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“Inattentive Service, Crowded Dining Room” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Olive Garden

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Olive Garden
400 Airport Road, Arden, NC 28704
(828) 654-9921
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Ranked #17 of 59 Restaurants in Arden
Cuisines: Italian, Greek
Dining options: Dinner
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner
Hendersonville, NC
Level Contributor
35 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Inattentive Service, Crowded Dining Room”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We arrived for dinner when there was no line and there were many empty tables, but after an opening pitch by our waiter to sell wine we received almost no service. Our initial servings of bread and salad were quickly depleted, but the waiter was nowhere to be seen for us to request more. When the main courses arrived, they were brought from the kitchen by someone else, and our requests for condiments were accepted but never fulfilled. Our waiter finally returned when we were well into our main courses. At that point, we were able to catch him as he removed the large empty salad bowl and request more salad and the missing condiments. After bringing the salad refill, the waiter did not come back until he brought us the check. He became very friendly at that point. At no point in the meal were we offered free refills on anything.

The food was typical for Olive Garden---good bread sticks, tasty salad, and the normal main courses. However, the pasta in my dish was so dry that it seemed to have been under heat lamps for a considerable time before it was served. Overall, the food quality was average but not worth a special trip.

The dining room was crowded and not a relaxing place to spend an evening. Due to the slow service, our meal took about two hours. There were plenty of waitstaff on hand, but they were not present at our table.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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34 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Mills River, North Carolina
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Eggplant parmesan”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

My favorite place for Eggplant Parmesan.
Try the potato/sausage soup... can't remember the name of it right now.... and chicken gnocci is really good too.

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hendersonville, North Carolina
1 review
“Worst dining experience we have had”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012


We live in the area and have been customers of your restaurants for 20 years. We were thrilled that you recently opened in Arden, NC.

My wife and I had lunch there today and we both feel that you need to address the issues noted below as this was the worse dining experience we have had in years.

When we arrived, we were immediately seated (the restaurant was not crowded)where we waited over 10 minutes before our server showed up. Since we knew what we wanted, we ordered our meals (Spaghetti with meat sauce and Egg Plant Paragon). The server, while not rude, was very short and showed total disinterest in us. We determined that she simply lacked personalty.

After another 10 minutes, another server brought our salad. It was immediately apparent that very little, if any, dressing was put on the salad. It also did not have the banana peppers or onions. After 5 minutes or so, during which time a server (let alone ours) could not be found, I got up and went to the hostess station where we asked for more dressing. The person there was great and immediately brought us the dressing.

A few minutes later, our lunches arrived. While the Egg Plant Parmagon was "OK", the spaghetti with meat sauce was unacceptable as (a) it was grossly overcooked and (b) there was only a drop of sauce. Again, please keep in mind that we have gone to your facilities probably 50 + times over the years and know how your dishes are generally presented.

Since we naturally wanted sauce with the spaghetti, we, once again, were forced, after 5 minutes, to get up and go to the front area to request some sauce for my dish which, again, was handled beautifully by the hostess.

During this period, we overhead other wait staff state that our server was in the bathroom which was why she could not be found.

During the entire time we were eating, no one came by to see if everything was OK with us, let alone, did we need any salad or beverage refills.

After eating the soggy, overcooked pasta dish, we waited again for 5 plus minutes before our server showed up with our check, after which she immediately left. After waiting to pay for several minutes, we had to once again get up and go to the hostess station to find someone to take our credit card.

Beside the unbelievable experience we experienced above, the idea that your manager would allow a person to serve us that was possibly ill to the point where she had to be in the bathroom is inexcusable. I just hope that neither of us catches whatever your server has.

You blew it on every imaginable front from service to food quality and taste (the spaghetti with meat sauce at Golden Coral is far superior to what I had today).

I would strongly recommend that you address these issues before you loose other customers.

You are a great disappointment to
us, and that's ashamed for both of us.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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North Carolina Smoky Mountains, North Carolina
Level Contributor
335 reviews
248 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 199 helpful votes
“Do not go for six months! Management has lots to do!!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

Too many people in training who have no clue what they are doing. Lunch wait is excessive. Servers are tripping all over themselves and are not paying attention to orders. They congregate in clusters to discuss their serving issues. We waited 15 minutes to just get water after being seated, and waited 25 minutes for that! Orders then came out wrong. Despite what they say, DO NOT allow them to sit you in the back room. For some inexplicable reason, although they deny it, all of the infants in high chairs, baby-carriers, screaming infants get seated there. I think that i a good idea, but at least let guests know the plan! Not only did our orders come out wrong, the salad was delivered at the same time as our entree, despite our asking otherwise. Too much commotion going on right now and this is my fourth time there. I needed to be sure it wasn't just us! We ordered the all you can eat pasta special, and felt guilty trying to get our one and only refill. Never removed dirty plates and ignored empty soup bowls for refills.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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