Thursday, July 7, 2011

Olive Garden Goodness

Gracie wasn't with us the other day when we were in Denton at dinner time so Troy, Sam and I decided to eat someplace Gracie couldn't eat - we picked Olive Garden. The last time we were at Olive Garden was when Gracie got straight A's on her report card and got to choose where we went to dinner - she picked Olive Garden because it was her favorite! She was in the 3rd grade - it was a month before she was diagnosed with Celiac - that was about 2.5 years ago and we haven't been back since.

The salad came - oh the lovely salad! Then the breadsticks - soft and warm - Sam ate 4! Then the pasta came - lots and lots of pasta. All the while I thought of Gracie and was sad we couldn't eat there with her. The manager came by to say hi and I decided to ask him if he had a gluten free menu - THEY DO!! He brought me out a paper menu that had several Gluten Free choices - Pasta, chicken, fish, steak - did you hear PASTA?? They even have a couple of kids menu options (perfect for my scrawny picky eater!)

I asked him how the pasta was prepared - he stated it comes in a package and is prepared in the microwave. Hmmm. Microwaved pasta?? I have read some reviews and they seem pretty promising. I called their customer service at 800-331-2729 and the lady I spoke to stated the past was prepared off premise so they could assure it was gluten free and prevented cross contamination. She stated everything else was a grill item on the GF menu. Even though the idea of microwaved pasta makes me go hmmmm I LOVE that they take cross contamination seriously enough to go out of their way to protect their customers.

I am looking forward to Gracie trying their gluten free items! Have you tried them? I would love to hear from you.


The Lady in Pred said...

Glad you are posting again! My kids were not crazy about the Olive Garden pasta choices--the pasta is served them in the little tin pan it was microwaved in while everyone else's food is on the nice big plate, and then everyone else is scarfing bread sticks while my kids eat their relatively small serving of microwaved pasta. It was a "no-go" for us. I think the taste was not so much the problem as the way it was served--but my kids are all large teenagers now and pretty savvy about things like that.

Sandra said...

Good to know! I wonder if they would put it on a plate if asked? Surely they would. Of course Gracie prefers the more expensive salmon :)

Reminds me of the time we got a new waitress at our favorite breakfast restaurant. Gracie always got the hot chocolate - it was FANCY! In a big cup with whipped cream on top - she loved it! One day we went in and place our regular order - the waitress brought us a cup of hot water, a packet of hot chocolate mix and a spoon. The magic was SO lost! It was like peeking behind the curtain at OZ. I agree - it is ALL in the presentation.