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On a bit of a random whim, Brian decided we’d brave the cold and rain on a friday evening and drive all the way to Langley for Olive Garden. Yep, Olive Garden! I’m not going to lie, it’s a great spot to go to in the states. I think mostly because you can take your family or friends here, soups, salads, bread and pop are bottomless and the service and the food is always consistent.
Well I guess that wraps up my review! (Kidding!) When we arrived, we were told we were facing a 30-45 minute wait. Considering we drove all the way from Vancouver, it’s not like we were going to say no. I’ve been told sometimes the wait can be up to 2 hours. They have these wonderful, comfy couches to sit on while you wait though!
The look of this particular OG (I’m liking the nickname, OG!) is reminiscent of a Tuscan villa, at least I think that’s what they were going for. With warm wood, iron wrought details, wine everywhere and even strings of lights, it’s a very inviting look. The restaurant is clean too, I’m not sure if it’s very new but I’m glad they’ve kept it so maintained.
When we were seated (after waiting 30 minutes – which didn’t seem that long of a time), we were greeted by our server who offered us a complimentary taste of some Chardonnay. Curious, I agreed to try some. It was a good white, dry with little sweetness and unoaked.
Brian and I both ordered pop – we’re both trying to lay off of it but it’s bottomless here and would most likely help with digestion after our big meal. The size of their pop glasses is humungous too – I’m thinking a good 21 oz at least.
At Olive Garden every entree (and pizza) comes with a choice of endless salad or soup. I usually get the salad, but I’ve heard the Zuppa Toscano is great. It also comes with unlimited breadsticks.
The bread sticks were soft, buttery and had garlic and salt sprinkled on the top. The salad is tossed in an Italian dressing and has some vegetables in it: tomatoes, onions, olives…but most importantly – pepperoncini. I love pepperoncini – they’re sweet, mildly spicy pickled peppers that I put in absolutely everything I eat! It reminds me so much of my Italian uncle who roasts hot chili peppers and eats them like candy! That man knows how to eat!
Brian also ordered an appy for both of us: Shrimp Scampi Fritta ($11.25). They are breaded shrimp that’s tossed in garlic and white wine butter sauce. They were served along with some lemon to give it a bit of a bite and clean the otherwise heavy butter sauce. Crispy and savoury – but I was so full after eating salad and bread, I was a bit scared for when my main meal!
My dish was the Braised Beef Tortellini ($18.50) which was sliced short ribs and huge portobello mushrooms in a basil-marsala sauce. I’m a big fan of marsala sauce and I should really just learn how to make it myself. I loved the tortellini because they gave such a big portion, it was cooked al dente and the cheese inside (asiago) really gave it great savoury flavour. The beef was very tender and I’m glad they put a little bit of tomatoes which rounded out the dish. These were also monster tortellinis…I’ve never seen them as big as they were here.
Brian’s dish was the Shrimp & Crab Tortelli Romana ($21.25). Inside the ravioli was shrimp, crab and smoked mozzarella and the sauce was three cheese and sundried tomato. There were some shrimp in the sauce as well. I really liked the ravioli – it too was cooked perfectly and I liked the taste and texture of the filling – not too smokey but still the distinct taste of smoked mozza. My only thought was that they put a lot of the sauce on the plate – but Brian said he didn’t mind it and he thought the proportion was just fine.
Afterwards, stuffed and happy, we asked for the bill and she returned with it and these great mint chocolates. Overall the service was fantastic, the food was pretty good and we left super full and that’s all that counts right?
There’s a lot of variety here – so if you want something really simple like say, spaghetti or lasagna, they have it. But if you’re more gourmet or adventurous – they have other offerings as well.
Check out their menu here.