Olive Garden's Breadstick Sandwich Lunch Special

This month, the Olive Garden rolled out a brand new lunch special featuring two new menu items called breadstick sandwiches. The special, for $7 ($10 after tax & tip), includes unlimited salad (or soup) and breadsticks, and your choice of two sandwiches with french fries (during lunch only - before 4pm). Here's the low down on this interesting and affordable lunch special.

When you sit down and order this deal you must choose between your soup and salad, and then choose between 2 different sandwiches. Your choices are the Chicken Parmigiana (Chicken, Marinara, Mozzarella) or the Italian Meatball (Sicilian Meatballs, Marinara, Alfredo). Each sandwich comes on a breadstick bun and comes with a side of fries. Within a minute or 2 your breadsticks and salad come to the table.

If you have ever been to Olive Garden before, you have probably encountered the all you can eat salad/soup & breadstick special. It is pretty self explanatory. If you finish your salad or breadsticks, you ask for more and they bring you more.  Fatties rejoice! Well this is how the new lunch special starts out, and although you probably won't be getting any refills, its nice to know it is there.

The Legend's Tip: Don't order soup. If you are a grown up, you should only eat soup when you are sick and definitely not at a restaurant...maybe if its snowing...

When you order the salad (see the above tip) they bring you (or your table) out a giant mixing bowl of salad with tongs and bowls. The salad has items such as lettuce, a couple slices of tomato, like 10 croutons, some red onions and a couple other random things (black olives and peperoncino wtf)  I picked around. It is all mixed together in Olive Garden's signature Italian dressing. Overall it combines to form a very bland and quite soggy (they put the dressing on themselves) pile of low quality lettuce.

You also get breadsticks as well, and I believe they will bring 2 per person. The breadsticks I got were a little stale, but breadsticks are pretty good in general. Heck I came here specifically to eat a sandwich where they are the bread. But after my sticks & salad so far I wasn't expecting much.

After eating half a bowl of lettuce, my 2 breadsticks and 2 cokes, my meal finally arrived (took a while). It looked a lot more appetizing than the salad.

I went with the Meatball version and while It was fairly good it was quite the challenge. One of the downsides of meatball subs is that there is not a bread on earth big enough to surround these giant globs of meat. With a typical oversized sub roll you've got meatballs flying all over the place and popping out of the sandwich. Now imagine you take away the sides of the sub roll and flatten out the top and bottom.  You've got 4 balls balancing on a balance beam. Look out below!

If you don't mind picking up fallen soldier meatballs and putting them back on the sandwich with every bite this isn't a bad option for the price. Thats my experience with most meatball subs anyway. The "marinara" that the restaurant uses is not very good and is quite watery, but I'm not huge into sauce so I was fine with the meatballs being fairly dry. Also the fries were fries, nothing special and didn't feel necessary with the breadsticks.

The Legend's Tip: Stick with the meatball sub down the street at Firehouse Subs. It's in the same price range if you get a soda and it is significantly better tasting.

I've been to Olive Garden once in my life before this and it was so long ago I don't even remember what I got. This experience did nothing but ensure that I will probably not be back until sometime in the future when I can't remember this one too.  The sandwich was not bad, but the fries and salad were just there and wasting space. Eating them actually took away from the experience.

Sorry Olive Garden, you're just not for me, even at $10 for a huge meal. I'll be sticking with Firehouse Subs. The mint at the end was cute, and almost apologized, but no...

SUMMARY: Salad, 2 Breadsticks, French Fries, Meatball Sub, Soda = $12 After Tax & Tip (Limited Time Special / Lunch Only)

(Note: The Olive Garden sub was better than the Jersey Mike's meatball sub...meatball sub ranking post coming soon)


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