Welcome to my first published review of a popular chain restaurant. Most reviews will be from places here in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but I will include others from my travels!
This week I am reviewing The Olive Garden, located on Lincoln Highway in Lancaster, PA.
Last Monday I went there for dinner with my son, daughter, and her fiance. Though I called ahead for seating, we still waited fifty-five minutes after checking in. I was told on the phone it would be about twenty minutes. A big difference from fifty-five minutes! We had to wait out in the freezing cold foyer, due to the inside check in area being packed with people. Every time the door would open the wind would whip through, chilling us all to the bone.
After being seated we noticed that there were really not that main tables occupied in the room that we were put into. It was close to 9:00 P.M., but we still couldn’t figure out the long wait time, for a place not all that packed.
Our waitress, who was not at all friendly, came over and took our drink order. Our drinks arrived pretty fast, and then she took our order. This is where everything goes into slow motion. Our salad and bread sticks took longer then normal to show up. No excuse was given, the salad and bread sticks were simply put down and she asked if we wanted cheese on the salad. She seemed aggravated to have to ask. It did not take long for four hungry adults to finish one bowl of salad and four bread sticks. After waiting close to fifteen minutes, I finally was able to get her attention and ask for a refill of the unlimited salad and bread sticks. Both were finally brought to the table followed closely by our meals.
My son ordered the soup and salad, my daughter had the Portabello Ravioli, her fiance had a made to order pizza, and I ordered the Eggplant Parmigiana. Right away I did not like the way my food tasted. I usually order the same thing at the Olive Garden, but this time it did not taste right. The sauce was very thick and tasteless and the eggplant was like rubber. Since our waitress never came over to see how everything was, I didn’t get a chance to say anything until she came to take out plates. The other meals were okay, not great, just okay. Again the waitress had to be tracked down for a refill on the endless soup.
In between our meals and getting the bill, my daughter went to the ladies room. She walked by our table a few minutes later looking frazzled and went out to the front desk. She came back and told us that a man was in a stall, with a woman in the ladies room. We then saw the two young girls who were at the hostess area go back into the ladies room. A few minutes later everyone walked by laughing. The man that was in the ladies room then stopped to joke with a male employee. Both the man and woman appeared to be intoxicated, yet both were allowed to just walk out of the restaurant. I could not understand why two young women would be the ones to have to go take care of a situaiton like that. The manger is an older male, and there were several other makle staff there also.
When our waitress came to clean the table she asked me if I was still eating. I then told her that my food did not taste right. She said she would get the manager to come over. She came back with the bill and told us that my entree was take off of the bill. No manager visit, no apologies or explanations to my daughter about her ladies room encounter, just a thank you and our bill!
This was the second bad experience we had at this same restaurant, but decided to give it another chance. It was my last visit to this particular location.
I would like to encourage you to speak up if you have a problem with what you ordered, bad service, etc. at any restaurant. It isn’t right for anyone to have to pay for a meal, or dining experience, that is not good. Some people have to save up for a month or longer to go out to eat, why would you want to waste that money on a bad meal or a bad overall experience?