryway. There is seating for those who are waiting.

My booth was near the kitchen, and I watched the waiters in white shirts, ties, black trousers and aprons adorned with gold-colored towels. They were busy at midday, punching in orders and carrying out bread and pasta.

It had been a few years since I ate at the older Olive Garden in Fargo, so I studied the two manageable menus offering appetizers, soups and salads, grilled sandwiches, pizza, classic dishes, chicken and seafood and filled pastas.

At length, I asked my server what she would recommend. She suggested chicken Alfredo, and I went with that. Instead of the raspberry lemonade she suggested, I drank water.

She first brought me the familiar Olive Garden salad bowl with crisp greens, peppers, onion rings and yes — several black olives. Along with it came a plate with two long, warm breadsticks.

The chicken Alfredo ($10.95) was warm and comforting on a cold day. The portion was generous. My server was ready with Parmesan cheese.

17 comments:

ScottA said...

99% of Sue fans won't even get it...

miller said...

Wow, I bet it has indoor plumbing too! I am not sure how popular it will be, I doubt they server Tater Tots as a side.

Anonymous said...

Effing hilarious.

Rubes!

Anonymous said...

Poor decision. Their ONLY hope of survival is bringing in the regular weekend visitors throughout the school year, along with the students; and that's actually a legitimate and proven business plan on any campus. Their target audience is certainly not the actual Grand Forks residents - because a typical dinner out for THEM is a hot dog, bag of Doritos and a Twinkie at the truck stop. Or, I guess the REAL big spenders make a night of it, and get a booth at Perkins and chow down on maybe a patty melt with fries or Salisbury Steak with a tossed salad....... but let me tell you...those are only the high rollers who do that.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Hagerty is some food critic...

Between the new Olive Garden and the velvet paintings in the "Cher" Suite at the Grand Forks Holiday Inn, the upscale sophistication in GF is simply off the charts...

No wonder it's the Mullet Capital of America...

timt89 said...

Time to run a piece on the new Subway at the Cenex.

Boonetown said...

The server still asked, "Do you want fries with that?"

Anonymous said...

Wait till the people in Fargo hear about this

dggoddard said...

No wonder North Dakota fans move to Denver. Its like living in the future.

Anonymous said...

"my only complaint is that the olives weren't deep fried"

Anonymous said...

It's always about North Dakota. I love it.

Ketchup and Mustard said...

Don't talk shit about the Perkins Patty Melt or Perkins in general. We have one a mile away from campus and DU kids went there all the time when I was in school. North Dakota sucks and all but don't bring the patty melt into this.

Anonymous said...

The jealousy continues.....

Anonymous said...

Yeah, we're jealous because Grand Forks has the newest Olive Garden in the country.

Anonymous said...

DG doesn't like the Olive Garden. Not enough grease and fat for the big guy.

Anonymous said...

Aaaaah, nightlife in Grand Forks. Dinner at the Olive Garden, drinks at Loaf N Jug, and then a game of cow chip tossing. Man, what a place......

ScottA said...

Marilyn (bless her heart) has now gone viral in the old media as well...she is on the front page of today's Wall Street Journal.