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Olive Garden tries to woo back customers after falling into a rut
McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers ^ | January 23, 2012 | Sandra Pedicini

Posted on 01/25/2012 8:25:29 PM PST by ConservativeStatement

With sales slipping, Olive Garden is trying to win back customers who have fallen out of love with the nation's largest Italian chain.

It is a major challenge for Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster and other brands.

(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: clarenceotisjr; michelleobama; olivegarden; restaurants
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To: max americana
better she drag me there instead of some male-neutering movie like Sex and City’..(yeah, she tried but failed)

Sex and City, gag me, and I am female. Gives being female a bad name.

51 posted on 01/25/2012 11:47:35 PM PST by Bellflower (The LORD is Holy, separated from all sin, perfect, righteous, high and lifted up.)
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To: Grams A
Are you familiar with the “Homesick Texan”, Lisa Fain? If not, check her out for restaurant recommends
52 posted on 01/25/2012 11:51:44 PM PST by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: ConservativeStatement

I haven’t set foot in an Olive Garden or Red Lobster in 25 years, ever since i learned their parent company was donating to Planned Parenthood. But I suppose enough people figured out the Olive Garden formula of filling you with salad and bread sticks so you won’t care that they served you a skimpy entree.


53 posted on 01/25/2012 11:55:55 PM PST by OrangeHoof (Obama: The Dr. Kevorkian of the American economy.)
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To: TexasNative2000
Olive Garden: “If you’re here, you’re family” should be changed to “If you’re here, you’re not Italian”.

Texas dining out is fascinating. In Texas, you can have Mexican food cooked by real Mexicans. And Italian food cooked by real Mexicans. And barbecue cooked by real Mexicans. And Chinese food cooked by real Mexicans. And hamburgers cooked by real Mexicans...

...and Cajun food cooked by real Vietnamese.

54 posted on 01/26/2012 12:05:14 AM PST by OrangeHoof (Obama: The Dr. Kevorkian of the American economy.)
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To: Fiji Hill
STOP! STOP! STOP!

You are not only making me hungry, but unbearably homesick!

Speaking of the Milhos family, Nixon's on Whittier Blvd. was a big hangout for me as a high schooler. Then lots of dates at Jack's.

55 posted on 01/26/2012 12:07:06 AM PST by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: ConservativeStatement

IIRC, a little while back Olive Garden would not allow a local civic oganization to bring in an American flag for their meeting. When the story got out, a lot of finger-pointing ensued between corporate and the restaurant itself.

Further steeled my resolve to not patronize the place.


56 posted on 01/26/2012 4:17:08 AM PST by Arm_Bears (Journalists first; then lawyers.)
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To: ConservativeStatement
Could be the horrendous ad campaign where annoying multi-culti yupoids all sit around the table hysterically laughing at random unfunny comments.

Either that or it's the egg noodles with ketchup on the plate.

57 posted on 01/26/2012 4:29:11 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: ConservativeStatement
Olive garden? Bah! I haven't been there in years, since they served my meal piping hot on the outside and frozen solid on the inside. If I want microwaved Italian food I'll run down to the Piggly Wiggly and pick up a TV dinner.
58 posted on 01/26/2012 4:44:28 AM PST by aomagrat (Gun owners who vote for democrats are too stupid to own guns.)
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To: Fiji Hill

The Cheesecake Factory in Cherry Hill sucks. Very expensive, small portions and lousy service. Went once, never again. You can eat better at Wegman’s Supermarket!


59 posted on 01/26/2012 5:47:43 AM PST by New Jersey Realist (America: home of the free because of the brave)
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To: TexasNative2000
“If you’re here, you’re not Italian”.

LOL! So true. I never met an Italian that liked Olive Garden.

60 posted on 01/26/2012 5:59:19 AM PST by PJ-Comix ("Now I am become Death, destroyer of oysters" ---from the Buffetvad Gita)
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To: ConservativeStatement

I sent them a letter when they sucked up to Moochelle and told them that I will never take my family to any of their joints again. Looks as if I’m not alone.


61 posted on 01/26/2012 6:43:46 AM PST by Buckeye Battle Cry (Mittt Romney - he lacks the courage of his absence of convictions .)
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To: JerseyHighlander
Anyway, waitress comes over with the 5 pounds of Southern belle makeup and big hair thing, with a ridiculous fake Italian accent, I order my food using Sicilian pronunciations which is the only way I know how to pronounce some of the fake Sicilian/southern Italian food on the menu, and she didn’t understand a word of it. This Olive Garden plays 4 CDs called “Mob Hits Complete Collection: I, II and III” on a continuous cycle from opening until closing. Very very racist.

Heh heh heh.

Eye-ties already have enough problems with fellow eye-ties goombahing it up to make the whole ethnicity look clownish. They/we don't need any help from outsiders.

62 posted on 01/26/2012 6:57:01 AM PST by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: Coldwater Creek
You are not only making me hungry, but unbearably homesick!
Speaking of the Milhous family, Nixon's on Whittier Blvd. was a big hangout for me as a high schooler. Then lots of dates at Jack's.

We used to eat at Nixon's drive-in restaurant--owned by the vice president's brother Donald Nixon, whose wife, Clara Jane,is still alive and an active supporter of the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, Calif. I liked their oatty melts, and my brother liked their beef burgers. In 1957, Nixon's went out of business and became Whirly's, which featured a huge sign, that could be seen more than a mile away, consisting of neon lights arranged in concentric circles. The site is now an abandoned car dealership.

We used to like to eat at Jack's Salad Bowl, on Whittier Blvd.in West Whittier, and Jack's Beverly, near the old El Mercado mall on Beverly Blvd. and Palm Ave. Both are gone, as is Jack's Uptown, which closed sometime in the 1950's. The remaining Jack's is owned by a Greek restaurateur who owns several other eateries in the Southland.

Since you ate at Nixon's and dated at Jack's, you must have gone to Whittier High School. If you did, you might remember the Swift's ice cream shop across Hadley Street from the school. Although it closed in 1963, the palatial white building, long abandoned, is still there.

63 posted on 01/26/2012 6:58:04 AM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: New Jersey Realist
The Cheesecake Factory in Cherry Hill sucks. Very expensive, small portions and lousy service.

Sounds just like the one in Brea, Calif.

64 posted on 01/26/2012 7:03:13 AM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: Coldwater Creek

Are you familiar with the “Homesick Texan”, Lisa Fain?”

Thanks for the heads up, will certainly take a look at it. Did happen onto a great restaurant in Colorado that had a “Louisiana” night while we were there. Best blackened redfish, shrimp and dirty rice I’ve ever had and I used to live in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where they do know how to cook Cajun!


65 posted on 01/26/2012 7:08:26 AM PST by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: Fiji Hill
I live in Memphis, Tn. now.

My husband graduated in 1953 from Whittier High. I went to Santa Fe High, but actually graduated from Whittier adult as I got married in Nov. of 58 and graduated in 60.

I went home couple of years ago with my college age granddaughter. We had the best time going to all of the old places, Wardman Theater, Presbyterian Hospital where her father was born, the High School, Rose Hills where my parents are buried. Lake Arrowhead where had a cabin, etc.

I don't care what people say about So. California, I still love it.

66 posted on 01/26/2012 7:22:26 AM PST by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: ConservativeStatement

I’m not into CEO’s playing socialist fascists for the favor of the dictator’s wife, Moochelle. We are a constitutional Republic and any CEO’s who don’t like that, can go out of business as soon as possible.


67 posted on 01/26/2012 7:24:05 AM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: Josa

Exactly what I was thinking. Once Darden became part of the Mooshelle food police, I stopped going.


68 posted on 01/26/2012 7:25:42 AM PST by eXe (Si vis pacem, para bellum)
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To: TexasNative2000

Olive Garden: “If you’re here, you’re family” should be changed to “If you’re here, you’re not Italian”.

______

LOL. I tell this story whenever the Olive Garden comes up. I’m pretty spoiled when it comes to Italian food, eating out in NY and NJ, at Italian people’s homes, etc.

A long time ago, I saw this brand new Italian restaurant (Olive Garden)and thought I would take the girlfriend there. Everything was bottom of the barrel “Italian” food, the Italians I know would rather chop their hands off then serve that food to guests, DISGRACIADA!

I figured they would close down pretty quick and was shocked that someone would open an Italian restaurant in NJ and have no idea how to make Italian food. It’s awful, kind of like I have no idea Domino’s can make a living in this area when they are literally surrounded by hundreds of real pizzerias, some who make pizza to die for. I love Dominos new marketing campaign, “Our food used to really suck”, no kidding Dominos, I’ve been saying that about your “food” for 20 something years.


69 posted on 01/26/2012 7:42:10 AM PST by word_warrior_bob (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs6qZd_xP1w)
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To: eyedigress

Get water instead


70 posted on 01/26/2012 7:45:07 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
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To: TexasNative2000

Olive Garden must have been the restaurant Henry Hill was referring to at the end of Goodfellas: “I ordered spaghetti with marinara sauce and I got egg noodles and ketchup.”


71 posted on 01/26/2012 7:46:58 AM PST by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: ConservativeStatement
(psssst!), (olive garden), (here's a little tip), (the next time a group of veterans wants to display the american flag during one of their meetings in one of your restaurants), (let them).

Morons.

Olive Garden: Flying The American Flag Would Disrupt The Dining Experience

72 posted on 01/26/2012 7:48:45 AM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: ConservativeStatement

Their food stinks, imho.


73 posted on 01/26/2012 7:50:51 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: F15Eagle

That is exactly why my family will never go there again.


74 posted on 01/26/2012 7:52:46 AM PST by bmwcyle (I am ready to serve Jesus on Earth because the GOP failed again)
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To: TexasNative2000

This!


75 posted on 01/26/2012 7:54:23 AM PST by rintense
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To: Fiji Hill
THANK YOU for taking me on a ride through Memory Lane this morning. I have a terminal illness and this gives me something sweet to think about today. Thanks again.

Maria

76 posted on 01/26/2012 7:56:59 AM PST by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: ConservativeStatement; All

1. they dissed the american flag.

2. They went into political bed with mooshel obama.

3. The parent company keeps making political blunders assuming people have left wing nutjob preferences.

They reap what they sow.

They tell america go away, americans closed their wallets and went away.


77 posted on 01/26/2012 7:57:47 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: ConservativeStatement

I’ll go back when Veal Parmagian is back on the menu.


78 posted on 01/26/2012 7:58:26 AM PST by Night Hides Not (My dream ticket for 2012 is John Galt & Dagny Taggart!)
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To: ConservativeStatement

We quit going to Olive Garden three years ago after getting two horrible pizzas in a row and some lousy lasagna. Also, their breadsticks, which I used to like, became tasteless and stale.

Maybe that’s because I ordered takeout, and they figure they
can unload yesterday’s leftover crap on takeout customers.


79 posted on 01/26/2012 8:14:05 AM PST by Zman516
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To: All

looks like we have a Dixie Chix situation on our hands.

Only this time we have multiple chains.

BTW late Gov Lawton Chiles’ family had the exclusive francise on red lobster in FL.

So success will be to REDIRECT business to a chain that supports conservative causes and does NOT cave to the commiecare obamanomics.


80 posted on 01/26/2012 8:23:47 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: BobL

According to whitehouseforsale.org, the CEO of Darden Group/Olive Garden, Clarence Otis Jr., donated $28,500 to Obama’s campaign in 2008.

http://www.whitehouseforsale.org/obamadonor.cfm?CandidateID=C0001&SortOrder=Last_Name%20desc%2C%20First_Name%20desc%2C%20Middle_Name%20desc%2C%20Suffix%20desc&StartRow=702


81 posted on 01/26/2012 8:24:09 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: ConservativeStatement

The Olive Garden serves its patrons bread, pasta, and polyunsaturated oils, all of which shorten their lives.

Politically correct dining is Pretty Quick dying.


82 posted on 01/26/2012 8:31:09 AM PST by editor-surveyor (No Federal Sales Tax - No Way!)
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To: Coldwater Creek

Prayers


83 posted on 01/26/2012 8:46:29 AM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: ConservativeStatement
Jumped the shark ...


84 posted on 01/26/2012 8:52:36 AM PST by maggief
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To: trisham

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2011-03-30/business/os-darden-tax-bill-pulled-20110330_1_darden-restaurants-dorworth-tax-credits

Lawmaker delays hearing on Darden tax-break bill
March 30, 2011|By Jason Garcia, Orlando Sentinel

TALLAHASSEE — A hearing on a bill that would give Darden Restaurants a tax break of as much as $5 million a year was postponed Wednesday after the sponsor asked for more time to address recent questions about the legislation.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-darden-solar-panels-20110822,0,6221415.story

Darden Restaurants to build solar panels


85 posted on 01/26/2012 8:54:04 AM PST by maggief
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To: maggief

Favored status? That could never happen, could it?


86 posted on 01/26/2012 9:00:31 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: ConservativeStatement
Last summer I was at two different ones here in S.E. Michigan. The food was lousy, the service was bad and from what I could see, it was owned by and staffed with Lebanese folks. Nothing Italian about it except the menu and the name.....

FWIW, lots of Lebanese restaurants going up all over the place here..........

87 posted on 01/26/2012 9:00:31 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (The only solution to this primary is a shoot out! Last person standing picks the candidate)
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To: ConservativeStatement

I hate to state the obvious, but their food isn’t really that good.


88 posted on 01/26/2012 9:05:16 AM PST by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: trisham
"Favored status? That could never happen, could it?"

Clarence Otis Jr., CEO of Darden Restaurants Inc.

89 posted on 01/26/2012 9:05:26 AM PST by maggief
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To: Texas Eagle

That is it. They should have stuck with serving food instead of politics.


90 posted on 01/26/2012 9:33:37 AM PST by World'sGoneInsane
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To: Coldwater Creek
Maria--

Sorry to hear about your illness. Perhaps what I write below will generate more memories.

I grew up in West Whittier and College Hills, attended Walter F. Dexter Junior High School and Whittier High.

We were regular customers at the Wardman Theater as well as the Roxy Theater downtown, the Sundown Drive-in Theater on Washington, and the palatial Whittier Theater on Whittier Blvd. where Sam Cohen, the father of the neutron bomb, used to like to go when he was growing up in Boyle Heights.

For Mexican food, we went to Carillo's in Whittier and the Mt. Baldy in Pico Rivera, which resembled Mt. Baldy. Sometimes we would get over to El Poche in San Gabriel, which was renowned throughout the region. All of these eateries are long gone, but Chris & Pitt's barbecue restaurant in West Whittier, which opened about 60 years ago, is still in business as is Rubi's, a joint that serves excellent burgers, Mexican food and ice cream cones dipped in chocolate sauce, which has been there since the early 1960's.

We shopped at the Box Market on Whittier Blvd., whose owner's name was Box, and at the Buy Fair market, which changed its name every few years, a few blocks to the west. The best place to get meat was the Model Market on Beverly Blvd. For a while, Don Nixon ran Nixon's Market on Whittier Blvd. about a block from his where better-known brother Richard once lived. All of these stores are long gone, but I often shop at the Trader Joe's, located in the old Alpha Beta market in East Whittier.

When we needed a haircut, we went to a barber named Luigi, who was an immigrant from Tuscany and had a shop in a long-gone strip mall on Whittier Blvd.

I also remember some disasters--the fires that destroyed the Whittier News in 1958, Mifflin's Market in 1970, the Roxy Theater in 1971, and the William Penn Hotel in 1979. In 1967, a brush fire scorched 2,000 acres in the Whittier Hills. but the worst disaster to hit the community was the Whittier earthquake of 1987.

The Whittier area may have changed considerably,but it's still a nice place to live.

91 posted on 01/26/2012 9:54:11 AM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: editor-surveyor

It is always suprising to see the very large older people who are there dining. (or at least were when I stopped going)

Obvious health problems and obviously eating bad.

BTW do they “recycle” breadsticks which are not used?


92 posted on 01/26/2012 10:03:30 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Fiji Hill
Thanks again.

Ya know I live in the BBQ capitol of the world, Chris and Pitts will always be my favorite. As long as my parents were alive, they would send us C&P BBQ sauce.

Maria

93 posted on 01/26/2012 10:37:22 AM PST by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: Coldwater Creek

Prayers lifting my FRiend.

May God bless and keep you.

Tatt


94 posted on 01/26/2012 11:39:09 AM PST by thesearethetimes... ("Courage, is fear that has said its prayers." Dorothy Bernard)
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To: thesearethetimes...

Thanks! Pulmonary Fibrosis


95 posted on 01/26/2012 12:15:08 PM PST by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: mamelukesabre

My wife and I were looking for a late lunch a couple of years ago and wandered into a Red Lobster. We were told that it would be a 15 to 20 minute wait and that we could wait in the bar. I looked in the dining room and there was precisely one occupied table. We turned and walked out and haven’t darkened their door again.


96 posted on 01/26/2012 12:49:41 PM PST by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: ConservativeStatement

Why would anyone go to an Italian restaurant that is really nothing more than fast food with a menu created by chefs sitting next to the beancounters at corporate headquarters in some faraway location? The mass produced food is mostly prepared from canned or frozen pre-processed ingredients and made deliberately bland so as not to offend the culinary challenged who seem to equate quality with quantity.

For every Olive Garden in my area there are dozens of real Italian restaurants serving real Italian food made fresh from whole, unprocessed ingredients based upon recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation (although not necessarily written down). Some of these places are fine dining, but many are small, inexpensive family places that can turn out excellent Itallian food for same or lower price than Olive Garden.


97 posted on 01/26/2012 1:49:00 PM PST by Labyrinthos
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To: Graybeard58

The one i went to was child size portions too. see my post 29


98 posted on 01/26/2012 8:03:10 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: 70times7; aposiopetic
My apologies for not crediting Yogi, but I think everyone knew it anyway.

Seriously, we have a wonderful little Mom and Pop Italian Restaurant not far from where I work. The food is fabulous and much more reasonable than Oliver Garden.

Every time I go in, I tell the owner that she should give me some of their menus and let me go hand them out to the people in line at Olive Garden.

She just laughs and gives me an extra big helping of whatever I order.

99 posted on 01/27/2012 9:33:29 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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