Tasty “Five Cheese Ziti al Forno” with Italian sausage and meatball at OG in Santee, CA!
The new “Four-Meat Italian Mac & Cheese” at Olive Garden is a dish that could have been, and should have been much better. It’s part of their new Oven Baked Pastas. Probably one of their least impressive “specials” I have tried to date. First of all, it did not come off anywhere near a traditional mac & cheese. Their Alfredo cheese sauce/bechamel was just a scant amount that never tied anything together in a homogeneous fashion. The dish is advertised as being topped with a hearty meat sauce of braised beef, Italian sausage, bacon and pan-seared beef. It was pretty much just a small amount of substance daubed in the center of the dish. I am using the term “substance” quite literally here. I wouldn’t say that any of these four meats clearly manifest themselves in any sort of discernible way. Lastly, this is hardly a “baked” dish. Unless they had baked it an hour earlier that is. I was expecting something hot, bubbly and steamy that I had to blow on for at least the first half. If you’ve ever ordered any baked pasta dish at an old-school red sauce Italian restaurant, you know what I’m talking about. After only a few bites in everything was pretty much room temperature.
One of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth at any OG is this ‘Lasagna Mia’ thing! It’s a four-cheese lasagna rollata, topped with your choice of sauce and accoutrements. I ordered it with meatballs and meat sauce. Unfortunately, this was a limited time special and not available right now. So sad that the best dishes always disappear. I hope they add it to their regular menu someday.
A surprisingly delicious, relatively low calorie dish at Olive Garden! Linguine di Mare is made with whole grain pasta and a generous amount of mussels and shrimp. I’m usually pretty hard on the OG but this dish was outstanding.
Here’s the so-called light version of Chicken Parmigiana at Olive Garden. It’s pretty much the same as their full dinner version, but just one piece of chicken instead of two. The dish is pretty tasty but surprisingly the chicken seems overly institutional for OG. Like it’s from the bottom shelf of the Sysco truck.