My kids love Olive Garden for the unlimited salad and breadsticks, and because of the big gooey, cheesy pasta dishes on the menu. I like Olive Garden because my kids love Olive Garden. I do appreciate the dedicted gluten-free menu too, but I have to say that the gluten-free vegetarian pasta dishes are, well, boring. As a gal who wants to make good choices for health, I want to make sure that when I choose to eat a bunch of refined carbs that they are worthy of the calories. OG's GF pasta with marinara sauce is not a homerun. More like a base on balls.
So last night when we descended with extended out-of-town family at the local OG, I decided to go off menu. They had a collection of fresh vegetables as sides on some of their meaty GF options, so I asked our server to ask the kitchen to just come up with a pleasing combination of steamed veggies. That, coupled with a salad (no croutons, dressing on the side) and I figured I'd be fine.
I was right! Even though they didn't give me broccoli, I still enjoyed my summer squash and red pepper medley. Our server brought me extra tomatoes for the salad at my request, just to liven things up a bit. It still wasn't a thrilling dinner, but I probably ate only 150 calories of boring rather than 700. And I got to polish my healthy diet halo to boot. And my family was happy.
I'd call that a big homerun.