The Olive Garden

Florida Guide > Dining

We had not been to an Olive Garden Restaurant on our last two trips to Florida so decided to go there last month for a change.

The Olive Garden we visited was on highway 192 just East of Poinciana Blvd. We chose to go on a Sunday evening around 7. 30pm and there was a long queue of people already waiting for tables. We gave in our name and were handed a buzzer so that we could sit outside and wait. Our wait was only around ten minutes although we had been told it would be around twenty probably because there were just the two of us as couples never seem to have to wait as long to be seated as families.

We were shown to our table which was up a few steps in an extension to the main dining area and although the main restaurant area was fairly warm this area was cold, the air conditioner was definitely working overtime. I began to wish I had brought a sweater as I was wearing a sleeveless blouse and was quite uncomfortable.

The waiter arrived to take our order and I chose the house salad followed by the Seafood Portofino which consisted of mussels, scallops, shrimp, and mushrooms with linguine in a garlic-butter sauce. Steve chose Zuppa Toscana a creamy soup with spicy sausage, potatoes and cavalo greens, whatever they are, followed by a mixed grill which consisted of skewers of steak and chicken served with a rosemary glaze, grilled vegetables and Tuscan Potatoes. We both ordered coffee in an attempt to warm us up.

The salad and the garlic bread sticks were delicious as usual as was the soup but we did then have quite a wait for the main courses. When they arrived my pasta looked as though it had been kept warm and Steve’s steak skewer looked decidedly well done and char grilled rather than “medium” as it was supposed to be. The pasta had plenty of seafood in it but the portion was not a big as I remembered from our last visit, also it was not as hot as it should have been. Steve said his steak tasted good if a little over done but his chicken was dry. We decided against a dessert not because we couldn’t manage one as is usually the case but because by now I was so cold I just wanted to get outside to warm up.

On the whole I would rate our visit as quite disappointing. If the room temperature had been a couple of degrees warmer I’m sure I would have enjoyed the visit far more. I have had much better meals at the Olive Garden and feel that this one was probably the exception rather than the rule. Will we go back? Probably but I will definitely take a sweater or a jacket and we will probably both opt for dishes that take similar cooking times so that my pasta isn’t left sitting around keeping warm while his steak cooks!

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