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More Exploring in America: “The Olive Garden”

Today is my birthday, and my daughter wanted to take me out to eat for lunch for my birthday. When we were in S. Korea, if there was a holiday, we always went to the Outback Steakhouse and had a steak. There are lots of Outback Steakhouses in S. Korea, and her original thought was to take me to the Outback Steakhouse. It became our “special occasion place.” She looked it up on her phone and we headed over there. Right next to it, we saw a restaurant called the “Olive Garden.” There are no “Olive Garden” restaurants in S. Korea. My daughter had never eaten in an Olive Garden. As for me, I went once a long time ago with a friend from N. Carolina, and we got just the salad because it was so expensive, and I remembered the salad was good. My daughter and I began to talk, and we were curious about the Olive Garden. She said since it was a special occasion, she could spend more at the Olive Garden like she would have to get steaks at the Outback Steakhouse, so we decided to try the Olive Garden.

The Olive Garden restaurant

When we went to the front door of the restaurant, we couldn’t get in right away. They said we would have to wait 15 minutes for a seat. I asked them if we could come inside and sit down to stay out of the heat because Oklahoma is getting pretty warm, but they said no. They took my daughter’s phone number and we went back to the car for 15 minutes to sit in the air conditioning. They called us to come in soon.

Our breadsticks had garlic putter all over the outside, and they were warm. They were delicious!

As came in, there was a chef there that welcomed us to the restaurant. When we walked into the dining room, it smelled terrible! I wondered if he had made a mistake. They took us on to the far end o the dining room where hardly anyone was sitting, and the smell got better. We were discussing the smell and decided it must have been some food that someone had been eating. I told my daughter it wasn’t too late to leave and go on and get a steak, but she was really curious about the Olive Garden.

There were lots of people there, but my daughter wanted only to take pictures where people weren’t for fear that someone wouldn’t want their picture taken. Our table was in this section.

The waiter showed up at our table just them with menus and asking what we wanted to drink. My daughter ordered Coca Cola Zeroes for us both, so I guessed we weren’t going to back out. All the people working in the restaurant were wearing face masks. The waiter brought the Coca Cola Zeroes right away. My daughter decided we needed to eat salad before our meal, and I remembered the salad was good, so I went along with it. I ordered lasagna, and she order ravioli.

The salad was really good!

The waiter brought back a big bowl of salad right away with bread sticks. The salad was lettuce, tomato, carrot, olive, and who knows what other thing was in it with an Italian vinaigrette dressing. The waiter grated a lot of cheese over the top of it. I had remembered correctly! The salad was wonderful! The bread sticks were like long soft rolls, and they were garlic bread. They were also delicious! I was finally convinced we hadn’t made a mistake at all regardless of the bad smell as we had entered.

My daughter’s ravioli

About the time we were done with a place of salad each, the waiter brought our main course. He asked us if we wanted cheese grated over our main courses too, but we both felt like we had enough cheese. I enjoyed my lasagna, and my daughter enjoyed her ravioli. It was too much food for me, and I couldn’t quite finish mine, and we decided we needed a doggy bag to take the rest of my lasagna, the rest of the salad, and the bread stick I had been unable to eat home with us. About that time, the waiter showed up with extra drinks we hadn’t ordered. I wasn’t even done with my first drink, and I didn’t touch my second drink, but my daughter drank part of her second drink.

My lasagna

They treated us well, and the food was good. Since my daughter was paying, I really didn’t know how much she had paid. I asked her if it was expensive, and she said it was more than McDonald’s, but not as much as the Outback Steakhouse. She said it was about the price of going to a fancy hamburger restaurant. Sounds affordable to me.

We had a nice time at the Olive Garden. We still like the Outback Steakhouse, but we need to explore and know what is around us. We found something good today. My daughter wondered why they didn’t have Olive Garden in S. Korea. I told her they have other Italian restaurants there, and her response was, “Yes, and they are strange, but the Olive Garden is good.”

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