We appreciate your response to our letter,
You seem like quite a go-getter
Use our marks if you must
Your reviews now seem just
And we're glad our Alfredo is better
Oh Vino, don't know what came over me
I wrote with such haste I just couldn't see
That to eat at our joint
Is kind of the point
Of your whole blog and your joie de vivre
Please accept Branden’s retraction
For you’ve committed no real infraction,
Our legal teams cross
‘Cause they’re lost in the sauce,
This was all just an over-reaction
That e-mail seems fairly obtuse
It doesn't consider fair use
When I eat Olive Garden
My arteries harden
I'd rather eat plain boiled goose
The family of Forcements agrees
With your assessment of sauces and cheese
But the law is like Kafka
Not infinite pasta
And trademarks are all Branden sees
So take care with our company name
It’s use is not purely fair game
But if you are not blatant
And attach disclaimer statements
We lawyers shall not make a claim
We’re sorry we got hot and sweaty,
Your blog throws us praise like confetti.
Your use of our name
Will add to our fame
So continue to laud our spaghetti.
Our lawyers regret their swift action
to accuse you of IP infraction.
We retract our complaint -
‘twas a lack of restraint!
- and we’ll beat them with some satisfaction.
My mind has actually come around completely on the garlic alfredo sauce since its original launch in 2015. Perhaps the recipe has changed, or maybe my palate has been deadened by years of conspicuous consumption, but the flavor is actually fairly mild and the grated cheese adds a bit of depth to the traditionally bland alfredo.
Olive Garden’s pasta is cooked exactly to specification, without fail. When you’re a chain restaurant that serves millions of people, you can’t leave such things to chance, or the capricious whims of a chef. So when people complain about the food being over- or under-cooked, I usually look upon them with suspicion. Things at the OG aren’t freeform enough to allow for misjudgments in cook times. Nine times out of ten, the complaining party’s issue is simply a matter of personal preference not being met.
That said, I think most pasta connoisseurs would agree that Olive Garden’s food is cooked beyond the point of al dente (italian for “to the tooth”, meaning firm when bitten). My assumption is that this level of cooking was found to be the most palatable to the target demographic of the restaurant. A sort of ‘lowest common denominator of pasta’. Which, incidentally, was originally the subtitle for this blog.
One of my many part-time jobs in college was an assistant veterinary surgeon. Our facility was almost entirely run by volunteers, and we provided services at-cost and often free to needy families. We did good work, but the staff had more enthusiasm and love than they did training. I have more than a few stories of minor surgical mishaps, and the occasional dropped dog testicle. We’d eventually find them in some corner or another, their thin, shriveled membranes flaked with bits of dust.
Anyway, here’s some food. Eat up!