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Review of Olive Garden

Olive Garden
Ranked #57 of 335 Restaurants in Champaign
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed April 9, 2013

I'm not quite sure why Olive Garden has such a following. We've always had to wait for seating here no matter when we've come in, and to me, their food is just ehh - generic. It's just a typical chain restaurant - not bad really, but nothing too special either. On a recent visit, the waiter seemed entirely confused by our request to split a Caesar Salad - I know that most tables always stick by the house salad, but we prefer the other and that shouldn't be too confusing. Still, there are at least a couple of really good, long-standing wait staff in this restaurant, and we do enjoy the breadsticks with a side of alfredo.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Luckyone2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 - 52 of 91 reviews

Reviewed February 18, 2013

I understand that Champaign-Urbana is completely a college area and therefore pretty much any restaurant in the area will be running a staff of college students, but it's been awhile since I've encountered such a cliquish aura resonating from a place of proposed professionalism. I should mention I'm only 23 years old.

I was in town for an interview and stayed at a hotel to get a good night's sleep. My mom and I figured the Olive Garden would be great for some good Italian dining and a drink. When we walked in, the waiting area was completely empty save for the hostess. There was no greeting of any kind; she just kind of stared, stone faced, playing with her hair until I broke the awkwardness and said "two". She said it'd be a 5 to 10 minute wait--- for why, I have no clue; maybe it was busier than it looked, but there sure were a lot of empty tables. Anyhow, 2 more groups came in during the time we were waiting, and they almost sent the two patrons who walked in after us to the dining area first, but a waiter passing by happened to notice that we had been waiting before the other couple walked in, so the hostess shrugged and said "Ok, you party of two I mean." It was an odd way is all; there was no apology to the other party.

We were seated and the waiter, a nice young guy, came out right away. He seemed nervous as all get out, so he probably hadn't been there for long, but he was super hospitable. Our drinks took forever to come out, but he apologized and explained that ours had been made, then carried away waiter to another table so they had to be remixed. It was fine, we didn't have anywhere to be. We ordered and got our food relatively quickly. Everything was delicious, but the portions were definitely smaller than I'm used to getting from an Olive Garden. I ordered the ravioli, which I've had plenty of times, and it wasn't even enough to fill me up. Even the salad bowl brought out to us was only half filled. It's certainly nothing against that waiter, but something must have been going on at the restaurant that night because everyone seemed to be in a frenzy there.

If it weren't for the entertainment of the blunder, I would probably give the rating as POOR instead of the AVERAGE I provided. At one point, a busser walked by us with a try literally filled with glasses, and in an attempt to get everything on one trip, he stacked some plates on top of the glasses. In his hurry, one of the plates flew off the tray right beside our table and busted all over the place. They handled it well and my mom and I were in good spirits so no big. While they were cleaning though, I had my chair pushed back, feet in the air so the carpet cleaner could get by my feet and I was just drinking my chianti. Happened to make eye contact with one of the kitchen lackies looking on from the kitchen entrance and had him fall out laughing which almost made me spit out my chianti.

All in all, decent dinner, but they have some serious work to do with employee professionalism. I wouldn't go back.

Thank H M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

Hostess forgot about us.
Waiter was slow on refills and breadsticks.
Apricot chicken was delicious, the peach raspberry tea was excellent, but the gnocchi soup was over salted.

Thank CalvinCyanghen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

My husband and I had a gift card from Christmas and went on a Friday night. It was crowded but the food and the service was great

Thank Robin N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2012

The food is always good and the service good, too. Love the soup, salad and breadstick lunch. Pasta fagoli's my favorite soup. Ever since they took my favorite entree off the menu (Herb Chicken con Broccoli), I haven't been there as often for dinner.

Thank LoveEire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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