I’m going to say it here and now - grilled chicken is a phenomenal topping, the best Olive Garden has ever offered, bar none. I know that this may scandalize the old guard, but the meatball has been dethroned. Grilled chicken for life. Gaze upon the new classic. Hail to the king.
This dish combines cow, pig, and chicken into an entire farm on a plate. I'm a vegetarian when I'm not doing this blog, but this sort of thing really reminds you why people eat meat in the first place. Animals are tasty as heck!!
Pictured here is Two Legs Bad, Four Legs Delicious - all pastas are equal, but some are more equal than others.
Something about this pasta evokes the striking hewn-from-the-living-rock sensation of America's greatest national treasure. Legend has it that the Golden Pasta Pass, which can be redeemed an unlimited number of times for Neverending Pasta Passes, is buried somewhere deep within the monument. The only question that remains is who among us is brave and handsome enough to go forth and claim it? I just hope that someone other than Nicholas Cage gets it.
Pictured here is Mount Rushmore - it belongs in a museum!!!!!!
It took me a month to learn that a harsh flash doesn't cast food in the best light (heh), and another 10 months to learn how to turn it off on my camera. I figured I'd do one more bad photo of good Olive Garden food as I wrap up this year's blog, y'know, out of nostalgia's sake.
Pictured here is How Do I Turn That Off? - I've ruined many a neighboring table's meal with that flash.
The chef dropped this dish off with the following note attached.
I am finished doing what I swore an oath to God 28 years ago to never do again. I've created, "something that feeds people." And in that purpose, I was a success. I've done this because, philosophically, I am sympathetic to your aim. I can tell you with no ego, this is my finest pasta. If on your journey, you should encounter God, God will ask for seconds.
Pictured here is Volume One - My name's Pete, I'm here to eat.
When I was prepared, I went on what the menu descriptions referred to as a furious frenzy of feeding. I binged and I banqueted and I got delicious satisfaction. I've fed a hell of a lot of people to get to this point. But I have only one more. The last one, the one I'm being served to right now. The only one left. And when I arrive at my destination, I am gonna fill Bill.
Pictured here is Volume Two - this pasta and I have unfinished business.
Last year I allowed comments on my blog for both the daily entries and all ~200 pastas I photographed and reviewed. This choice was, to put it conservatively, naively optimistic. Most of the posts I got were spam for Chinese knockoff luxury goods, some were abusive towards me or the food, and, worst of all, some were written by my mom. This year I opted to simplify things by making the blog a one-sided affair.
That said, one poster stuck with me through and through, consistently providing her insight on every single pasta, every day, with a bizarrely lewd comment about each photo. Since images featuring Italian sausage were her specialty, I dedicate this pasta to PonyGirl.
Pictured here is The PonyGirl Special - I know you're out there somewhere, PG - this one's for you!
Usually, Olive Garden's preparation for their Neverending Pasta Bowl dishes is a simple exercise in layering: bowl -> noodles -> sauce -> topping. This "elementary school cafeteria" style of presentation leaves a lot to be desired and is the source of a good deal of the criticism the chain receives. For whatever reason, though, the chef decided to make my bowl here a little special! You can see what a difference it makes by comparing it to a similar dish .
Pictured here is The Value of Pre-Mixing, which probably adds too much time to preparation to be viable for the scale of the OG dinner rush.
It really is! I love this sauce so much. When people ask me my favorite sauce, I try to be impartial, to share my belief that sauce choice is an intimate and intensely personal affair, but I can't deny it any longer. Pesto alfredo is delicious and worth every calorie.
Pictured here is Delicious! - I could eat ten of these.
Looking through these penne is like looking through prison bars, and the meatballs are the wardens of my cell. The sauce, obviously, is society. Ten more days. Ten more bowls. I can do this.
Pictured here is Home Stretch - but will I be able to adjust to life on the outside?!