So, on the first of July, we took my parents (both between 85 and 90 years of age and not quite as spry as they used to be) to Cloverdale to get their second vaccine dose. That went well (no side effects as per the first shot) and then we all decided to go for lunch. A place that we used to go to as a family many years (decades even) ago was Olive Garden. A middle-of-the-road chain is never my first choice but we knew it would be accessible and everyone likes pasta so off we went.
They are located on the south side of the Langley Bypass at 200th. We arrived earlier than is fashionable at lunchtime and were seated right away. They do not take reservations but on their website, you can add your name to their waiting list instead of just showing up and getting onto the list. Everything is pleasant at Olive Garden. Service, decor and even the menu all add up to a pleasant if not exciting experience.
We started with Calamari for the table. It was tasty enough, served with a couple of sauces and was crispy yet tender. All in all, I have developed a preference for Asian preparations of squid compared to the Mediterranean versions but it was decent.
OG is known for their limitless soup, salad and breadsticks which come with some meals (or all of them?) or that you can order as a meal by itself as my Dad chose to do. I always liked the serving tongs and the pepperoncino that comes with the salad. And of course, there is freshly grated parmesan everywhere.
You've all seen breadsticks before but these are worth your attention. They are garlicky, salty and always arrive warm. You, low carb people, might as well stay away from this place.
Mharie stuck to the basics ordering Spaghetti and Meatballs. She wasn't overwhelmed by the tomato sauce but she's used to the Filipino sweet version. I found the sauce to be not too bad, not overly acidic and tasting tomatoey as it should. We landed on the same page meatball-wise as they were decent and meaty tasting.
I ordered the Eggplant Parmigiana which made me happy. The eggplant slices were breaded and crispy. It came with spaghetti and more of the tomato sauce. The eggplant also came with tomato sauce and cheese.
Mom had the Cheese Ravioli which again, were not terrible. If you feel like everything is the same colour, that's because it was. If we'd tried harder, we could have ordered a little differently but this is what people come to Olive Garden to eat and it wasn't bad.
The room is nice. I guess it is based on an Italian Villa. Despite the fact that BC is starting to open up a bit starting July 1, we opted to wear our masks (and will probably continue to do so) and felt comfortable. We're not fiends for Olive Garden but it is hard to find fault. Prices at lunch time are reasonable with dishes hovering between 12 and 15 dollars.
Food 3 out of 5
Comfort 3 1/2 out of 5
Service 3 1/2 out of 5
Value 3 out of 5
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