Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Is Macaroni Grill Better Than Olive Garden?

So let me explain: I still enjoy Olive Garden. I truly do. But they keep removing items I like from their menu.

Let's go back a few years. They used to have a delicious dish called capellini pomodoro. If you don't know what that is, it's basically thin noodles with tomato and garlic. I absolutely loved it and would always order the pasta whenever we'd go.

But then one day I tried to order it and the waitress was like, "We no longer serve that." 

I was like:

I mean, excuse me. I was EATING that. I couldn't believe they got rid of such an incredible dish. 

I moved onto the Rosemary Chicken, which wasn't as good, but I enjoyed it enough. The flavor was there and I was obsessed with their garlic mashed potatoes that came with it.

Guess what?

They got rid of that too! I was like:

Honestly, it seems everything I enjoy Olive Garden gets rid of it. When we go now, I get the ravioli carbonara, and I am just waiting for the day when I'm told it's gone. 

(AND. AND they got rid of their amazing mashed potatoes too!)

We do not have a Macaroni Grill near us. There don't seem to be as many as Olive Garden, because obviously Olive Garden is more popular thanks to their All You Can Eat Pasta deals (their current pasta is just meh to me) and the never-ending salad (delish!) and breadsticks (I swear they used to taste better) are a hit too. 

Macaroni Grill, if you haven't figured it out by now, is another Italian restaurant. Slightly fancier, but not much more. Basically the same price points. There is one located by my parents so I asked if we could go the last time we visited. 

It is pretty inside:

You get a warm loaf of rosemary bread and olive oil to start there:

It's delicious and it's also never-ending. Our waiter was even kind and packed us up one to go. 

Guess what Macaroni Grill DOES have? Capellini Pomodoro! 

Their menu is pretty extensive. I find Olive Garden's menu to be small and uninspiring. And again, yes, we still go, but I bitterly point out that it would be better if they still served capellini pomodoro. You'd think I'd have gotten over it by now, but ask any member of my family and they'll tell you I still whine about that. 

You can build your own pasta at Macaroni Grill, so I picked the capellini, the pomodoro, and you can do up to 3 basic toppings free of charge, so I added chunks of garlic and even more tomatoes. Olive Garden also has a build your own pasta, but it's just....well, as I mentioned before, BORING.

Behold my dish:

It was as I remembered. Garlicy. Tomato-y. How hard is it for Olive Garden to have this dish? Seriously?

Natalie also did the build your own pasta with fettuccine alfredo with tomatoes and mushrooms. She said it was good, but she prefers her Five Cheese Ziti from Olive Garden and said she missed the salad. 

And dessert? Here's the dessert options. It's on display and at the end of the meal your waiter will bring it over and ask if you want anything:

I need to try the cannoli next time. 

We ended up getting the chocolate cake, which was scrumptious, BUT I will admit that I prefer the Italian Doughnuts from Olive Garden. However, watch them take that off the menu soon. I'm beginning to wonder if Olive Garden is a secret enemy of mine.

So there you have it. Macaroni Grill Vs Olive Garden. Which is better? I say Macaroni Grill. Natalie says Olive Garden. I guess it depends if Olive Garden still has what you like on their menu or not. 

Have you ever been to either place before? 


  1. I used to get capellini pomodoro at Olive Garden. I can't believe they got rid of it!

  2. Never been to either place but that because I am in a different country

  3. My vote is Macaroni Grill. That bread is super delicious.

  4. I have been to Olive Garden before, but never Macaroni Grill. I wonder if there is one near me. I'd love to check it out sometime.

  5. I loved the Capellini Pomodoro too. I also prefer Macaroni Grill, but there aren't any around us anymore :(

  6. I've never heard of Macaroni Grill. I'll have to visit someday!

  7. Being able to build your own pasta dish alone sounds like a winning feature, especially if you have a (or are yourself) a "picky eater"!

  8. Olive Garden has definitely gone downhill over the years. It is nice to read your comparison.

  9. i have enjoyed both places.. and that dessert plate does look amazing.. it is always frustrating when restaurants remove items we love

  10. I do agree that olive garden is going downhill with the quality of food that they have on the menu. I always wanted to try Macaroni grill, I heard that this resturant has great food. Thanks for sharing .


Thanks for the comment!

Share This

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...