As all my regular readers know by now, I’m not a fancy guy. Look at my photo! I like my food to taste like Mom made it: good, hot and with meat and potatoes like it was payday! Now to be fair, someone has to review the food at the pasta places and I prefer it to be anyone else besides me. Occasionally, however, my beloved Pamela will request a reprieve from cooking, usually under the guise of “Its my birthday,” “Its our anniversary” or “Get me out of this house before I shoot you” or some other sentimental female excuse. Truthfully, our anniversary was the reason, other than this review, for my latest visit to Olive Garden at 1919 N Eastman Road in Kingsport, TN. I’d tell you which anniversary, but my dear wife does have a loaded gun available and no references to age or weight are allowed in my home!
I tend to think of Italian restaurants as pasta hut ripoffs. After all, I can cook all the spaghetti I want at home and throw in a gallon of ice cream (sans snooty atmosphere)for less than what one plate of noodles costs at the typical Italian eatery. Yes, I’m cheap, but I haven’t seen pasta yet that was was worth $12 a plate. Still, when the darling one demands, I do what I can.
As much as any good meat and potatoes guy could, I hid my hatred of expensive noodles and bid my beloved order whatever cream of goo pasta her little heart desired. Desperate to find anything I could eat, my bargain hunting eyes spotted the pizza, soup, salad and breadsticks portion of the menu. I was saved! I ordered a pepperoni pizza and the pasta e fagioli, so no matter what surprises the night held, by jingo I would have some meat in my belly!
As it turned out, the pasta e fagioli was far better to my untamed appetite than even the tasty pizza! Made from red and white beans (I like my beans!) ground beef (Can you say hamburger?) and tomatoes and pasta, the first bowl wasn’t at all bad. Neither was the second. I would have had a third, but I’d lost count of the breadsticks I’d eaten and I didn’t want to embarass my wife by eating until closing time. I could have though, because the refills of soup and breadsticks were free. I had to take the rest of the pizza home though, because I was full. That says a lot about the quality of the pasta right there.
There were no strolling violin players but there were lots of happy customers filling their faces with pasta. You might call 423-245-0344 and check to see if they can fit you in, but even if it takes a few minutes to get a seat, it will be worth the wait, especially if you like soup!