OLIVE GARDEN IS A CHAIN and this is for the Largo location, near Largo mall.
Surprise, the food was good, timely, reasonably priced based on what your ordered, and service was excellent for a chain though they were busy.
I will tell you though, the answer is pro-management. Management while we were dining was floating all the time, going from room to room checking on and watching things. This takes a "moderate priced chain" dealing in Italian Food, cooked to order, to a higher level than most of the others.
We went for the promos and expected less, we got more. On a food binge we (four severely intent eaters) went to the pasta promotion they had and I made four plates with different sauces, Marinara, Alfredo , Clam and Fra` Diablo with breadsticks and salad and wasn't hungry for 24 hours. One guy did five. I was jealous, and again, for a chain here the food was fresh, good tasting, a touch on the bland side, peppers cured that, and well worth the promotion under ten dollars for dinner.
Most Italian places for lunch make you think of Pizza or Meatball Sandwiches. They have a special from time to time of salad, Soup and Breadsticks thats priced at 6.99 and a better quality and selection than burger barf, inc.
Olive Garden is a smart casual American restaurant chain specializing in Italian-American cuisine. The company is owned by Darden Restaurants and is based in Orlando, Florida. The first Olive Garden was opened by General Mills on December 13, 1982, in Orlando, Florida. By 1989, General Mills had opened 145 restaurants, making it one of the fastest-growing units in the company's restaurant holdings. As of 28 October 2009, there are 700 restaurants.
As I said for a specialty chain, they had many novelty dishes, all looked good and the restaurant was clean and the staff very attentive. Rarely do I ever give a large chain a four star but the one at Largo Mall in Seminole seems to be well managed.
SPECIALS - LUNCH
I eat there, for convenience since I'm only a mile away and not really a hamburger fan, nor a taco, hotdog aficionado. It's a busy place with the locals and tourists, indicating people are happy and a lot of repeat business. The lunch special Pasta Fagioli soup had more meat in it than a "Steak Burger" from you know where and the salad was a good mix with a moderate Italian dressing, not too tart. Lunches are busy and not unusual to see a bus or two parked there from some of the retirement homes.
The regular dishes were fine, even the mussels came out Ok as an appetizer and the Chicken Marsala did past muster. If you order smart and avoid combos and wine, (they offer wine a lot), you can do just fine price wise and they have a nice selection of dishes. Service is good and the staff tries to please.
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