If you're reaching this blog for the first time, welcome! I'm Vino, Olive Garden connoisseur, and I hope you enjoy reading it. In this annual blog, I obtain a Never Ending Pasta Pass and utilize it in a fun new way each year. One thing remains constant, though: I eat a lot of pasta.
There are four years of content to peruse, and over 300 reviews and high-definition pictures of Olive Garden food to salivate over. As for structure, some people prefer to go season-by-season (using the guide below), some people skip around randomly, and some just start from the beginning and power through! If that seems overwhelming, here's a curated list of posts you may particularly enjoy.
Year OneAll Of Garden - One Man's Quest to Eat All the Pasta
The first year (2014) Olive Garden offered the Never Ending Pasta Pass, and I decided to abandon my life of healthy mediocrity for a shot at stardom and diabetes. I ate nothing but Olive Garden's NEPB for 49 days, and documented every possible permutation of pasta, sauce, and topping - over 200 in all.
Introduction Video - Big thanks to my sister, the camerawoman
One - The journey of a thousand bowls begins with a single bite
Four - My first time eating alone
Five - My first date (if only she could see me now!)
Sixteen - A tribute to my second-favorite poet
Forty- The best pun to non-pun ratio in the blog
Rime of the Ancient Marinara - Still pretty proud of this one
Cheezilla - A fan favorite
Grown Up Meal For Big Boys - A special request sauce (primavera) and topping (grilled chicken) that is a real game-changer. Highly recommended if your OG will work with you
Collecting Seashells - Based on a true story
Year TwoAll Love Garden - Fifty First Plates
Year two of the blog focuses less on the food and more on people. Using a special "Family Edition" Pasta Pass (only available in 2015) I went on 50 first dates at Olive Garden, and reviewed not only the food, but the people as well.
Introduction Video - Sorry about the audio levels. This was a ton of fun to write and make. I can see why people work in video rather than the dead format of blogging.
All Dates - One giant page of every date and the pasta they ordered, which I created only to quell a deep autistic need to categorize human beings by their choice of red or white sauce. Features links to each date's blog entry.
Random Dates (All dates were noteworthy in their own way)
Katrina - The brave first date
Marty - The Party's here
Celene- Writer of the worl'd second-best Olive Garden blog
Alycia - An Olive Garden hostess with a heart of gold
San Francisco, California - I deeply regret not getting better photos of this beautiful city
Phoenix, Arizona - I deeply regret giving a con artist $10 in this oppressively hot city
Las Vegas, Nevada - Make sure to mouseover that picture
Year ThreeAll of Garden: Cancelled Project
Within a week of starting Year Three's blog I was hit by a semi-truck while riding my bike to work (this is a true story and not some weird meta-Olive Garden thing). I still ate at OG almost every day, and took some of my best photography, but there is no narrative or frame story for this year. I may recycle the idea I had for Year Three in a future blog.
Light Lunch - Tasty and beautiful to look at too
Behind Every Good Pasta... - An ode to the rock upon which the OG empire is built
Alice, Your Days Are Numbered - True tales of a server's flagrant abuse of power
Baby Sauce - The first of a five-part series celebrating the forgotten girl band, Spice Girls. Can you guess which pasta is a thinly-veiled bitter stab at an ex who long ago forgot I exist?
Summer VacationVino Almost Gets Sued By Olive Garden
In July of 2017, I got a message from Olive Garden's legal department demanding that I cease using their trademark on my site. I fought back, hilarity ensued, and eventually they backed down and gave me a bunch of stickers, so...justice?
An Unfortunate Misunderstanding - The initial letter, and my reply
Conclusion - The apology from OG, which never did include the limerick I demanded
Special Edition Bonus Content - A bunch of fans sent in their own OG-themed limericks, which I attached previously unused photos of Never Ending Pasta Bowl combinations to and made into bonus content. Click "Previous Entry" to begin scrolling through.
Year FourAll Love Garden - 50 First Plates: Season Two; 50 Plates Darker
The triumphant return of the 50 First Plates spinoff was bigger, better, and even offered fantastic prizes. In addition to the standard date, each woman also completed a "creative challenge" - an unrehearsed creation of a unique piece of art, which is attached to their respective blog entry. This was a lot of fun for me to watch, and apparently very stressful to perform. But hey, I bought you Olive Garden, lady.
The Splash Page / Entry Form / FAQ - My most-professional looking site yet! Yes, I did pay for the template but it was a lot of work to pastafy it to adequate levels.
Season Finale - The winner of the season and of my heart. The four essays that follow are my attempt to explain how she was able to destabilize a pasta institution. Warning: there is very little about Olive Garden in this content.
1/50 - The Invisible Generation - Something a little more academic
Creamy Mushroom Sauce - The poster sauce of the 2017 NEPB did not disappoint, apparently. I never did get to try it as I became an obnoxious vegan the previous year.
Shrimpy Night - Van Gogh and read it yourself!
Gravity Well - It's amazing what some natural light can do for chain restaurant food.
The Mixup - Mostly just another pretty picture.
Whew! That's a lot of words and pictures about Olive Garden. Buon Appetito!