Olive Garden – Honolulu, HI

Yes, Hawaii finally got their own Olive Garden and I don’t know what the big whoop is. Never have. I’ve tried Olive Garden on a few trips in the mainland and just never understood the appeal. I don’t know how the lines are now, but if you know Hawaii…Olive Garden is located in Ala Moana where the old Bubba Gump’s was. Now if you can imagine that, imagine the line going from the restaurant all the way down to Macy’s. It was that busy when they first opened! In a pandemic no less.

Anyway, we decided to do a take-out order which they actually made pretty easy to do. They have a separate door/entrance for take-out orders specifically. No online ordering so I just went in to order, they are so busy that they can hardly answer the phones anyway. I placed my order and was told the food would be ready in 30 minutes. Great, I knew it would take a bit of time so I headed over to Target for some browsing.

So how was the food? To me? Blah and overpriced! The amount they charged for a regular fettucine alfredo is outrageous. But…I have a few family members who have never tried Olive Garden before so we had to give it at least one go. Here goes…

Calamari | $12.99
lightly breaded and fried. served with marinara and spicy ranch

Calamari was good, hard to screw up this dish. Would I order this again? Yes.

Fettuccine Alfredo | $17.99 (!)
our signature sauce is made every morning. served over fettuccine

Ugh, I can’t bear to look at that price. Can you believe a dish of plain fettucine alfredo costs that much? I mean, alfredo is actually so easy to make at home too! We actually decided to get this cheaper dish and cook up some steak to top it at home. Thumbs down.

Lasagna Classico | $20.99 (!)
layers of pasta, parmesan, mozzarella, pecorino romano and our homemade meat sauce

That piece of lasagna before your eyes is $21. Is it worth it? Well, I just went Sam’s Club last night and bought a family sized pan for $15 so I say no.

Chicken Alfredo | $22.99
sliced grilled chicken and our signature alfredo sauce over fettuccine

Okay at least this dish has a bit more stuff to it. But $4 bucks for some grilled chicken breast on top? You’re killing me smalls. It was enjoyed so I guess that counts for something.

Shrimp Scampi | $22.99
shrimp sautéed in a garlic sauce, tossed with asparagus, tomatoes and angel hair

Okay this was my dish, I wanted to go just a bit healthier even though it’s pasta. I like when menus tell you the calorie count with the items. Yes, I have become one of those people. Was it good? Sure, it was! The portion is a bit puny and I don’t know if you can tell but get a few of those asparagus thick stalks (the ones you supposed to snap off and throw out).

So each entrée does come with either a soup or salad. The salad I think is a better deal, the soup was just alright. They are also supposed to give you free breadsticks. I don’t know how you are with take-out orders but I always try to check everything before I leave because they often times mess up. Well this time, they forgot one our soups so I asked for it. They brought it out and also brought out the breadsticks. So…they forgot the soup and the breadsticks! It’s alright, I got all my food in the end and paid a hefty price tag for it. Would I return? Probably not anytime soon. I would suggest Romano Macaroni Grill across the way if you are at the mall and hankering for some Italian.

11 comments

  1. vickinags says:

    I always thought the draw was fill up on bread and salad and take your entry home, at least when we were on the mainland, LOL
    I passed by recently and there wasn’t any line. Either wrong time or people figured out.

    • Jenny says:

      I think if I dined in, I would be less severe…cause I would eat all that bread and salad! And they even get the BOTO deal…lol buy one take one home.

  2. Arlene says:

    Hmm, I guess you pay for their rent mostly at Olive Garden, not so much the food… I was laughing in shock at that big hunk of asparagus stem in the middle of your dish; it was especially tough looking. Were the breadsticks as good as everyone says they are? Not in a hurry to go there, but I do wanna try the breadsticks. Thank you for another informative, candid post!

    • Jenny says:

      Haha! That’s what I say too when I eat somewhere junk and pricey, we paying for their rent. So glad you spotted the asparagus too, what a shame. The breadsticks? Maybe it’s cause it’s kind of cold when you get home, was thumbs down for me. I bet would be better in the restaurant. I’ve seen people eat it in the restaurant with a side of alfredo sauce…I don’t know if I would go that far…!

  3. kat says:

    FINALLY…how many years there was talk about this restaurant coming to Hawaii..hope they can make a go of it…too pricey though…

    • Jenny says:

      Right?? I wonder if the love for it has gone down. You know what else we might be getting soon? Chick-Fil-A! I just want a Trader Joe’s, they need to know we will pay the premium price to have them here!

      • kat says:

        oh yeah trader joe’s…will never happen though because they only make stores near highways, so their trucks can deliver stuff quickly…love trader joe’s though

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.