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“Call Ahead for Seating on Busy Nights”
Review of Olive Garden

Olive Garden
Ranked #826 of 1,535 Restaurants in Milwaukee
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: Italian
Good for: Large groups
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Reviewed March 15, 2010

Apparently the recession is over. The crowd on Friday, 2-26-10 at 8:10 pm waiting to be seated for dinner was push 45 minutes, we turned around and hit a neighborhood smokey bar for an immediate seating fish fry. The crowd on Saturday, 3-13-10 at 6:15 pm was even larger but this time we had called ahead to "get our names on the call ahead list" assuring a 15 to 20 minute wait to be seated. They weren't lying. In 15 to 20 minutes my wife and I sailed through the throng of poor saps that didn't call ahead, including a party of 6 whom we knew and whom had arrived at least 15 to 20 minutes before us. Great start to the dining experience, rapidly ruined by very uneven service. We refused the house wine and ordered hot tea, which took nearly 10 minutes to reach our table. The tea presentation was exquisited with an wooden box of assorted Tetley "trapeze" drawstring tea bags and a small additional pot of hot water to supplement our individual steel hot water pots. We placed our dinner orders upon serivce of the tea and shortly thereafter the salad and breadsticks arrived. My wife and I had just barely put 1 to 2 fork fulls of the salad into our mouths when our Pansotti with Sausage entree's arrived. The combination of letting the entrees get cold and speeding up our salad consumption speed detracted greatly from the dining experience. Eating only 1/2 of our entrees and leaving the balance to be boxed by our waitress, no doubt delighted the restaurant's management as in right around 30 minutes we were walking out the door whilst our friends in the party of 6 were being seated after an approximate 1 hour wait against a 45 minute estimate. In spite of the alacrity of the service, it fell quite short of satisfying. 45 minutes is a decent low end time for a mult-course sit down dinner. 30 minutes is the equivalent of being given the "bum's rush". Sadly. there were empty tables throughout our seating section at our 6:30 pm seating and just as many at 7:00 pm. It's certainly in the restaurant's best interest to serve promtly but to have the entrees arrive within 5 minutes of serving the salad - mind you one that you must serve yourself from a common bowl, that just does not make for a relaxing sit down dinner. The entree's were tasty but getting 5 ea. of the Pansotti - four cheese pyramid ravioli seemed too frugal in contrast to the ample portion of diagonally sliced italian sausage.

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1  Thank SkiKingMKE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (29)
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26 - 29 of 29 reviews

Reviewed March 12, 2008

They do a nice job despite being a chain restaurant. Their Italian Margueritas are a must have.

Thank IrishHurler
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2015
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Thank WanessaMelo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2013
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Thank boa_63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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