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The Denver Post Reviews Olive Garden and More

Love it or hate it, the Marilyn Hagerty frenzy has a lot of people talking about Olive Garden. In place of the usual Wednesday restaurant review, The Denver Post visited four suburban restaurant chains to check the real value of their deals, including Chili's, Applebee's, TGI Friday's, and yes — Olive Garden. So, did Denver Post writer Ricardo Baca find Olive Garden's atmosphere and food "impressive?"

"Admittedly, we stopped into the Highlands Ranch location an hour before closing. But still, the service was hurried, with the salad and entrée arriving at the same time - before the bread sticks, even. Speaking of, the bread sticks were stiff and inedible and the atmosphere wasn't friendly. The waitress was friendly - even offering to sit down and help us with the bottle of wine - but her kitchen made her look bad."

Olive Garden earned a chain score of 6 out of 10 for its $12.95 three course dinner. But the real winner in chaintopia is Chili's — the definition of "a corporatized, generic night out" — earning an 8.5 out of 10 for its selection of "consistently tasty and fresh food."

· Chain Reaction: A Taste Test of Suburban Restaurant Deals [DP]
· All Marilyn Hagerty Coverage on Eater [EN]