Olive Garden | Avondale | Italian | Restaurant
The national chain's first location within Chicago's city limits.

Our Review

Would it surprise you to learn that there was a 45-minute wait for a table for two at the goddamned Olive Garden last Tuesday night? True, this particular Olive Garden is the first ever to exist within Chicago city limits—hey, if middle-income people are moving into cities from the burbs, why the hell wouldn't moderately priced chain restaurants follow their lead?—and, yes, it had just opened its doors the day before, to much fanfare, I might add. Except for maybe the big guy at the bar who was on his third never-ending pasta bowl, it seemed no one was quite as excited about OG's entrance into the Chicago market as Governor Pat Quinn, who spent valuable campaign face time at a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Monday morning. Quinn said: "Illinois's restaurant industry is thriving, and establishments like Olive Garden are helping drive our economic comeback." So, OK, if it sounds like Quinn's being a bit of a sycophant, a press release sent out that day explains that's because the restaurant created 170 new jobs, and new jobs make a fella who wants to keep being governor look good. Read the full review >>

Gwynedd Stuart

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