Friday, December 16, 2011

Bowie Restaurant Project: (35) Olive Garden

For an explanation of the Bowie Restaurant Project, look here.

For a list of all the Bowie Restaurant Project reviews, look here.

Olive Garden, 4101 Town Center Blvd.

Most Recent Foursquare Check-in: 11/30/2011
Total Foursquare Check-ins: 1
Pre-Foursquare Visits: About two or three
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

It's an Olive Garden. It's a safe choice, and the food is reasonably tasty. The service at our recent visit was not great -- not don't-leave-a-tip bad, but slow and indifferent enough for us to notice.

The food is good enough to bring it up to 2.5 stars. I've found over the years that Olive Garden does a reasonable job of having consistently good quality across the chain. (Also, mmm, bread sticks.) But we have to ask ourselves, what does it bring to the Bowie restaurant landscape? Would we miss it if it went away?

Bowie has many of its restaurants concentrated into the same cuisines -- Mexican, Chinese and Italian, mainly. If I count generously (e.g. lump all of the pizza restaurants into "Italian"), there are 9 Italian places, 6 Mexican places and 10 Chinese restaurants. So in those categories, there is a lot of competition. In particular, if you want Italian food, go to T.J. Elliott's instead. Or possibly Cetrone's (review to come later once I dine in there, also after I decide what I think of their non-pizza cuisine). You'll be supporting a local business with a lot more character than a chain restaurant at a mall.
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