49 Days of Pasta

Seven weeks with the Olive Garden Never Ending Pasta Pass

Tag: Olive Garden

Day 31 – Pasta Party!

Today was a huge moment in the great Pasta Pass Experiment – I was joined by three friends, one of whom was my wife! She had previously promised to come with me at some point before my pasta pass ran out, but a special guest appearance in week 5? That’s insane!001

I was also graciously joined by our friends Taylor and Sean, who were both experienced pasta bowl veterans. They hardly had to look at the menu – they knew all of the combinations by heart.  Read the rest of this entry »

Day 17 – Cavatappi with Five Cheese Marinara and Shrimp Fritta


Every day I have to look at this menu. It’s true what they say about how once you see a commercial enough times, something happens in your brain and you end up wanting whatever they’re selling. At some point, I know I’m going to end up trying both the deep-fried lasagna and the spicy Calabrian wings. Read the rest of this entry »

Day 8 – Spaghetti with Marinara and Shrimp Fritta

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Holy mother of Italy, look at the size of those shrimp! Whoever’s back in the kitchen working the deep fryer knows what they’re doing. Not only are they battering these jumbo tiger prawns perfectly, but they’re keeping that oil sizzling hot for a crisp, deep-fried experience nonpareil. It’s making me seriously crave some of the other deep-fried appetizers on their menu. Every time I sit at the bar for lunch, I see a few people ordering either the fried calamari or the sampler italiano (your choice of three deep-fried delicacies). Also, I doubt I’ll make it through the 49 days without ordering the lasagna fritta at least once. Yep, that’s right, deep fried lasagna. Some of you may be scoffing, but anyone who’s spent some time in St. Louis can tell you about the joys of deep-fried ravioli. Read the rest of this entry »

Day 5 – The Healthy Edition – Whole Wheat Linguine with Marinara and Shrimp Fritta

Not only did I have Olive Garden yesterday for lunch, but my wife and I then went out and ate an equally absurd amount of carbs at an Indian restaurant for dinner. I’m talking K-2 level mountains of rice, naan, and samosas with buttery masala sauce slathered all over everything. I weighed in a little heavy this morning so I decided to get the healthiest possible combination at the OG today for lunch. It helped that I went with my buddy Jooho, who is a much more responsible man than I. When I suggested the low fat dressing, he countered with no dressing, so we got the low fat dressing on the side. Who knew they even had low fat dressing? They should really push that a bit more to get the health-conscious crowd in there more often.

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One of the criminally under-appreciated benefits of dining frequently at a real authentic Italian restaurant is that you get to learn some Italian! Although I’m a little confused as to why I got a funny look from the hostess when I greeted her with an enthusiastic “Benvenuto!” Must have been my pronunciation. It’s okay, I plan on purchasing a Rosetta Stone later this afternoon so I can learn the Olive Garden’s home language and converse with the staff in their native tongue. My goal is to write my Day 49 post entirely in Italian. Mamma mia! Mozzarella! Marinara! Read the rest of this entry »

Day 3 – Penne with Five Cheese Marinara and Chicken Fritta

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Day 3. I’ll be seeing a lot of this sign. Looks like it could use an update, but hey, who’s counting. Also, I realized yesterday that my wife was correct – my face is fatter. Not that I’ve gained any real weight in two days. I think it’s more a function of all the sodium I’m consuming. Water weight, I swear. I went to the gym this morning for the first time in a month, and I will be continuing to go to the gym throughout this process. I don’t want to end up like the McDonald’s guy. I’d much prefer to be the Jared of Olive Garden. Realistically, neither one of those is happening.

I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but my wife also informed me this morning that she signed us up for a 5k this weekend. Meh, who knows what that even means. Americans only use the metric system when they want to make something sound more impressive than it is, so I’m guessing it’s a pretty short distance. In any case, I have that date marked as the day I will be venturing into the Alfredo sauce side of this experiment.

Bit of a weird schedule today so I had to get takeout – I was surprised to see that there were three other people waiting to pick up takeout orders at 4:45 pm. Who orders takeout from OG? I would guess you can get almost all of the same things at a normal pizza place for half the price…

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