Day 2 – Spaghetti with Spicy Three Meat Sauce and Shrimp Fritta

by hagz

Day 2 of the great Olive Garden Pasta Pass experiment! What a blessing this little green card has been already. As of today, four of my friends have been treated to free, thirst-quenching Coca-Cola products. It’s a little dark in the Center City Olive Garden so I decided to bring along my Nikon for better pictures. Have to start things off with the classic OG salad of course.

pastapassday2 002

No reason to take it easy on the cheese, that stuff’s gooooood! Never really cared for the pepperoncini so I avoid those like the plague. Maybe Papa John’s picks up the unused ones to stick in their pizza boxes. But the lettuce and tomatoes were so fresh, I felt like a little bunny rabbit foraging through some old lady’s backyard garden.

pastapassday2 003Don’t forget the breadsticks. My companion grabbed one before I could snap a picture of the triplets, but they were delicious as always. Much better than yesterday, actually, when they were mysteriously hard and warm at the same time (overcooked? who cares, they were still good). These things are seriously addictive. One friend whom I visited the OG with yesterday claimed that as a child, even once she was completely stuffed from the unlimited soup salad and breadsticks, she would actually lick the seasoning off of the remaining breadsticks. Kind of the way you lick your food during elementary school lunch so no one tries to steal your food when you get up to grab a second chocolate milk.

Since I had the regular meat sauce yesterday, I decided to try the “premium” spicy three meat marinara today, with spaghetti and shrimp fritta.

pastapassday2 004Turns out the sauce was delicious! I wasn’t crazy about the regular meat sauce, but the spicy three meat is a huge step up. It’s not overpoweringly spicy, but it definitely adds a little heat to the dish. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the shrimp fritta, but they were actually delicious too! Kind of like popcorn shrimp. I thought maybe the sauce would make the batter soggy, but they stayed crisp throughout the remainder of the meal. I would get this combination again and again.

My buddy had the spaghetti with meatballs, and he was also pretty pleased.

pastapassday2 005Again, don’t be shy about the cheese guys. Not every place has someone walking around with a white plastic cheese machine that delivers cheese the way Santa Claus delivers snow.

Don’t forget to eat your vegetables.

pastapassday2 007Close up of the popcorn shrimp things.

pastapassday2 008That picture was from the second, “refill” bowl which is significantly smaller. Having looked at the calorie count on the meat sauce the day before, I decided to go with the plain marinara for the refill. It was a great choice. The sauce tasted so good and so fresh. The tomatoes used for this sauce must have been on the vine no more than two hours prior to our visit. I could practically hear the chefs in the back peeling the tomatoes and chopping the basil for this heavenly marinara sauce. Am I in Philadelphia or Tuscany?

Very important to maintain a proper ratio of vegetables to carbs/deep-fried protein:

pastapassday2 010Never noticed this before, but this Olive Garden has nipple-shaped light fixtures above each table.

pastapassday2 012No really, they look like nipples.

pastapassday2 011Current weight: 174.2

Current cost per pasta bowl: $55

Breadsticks consumed (today/total): 1/4

Calories consumed this meal: 1,635 – one breadstick (140), half a salad (270), 1.5 bowls of spaghetti with three meat sauce and shrimp (1,225)

Comments from the wife: “That’s a lot of calories.” “So are you going to start running soon?” “That shirt looks tighter on you already, and not in the good way.” “Your face looks fatter.”