When I Was There, Was I Really Family?

This is a post from a while back, but I have a very busy day ahead of me and my lazy ass doesn’t have time to write new shit. Understandable? Or totally lame? You decide.

Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It’s been about a million fucking years since my last confession, but while I was in Texas I did something I am completely ashamed of. The guilt has been eating away at me like a fat lady eats an order of eggs benedict. The shame has completely consumed me so that I can barely function. Last night at work, I found it difficult to maintain focus and give my customers the attention they so rightly deserved. My mind kept wandering to a dreadful night eight days ago when I did what I swore I would never ever do. Something that makes me shudder with revulsion. I ate at The Olive Garden.

It was my last night with my parents and I wanted to take them out to dinner. They live in a small town and when you want to eat someplace nice, the options are limited. There, they think The Olive Garden is fancy. Real fancy. When people go there they do it without any hint of irony at all. So that’s where we went. I must admit that I was looking forward to that never-ending bread stick/salad bowl thingy even though someone once told me that each bread stick was 310 calories. Our server was a young girl who was obviously new to the world of food service. Someone at our table asked her which wine she thought was better. I was pretty sure that all of the wines at The olive Garden would be equally mediocre but she had an answer. Her answer sounded like it was in the form of a question. “Uh…I dunno? You’ll have to ask someone else because I’m not old enough to taste the wine yet?” Then she giggled. Okay, listen, new waitress. You never say you don’t know; you just make shit up. You can always say. “Well, the chardonnay is much more popular than the pinot grigio” or some other vague ass answer like that. The table ordered three different glasses of wine so when she showed up she was holding three glasses in one hand and had three bottles of wine cradled in her arm and up against her chest. She squatted down to get them to the table and then gave a big sigh of relief. “Whew! I made it and I’m the captain of dropping things.” And then she giggled. Ay ay, captain, just shut the fuck up and take my order.

I had a chicken parmigiana and I inhaled three breadsticks (930 calories…), had some salad and two glasses of wine. I enjoyed the food. It sorta remonded me of the chick parm you used to be able to get at Burger King and I loved that shit. It was 9:15 and we suddenly realized we were the only ones left in the restaurant. It being a Tuesday night in small town Texas, people headed home early I suppose. Maybe they had to get up early on Wednesday and till the farm or clean out the chicken coops. We asked if they were closed, but they informed us that they were open until 10:00 and there was no need to hurry. A few minutes later, Giggles the waitress came to our table and said, “So, I’m gonna go ‘head and go home now? So…uhh…” We took that as our cue to pay the check. We left her a 22% tip which in that town was enough for her to go buy a two bedroom one bath house. I enjoyed my meal at The Olive Garden. When I was there, I really did feel like family. That may have been in part due to the fact that I was eating with my parents who are actually family, but regardless, it was nice.

I hope you can forgive me for eating at The Olive Garden. I hope Jesus can forgive me but most of all I hope I can forgive myself. I shall say 100 Hail Marys and clean the lids of twenty ketchup bottles in hopes that I can be resolved of this most monsterous of sins.

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32 thoughts on “When I Was There, Was I Really Family?

  1. Martin

    OMFG this is hilarious. I'm recommending your Blog to all my friends. I was never front of the house, but I used to be a baker and had to deal with 2 men who were a couple and owners of the place and all their drama running front and back. Ha Ha Olive Garden is one step above buying from the Walmart deli. I so totally feel your angst. 8^)

    Reply
  2. Stop Making Excuses

    You should also blog about Red Lobster. You can get better tasting seafood at Captain D's and it's much cheaper!I get a kick out of seeing people go to Red Lobster all dressed up and thinking they are big timin it. lolThis was funny!

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  3. Lori Lynn

    I got a really kick out of that story! I have no patience for poor service. It's not cute.Congrats on Blog of Note – I was fortunate that my food blog Taste With The Eyes was named a blog of note a few years ago. NIce honor. Good for you!! Looking forward to reading more of your posts.Lori Lynn

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  4. Jodi

    That is freaking hilarious. I was a server/bartender at various estabilishments for about 8 years, and this post brought back so many memories (some great, and some intentionally filed away ha). I would definitely say this one is an oldie, but goodie!

    Reply
  5. Lady Penelope

    Not having ever been to The Olive Garden, I can hold my head up high, (stretches the neck you know?) Trouble is I don't think we have any in England that I know of… but loved the post. even thought it was an old serving.xx

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  6. Brent

    Loved the post but I have to defend the olive garden for it was one of my first restaurant jobs. I understand it’s not fine dining. However unlike many of the other available corporate chain restaurants Olive Garden is committed to quality. I worked in prep, on the soup and sauce station when I began there. Olive Garden makes all their soups and sauces fresh daily. In a typical day I would come in at 8am and would have a list of 25-30 sauces to prepare from scratch. In the addition the Alfredo is made twice daily for it cannot sit more than 4 hrs and cannot be chilled and reserved. All of the meats, seafood’s, sides, are prepped and served for each day’s service. In addition the Pasta is made from scratch not dried pasta, and each kitchen manager is sent to Italy for a couple of weeks every year to learn more techniques and recipes from the founder. In addition Darden restaurants adheres to strict inspection policies, every week in-house and independent inspections are made to guarantee each restaurant is up to sanitation, storage, food handling, and service standards. I will admit that olive garden is not the best Italian around; however after working in other chain restaurants, I have learned that their standards are much higher. Manny restaurants don’t cook or prepare anything fresh anymore. Souses are scooped out of tubs and plopped into sauté pans with the required proteins. Ribs and roast are warmed on grills or reheated in ovens, and everything else is prefrozen and fried or nuked.

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  7. Amy Lynn

    I'm not ashamed…I'll admit it. I love the Olive Garden. So do my friends. I like their food. I like the atmosphere (that it's not fancy or typical Italian restaurant decor). It's close to the house and it's not expensive. And my favorite dish? The portabello raviolli. The wait staff at our's is pretty good (well, the last time, this guy was god awful and he got a 10% tip instead of 20% and he knew why).Don't feel like you were slumming. The rest of us don't. 🙂

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  8. The unhappy homemaker

    Don't like Olive Garden last time I ate there was about 5 years ago I don't remember what I ate (obivious it was forgettable) but the bread sticks where amazing! I love this blog Bitchy Waiter your hilarious!

    Reply
  9. Bobina

    LOL I'm completely guilty of the same thing. My parents also come from a small town where Olive Garden is considered fine dining. But I totally look forward to it. I could get so full on their soup and salad combo with unlimited salad and breadsticks. But I refuse to believe that each stick is 310 calories.

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  10. laura jane

    you are NOT forgiven! and make sure the napkins are tidy too..lol. jk. Your posts amuse me..I like..But I think I'd be scared to meet you in personNothing satifies youOr mexx

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  11. justme

    You are quite a waiter to stay working after all these people's attitudes. You remind me to be patient and more understanding when I go out. Thank you for the sarcasm.

    Reply
  12. HanRuthie

    The last time I went to the Olive Garden was ten years ago. The waitress relieved me of the $160 in my wallet I had saved to replace a flat tire–without my permission. After denying that could happen at this quality establishment and refusing to question their meth-addicted wait staff, the management found my wad of cash hidden in the tank of the toilet. I hate the Olive Garden.

    Reply
  13. Kate

    I too am ashamed of my love for mediocre pseudo-italian food. Being Italian, it truly is blasphemy. But those breadsticks – melt in your mouth! Keep up the funny.

    Reply
  14. Crystal

    Hah! Same problem with the parents. Except they don't have an excuse…there are nicer restaurants in the area. We go there because my mother doesn't eat meat, fish or non-organic cheese, my grandmother does not eat anything not American or Italian and the rest of us don't want to die of starvation. It's a sad state of affairs. I feel for you.

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  15. Greg Becerra

    What gets me is that these chains are supposed to be idiot proof. Other than getting employees to show up and stop overly enjoying themselves in the back, not a lot of thought is needed. And most of the country has ruined their palates on bad burgers and pizza, so for them, Olive Garden is an improvement.So why, please will someone tell me why, are most of these places managed by someone who should not have gotten out of bed?Fantastic blog. You encourage me to stay at home and cook more, which I love to do.

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  16. California Girl

    you are waaay too hard on the young waitress unless she was waaay more annoying than you make her sound, which is innocuous.i know alot of folk who think chain restaurants of this calibrer are the best. i have a particular fondness for a chain called Macaroni Grill. It's a step up from Olive Garden. I live in a resort town and it's full of owner run restaurants and you'd think the food would be pretty darn good in most places but it is surprisingly mediocre with some exceptions. I guess nowadays people want to know what they'll get before they get there which is why Marriott Resident Inns are thriving and beautiful old B&Bs are not.

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  17. Chrissy

    omg, in the mail i got an invite to my niece's after grad dinner.. and its at the Olive Garden.. Never been there but I remember my FIL ordered from there and the food- well middle america drools over it.. To me its a step above school cafeteria food.. Nothing made in mass quantity can be good can it? Enjoyed the post and NO, we are RSVPing and not going to grad/dinner.. since my BIL never made it to any of my 3 kids' grad… We'll be there in spirit like he said he was w/ours.

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  18. Angela (Posy Moe)

    This post is hilarious. I am so ashamed of my love of Olive Garden. Once my husband and I ate there (I love the shrimp and asparagus risotto) and the couple next to us were quite noisily eating something with tomato sauce and lots of sausages, while wearing their pajamas. I didn't even care. Irony be damned, that risotto is so creamy…

    Reply

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