1 Y'know, being a restaurant critic isn't all fennel and demi-glaze reduction. With so many hot new eateries and bistros opening left and right, sometimes a Prince of Darkness can get a little bogged down! Am I right, folks?

2 And these newfangled dishes! I mean, who really wants to eat something like radicchio-skate terrine with oxtail chutney? Phew!

3 Sometimes it's nice to just go to a spot where you know what you're getting, in a comfortable ambience—and all for a reasonable price.

4 Which is why, this week, I'm reviewing my favorite restaurant on God's green earth: the Olive Garden!


1 First of all, don't be fooled by the name—the Olive Garden serves a lot more than olives.

2 Let me just start with two words for ya: bottomless breadsticks.

3 That's right. The Olive Garden gives you all the breadsticks you want. In fact, they'll give you even more than you want! 3 And the salad's bottomless, too! (Although I admit, I don't always eat as much salad as I'm supposed to. I'm soooo bad!)

4 But it's that rich, creamy pasta that brings me back to Olive Garden again and again.


1 Confession time! I'm gonna come clean here: If the Five-Cheese Bacon Ziti were crack, I'd be a full-blown crackhead. There, I said it!

2 And the Deep-Dish Sausage 'n' Breadcrumb Lasagna—in a word, wow. I could live off that stuff for the rest of my life if I had to.

3 But the Fettuccine Ultra Alfredo might be my favorite dish of all. It's to die for—so rich and creamy. It's like drowning in warm, white, sticky goo!

4 Here's a pro tip for ya: Don't skimp on the freshly grated parmesan. It zazzes up just about every dish on the menu, and they'll keep piling it on until you say "when!"

5 Don't even get me started on the desserts. Like the Triple-Dipple Chocolate Tiramisu. Oh, my heavens. It's downright sinful!


1 So you see, when it comes down to it, restaurant reviewer or no, I'm not a fancy guy at all. I appreciate the simple pleasures, just like you.

2 And I know what you're thinking: "The Olive Garden? Isn't that just another chain restaurant?"

3 Or: "Really? Can't I cook better food at home?"

4 Or: "Isn't the Olive Garden just a fecund, hellish cesspool of mediocrity and soul-sucking mung?"

5 You bet it is. And that's why I love it.