Saturday, September 17, 2016

Restaurant Review - Olive Garden, Hayward California

My review can also be found here in case you want to share it:

If you had asked me a year ago if I would come back to eat here, I would've said no. A year ago they had a server who couldn't even tell customers about the soup they were serving and couldn't make menu recommendations.

That is not the case a year ago. This is my second visit to this location in less than a month, one of which was today. Today our server was Anthony. Anthony was a wonderful server and we weren't the only ones who felt that way, all the tables around us were smiling and laughing with him. I wish all servers were like Anthony.

If you come here, you better bring your ID or you will be drinking soda and water. (I don't really drink so I don't have this issue) When you come here and order alcohol, they ask everyone for ID and the manager comes and scans the ID with her machine and checks the expiration date. I think this is a wonderful idea and all restaurants should do this.

I have to say after the experience I had today at the Buffalo Wild Wings down the street, coming here was refreshing. They have two people working at the front so that way in case one walks off to do something, there is always someone there to greet people and take down their names and how many people are in their party. The wait was a little long, but it wasn't so long that it made me want to leave, I would say around 10 minutes.

Once we were seated, the first thing Anthony did was ask if we wanted to sample any wine and he had a bottle and everything. I've never been asked that before and I've been to a lot of restaurants. He asked what we wanted to drink and went off to get it and came right back with our drinks. Usually you have to wait at least five minutes for your drinks, but he came back right away which was great. At the same time, he asked if we wanted an appetizer, which we did and maybe five minutes later he came back with it.

We ended up ordering the sampler platter, ours came with the mushrooms, calamari, and risotto bites. Everything was served hot and the plate was arranged beautifully. It has become hard to impress me when it comes to serving food and having it arranged nicely on a plate. Working in food services will do that to you. It took a few bites for the risotto bites to grow on me, but once it did, I couldn't stop eating them.

The plates at Olive Garden are always too large, so my husband and I decided to just order the Shrimp Alfredo and share the salad that comes with the entree as well as the breadsticks. I always forget when we come here that it comes with unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks. I was surprised when we wrote down shared appetizer and brought us out two plates for the salad and the entree split into two plates. Usually I have to ask for two plates and split the food in half for the both of us if we decide to go this route.

More than the food being delicious, the experience was enhanced by Anthony himself. He stopped between tables to ask if we needed anything and talk to us. He was really friendly, had a permanent smile on his face and stopped by every couple of minutes to make sure everything was okay and ask if we needed anything. Because of the service that Anthony provided I will definitely be returning to eat at this location again. It wasn't just Anthony that was smiling though, all the employees seemed to be happy and I really liked to see that. This location is full of happy employees who serve delicious food and keep customers wanting to come back for more.

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