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Location: 4276 Meridian St, Bellingham, WA 98226
Phone: (360) 733-6286 | Hours: Sun – Thurs: 11:00AM – 10:00PM, 11:00AM – 11:00PM
Olive Garden is a chain Italian restaurant in the US, and there’s a few locations now in Canada, with the closest one being located in Langley. Famous for its portions and great service, there’s always a lineup here.
I called ahead of time to see how long the wait is, but since it’s the weekend, they do not take reservations. We waited for about 15minutes upon arriving, which isn’t bad at all.
A dinner entree comes with a complimentary soup or unlimited salad. Some places offer unlimited soup as well, but not here. The zuppa toscana is one of my favourites at Olive Garden. What I like about it is the potatoes, they just melt right into your mouth. It’s an Italian soup filled with spicy sausage, russet potatoes, and cavolo greens in a creamy broth. And it’s really not all that hard to make, see my recipe here!
This isn’t your normal green salad, the Italian dressing they put in this is just perfect! Tossed with fresh Parmesan cheese, onions, olives, tomatoes, and bread crumbs. The best thing is it’s unlimited refills.
This was on one of their special items featured on their menu. It’s a baked pasta dish filled with chicken, spinach, and tomatoes with a creamy white sauce. The taste was mild but with a kick in it. It’s not heavy at all.
I had the Grilled Shrimp Caprese, which was grilled marinated shrimp served over angel hair pasta and melted with mozzarella, fresh basil and tomatoes in a garlic-butter sauce. The shrimps was flavourful. However, the pasta was rather disappointing, it lacked flavour. As a result, a very bland dish. However, our server gladly let me pick another dish, something I didn’t expect from Olive Garden.
For my replacement, I had something less of the original. This was a huge portion, almost enough to feed two! If you want to try a bit of everything, this is the dish. It’s homemade lasagna (on the left), lightly breaded chicken parmigiana (on the right), and a creamy fettuccine alfredo in the middle. Again for some reason, the alfredo tasted a little bland. Now I was sure it’s the cook and not me. But, I just kept it anyway. The lasagna was full of flavours. It’s a layer pasta, meat sauce and mozzarella, with ricotta, parmesan and romano cheese. I think I needed to lose some weight after consuming this one. The chicken parmigiana was a little dry, but the sauce made up for it. It’s a Parmesan-breaded chicken breast, fried and topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.
Overall, Olive Garden is a great place for the family or just for 2. They have large portions and the unlimited salad will stuff your stomach before your entree arrives. Their customer service surpasses the norm, not only did they gave me a replacement dish, but also they gave me a dessert on the house (which I decided to take home because I was way too full). The dining environment is cozy and warm, but not exactly all that romantic. The price, you will get what you pay for. And most likely, you will have take-aways like me! The bill came to just under $30.