We all kind of know that Olive Garden’s “authentic” Italian cuisine has been the butt of several jokes over the years. Whether or not you consider yourself a fan of the atmosphere or the food, Olive Garden just introduced their latest addition to the menu and people have mixed feelings about it.
Let me introduce you to Italian nachos. Now, for those of you may be wondering what exactly that means, I’m going to tell you. If you hop on over to the Olive Garden menu you’ll see that they describe this new dish as “homemade pasta chips, lightly fried and layered with Italian cheeses and a hearty meat sauce. Topped with cherry peppers and an alfredo drizzle.”
The nachos clock in at 1,520 calories, 102 total grams of fat, and 2,740 mg of sodium and they can be yours for $7.99.
Naturally, when the internet got a hold of this information, they took to Twitter to voice their concerns.
My Italian grandmother, who died in 1992, just died again. https://t.co/23uwDpW2S3— Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) February 1, 2018
The biggest scam on America is those commercials where a whole Italian family is eating at the Olive Garden.— 🐶 𝙑𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙚 (@PoochieVince) February 2, 2018
The Olive Garden is the Taco Bell of Italian food and my Nana would stab herself with a hundred knifes if I went in there.
Olive Garden: for people who've never had actual Italian food.— Daniel Ben-Zvi (@DanBenZvi) February 1, 2018
However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that some people seemed to be onboard with the whole thing.
I have no shame: I would eat these. https://t.co/sxJcELlJ6G— Adam Lubitow (@adamlubitow) February 1, 2018
In December 2017, CNN reported that Darden, who owns Olive Garden in addition to several other restaurant chains, reported strong numbers from their restaurants and Olive Garden was bringing in a good chunk of the revenue. They also reported that Darden is devoting their time to their “back-to-basics” strategy, which consists of “building customer loyalty with better food, great service, and a pleasant atmosphere.”
They also reported that Olive Garden’s same-store sales went up 3% during their last quarter and that the volume of customers coming into the chain rose to 1.1%, which is a significant jump from their last report of a mere 0.2% rise in customers.
So, hate all you want on their food, but it looks like Olive Garden and their Italian nachos are here to stay. Maybe just don’t tell your nonna about it…