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Hall & Oates

Hall & Oates
Spaghetti blended with Roasted Mushroom Alfredo, covered in Chicken Fritta
Comments

Just as Daryl Hall's rich tenor is perfectly accompanied by John Oates' smooth backing vocals on a solid foundation of rock-soul grooves, this dish is tightly balanced between two stars, either of whom would be a laughingstock if they ever did attempt to Go Solo. And with Chicken Fritta topping only an additional $3.49, you don't have to be a Rich Girl to appreciate this one!

Pictured here is Hall & Oates, Making My Dreams Come True.

Simon & Garfunkel

Simon & Garfunkel
Chicken Fritta skillfully drizzled with Roasted Mushroom Alfredo, wrapped in a ball the size of a chihuahua's head of Angel Hair
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The replacement of spaghetti with angelhair makes Simon & Garfunkel appear to be a lighter, folksier Hall & Oates - to the untrained eye. But much like their eponymous artists, careful study of Simon & Garfunkel will reveal a certain density and complexity unmatched by Hall & Oates. While both are enjoyable in their own way, this dish rewards the observant consumer with a richness that simply can't be found elsewhere.

Pictured here is Simon & Garfunkel. Slow down - you eat too fast!

David & Goliath

David & Goliath
Meatballs incorporated with Penne, glazed with Roasted Mushroom Alfredo
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Whereas our previous two dishes today are defined by an equal balance between two forces, David & Goliath, as you may have guessed, is a story of an underdog's triumph despite an insurmountable foe. The subtle taste of roasted mushroom should really be no match for the almost grotesque sphere of meat mercilessly crushing the penne below it. Yet somehow, delicacy conquers brutality, beauty conquers vulgarity, and love, as always, conquers all.

Pictured here is David & Goliath. Look at the size of that meatball - you could easily sling a giant to death with it!

Spaghetti & An Entire Sausage

Spaghetti & An Entire Sausage
Italian Sausage incorporated with Marinara, garishly dropped on a pile of Spaghetti
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I mean, it's pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, mate.

Pictured here is Spaghetti & An Entire Sausage. What?

Day 6

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Had a slight misunderstanding with a new manager today over the legality of using my Pasta Pass in a to-go order. "You can't order an unlimited amount of food to go," he said, as if talking to some idiot who didn't understand the basic premise of the Pass.

"It says right here on your site that I can use the Pass on To Go purchases. I've done it every day for almost a week now."

"You can't do that. I mean, if we let you just...take as much as you want, you could eat until you died."

I thought of the 1700mg of sodium in just my lunch and smiled humorlessly. "Yeah, I suppose I could."

Lunch was Night On The Town.

Dinner was comprised of three plates of pasta:

Gas Station Special
Tasticles
Asian Buffet

We eventually did get things sorted out, and thankfully my quest continues unabated.

A special thanks to my dining companion, this mysterious man who would only answer to "'Jungle' Jim"!

Night On The Town

Night On The Town
Shrimp Fritta refreshingly accompanied by Spaghetti, covered in Five Cheese Marinara
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Some foods seem to be designed exclusively for consumption during an inebriated state: frozen pizza, poutine, the entirety of the Taco Bell menu. I would like to suggest that society adds "anything with 5 Cheese Marinara" to that list.

Pictured here is Night On The Town, though I don't know how many people typically get wasted and say "let's hit up that OG, SON! WOOOOOO!"

Gas Station Special

Gas Station Special
Chicken Fritta woven into Angel Hair, merged with Five Cheese Marinara
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Something about fried chicken mixed with orange cheese goo brings to mind the ubiquitious roller grill stationed in every mid-size gas station. Most usually feature a nacho "cheese" dispenser that is used to cover any product that isn't palatable alone (all of them).

Pictured here is Gas Station Special, 2 for $2, or 1 for $1.69.

Tasticles

Tasticles
Spicy Three Meat Sauce flawlessly accentuated with a generous portion of Spaghetti, pumped chock-full of Shrimp Fritta
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Shrimp Fritta always remind me of the Futurama episode where the crew discovers a planet full of delicious, crunchy snacks that turn out to be the larval form of a hideous alien race. This dish is tasty, right? I call it Tasticles.

Pictured here is Tasticles, and it is indeed genocidally tasty.

Asian Buffet

Asian Buffet
Meatballs mixed with Fettuccine, covered in Marinara
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God knows why, but sometimes, if you're very lucky, an asian buffet will contain some non-asian food. The asian take on international food is usually strange and always improperly seasoned. I guess I can't blame them - I wouldn't have the slightest clue as to how much Shaoxing wine one should add to General Tso's Chicken - but Olive Garden really has no excuse for what they served me today.

Pictured here is Asian Buffet, and seriously, tell me that's not plain tomato sauce.

Day 5

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"So you come here a lot?" asks 'Jessica', a hint of skepticism in her voice.

"You could say that," I reply disinterestedly, focusing my camera on a particularly crunchy-looking fritta.

"I mean, I don't hate Olive Garden or anything, but I don't see why you were so insistent about it. There's a really cool new taphouse downtown." As she's talking, I nod at Sharon, the hostess, who waves back happily.

'Jessica' doesn't really get it, I can already tell, and this dinner would be a complete waste if it weren't for the real beauty in front of me - "Ophelia". Still, I want to make her understand, if only to avoid sitting in complete silence.

I want to tell her that Olive Garden is the perfect restaurant. That it blends together the Platonic ideals of Italian culture: family, hospitality, and breadsticks - with those of American culture: consumption, self-determination, and thrift. That it perfectly balances its menu so that people of all walks of life can spend as much or as little as they want to eat more food than can possibly be healthy. Most of all, that while love can bloom anywhere, it flourishes most easily where people share food together.

I want to tell her these things, but Bridget, ever the perfect waitress, has just arrived with another basket of breadsticks, and the moment is gone. I sigh.

"I guess I just really like pasta."

Lunch was "Juliet".

Dinner was comprised of three plates of pasta:

"Ophelia"
"Imogen"
"Katherina"

As Bridget boxes up our leftovers, I avoid eye contact with 'Jessica' so that it's easier for her to lie to me about how she has to help her friend with something, and that she's very sorry that she doesn't have time for the movie we planned.

A special thanks to my dining companion, 'Jessica', who declined to have her name or photo appear on the blog.

Juliet

Juliet
Roasted Mushroom Alfredo flawlessly tucked away inside a deep well of Fettuccine, pleasantly festooned with Shrimp Fritta
2 Comments

Some relationships are doomed from the start, much like the relationship between Shrimp and Roasted Mushrooms. Perhaps these star-crossed ingredients were never meant to marry, but the tragedy of never having tried is greater than that of failure. For a brave, ill-fated tryst that could never have worked but dared anyway, I have no choice but to award five stars.

Pictured here is Juliet - what light through yonder fritta breaks?

Ophelia

Ophelia
Chicken Fritta swimming in Roasted Mushroom Alfredo, hidden in a blanket of Fettuccine
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Madness is the greatest terror of the civilized mind, and the rotting away of our sensibility is assured if we live long enough to see it happen. Yet only madness can explain the existence of this dish; breaded chicken simply cannot be well-paired with a non-tomato-based sauce.

Pictured here is Ophelia - and you can see on the right that there is a chicken fritta grows aslant the bowl.

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