If you don't have any shame like me, just keep ordering soup and bread sticks after about 4-5 bowls you'll be satisfied, then just pick at your entree and take the rest to go (take more bread sticks home too).
I rarely go anymore either but when I do I get my $ worth.
I also get one last refill on the soup and have that to go too with my entree.
A note about food quality of the vast majority of chain restaurants. About 11 months ago I sent an inquiry to Red Lobster (owned by the same parent company as Olive Garden, Darden) asking to provide the ingredient list of the "cheddar bay biscuits" because I wanted to get an idea of their food quality standards. I asked about one item only to increase the chances of receiving a response. They responded with the following:
Cheddar Bay Biscuits (CHG): Enriched bleached flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid). Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Whey, Sodium Bicarbonate, Salt, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Dextrose, Monocalcium Phosphate, Buttermilk, Defatted Soy Flour, Nonfat Milk, Soy Lecithin, Maltodextrin, Enzymes, Cheddar Cheese (Cultured Pasteurized Milk, Salt and Enzymes), a Rice Flour and Microcrystalline Cellulose anticaking agent shall be added to keep the product free flowing), Liquid and partially hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, TBHQ and citric acid added to protect flavor, beta carotene (color), dimethylpolysiloxane (and antifoaming agent added), Garlic Powder, Maltodextrin, Salt, Onion Powder, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Torula Yeast, Dehydrated Parsley, Malic Acid, Sugar, Natural and Artificial Flavor (Maltodextrin, Butter Oil), with not more than 2% Silicon Dioxide added as an anti-caking agent.
These ingredients illustrate that most chains do not use any higher quality ingredients than a typical fast food chain and actually this particular item is worse than most fast food due to multiple instances of artificial trans fat. I don't know about Olive Garden but Red Lobster is basically fast food with waiter/waitress service. As such I recommend avoiding such places if you can.
stuff like this make me think to cancel my greencard and go back to my country
Well to a certain extent you find it all over these days, but no doubt USA is the land of the big eating supertankers, lol.
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We started noticing and commenting about the smaller portions at all the restaurant chains we eat at about 2 months ago when we first noticed the trend. OG, Macaroni Grill, Red Lobster, Chili's, Carrabba's, Bob Evans, Smokey Bones, I-Hop and Denny's and even our local non chain restaurants, including Mexican and Chinese and Greek and American style restaurant. Heck they just built a Checkers here and hubby tried their chicken wings....did you know when I asked what dips they had they said they are 50 cents extra! Can't speak to FF chains as we don't eat there...and this was his first trial at Checkers. Oh the Sonny's Bar-B-Que portions are still the same. : ) Still charging the same prices though, all.....
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