I told some of my KKNY readers that I was going to sacrifice my palate and well-being venturing with Jimmy and Dan to the Olive Garden. Jimmy and I knew full well the nastiness served up at that place, but Dan had never been...and it's been a bit of a joke for years ("Where should we eat tonight? Oooooh...Olive Garden! Er...nah...let's go to [insert name of just about any other restaurant here] instead."). But then the mighty duo received some re-gifted gift cards, so we decided we'd actually go show Dan what the place was like.
We attempted to hit the Olive Garden on 22nd and 6th (I had wiped its existence from my memory...but alas, it's still there). I arrived first, expecting a relatively empty restaurant, but found a crowded waiting area...and a 25 minute wait. Really? Who the hell would choose an Olive Garden in NYC when there are plenty of other options? Apparently, there are people...
As I stood waiting for Jimmy and Dan, the smell began to get to me. I was purposely ravenous, but the vomit-like aroma wafting through the air was enough to put me off. (Perhaps a new diet product could be a spray canister with Olive Garden smell?)
When the guys arrived and inhaled the nastiness, we doubted our ability to go through with our little plot. Should we give up and go to Markt, which is vastly better and only a block away? A gander at the menu put the final nail in the coffin--the prices were outrageous! I was expecting things to hover around the $10 mark, but really, $17.95 for a crappy microwaved chicken entrée? Markt ain't cheap, but their entrées start in the mid-teens. Why the hell would you pay that much for crap when you can walk a block and spend the same amount of money for something that's not vomit-inducing and actually cooked in the kitchen. It's a mystery.
So, we had a happy dinner at Markt. Jimmy and I had burgers and frites ($16), Dan had a traditional beef stew ($16), we drank good Belgian beer (I hadn't had Leffe Brown in ages!), and the boys had a nice dessert. And as an added bonus, it didn't smell like vomit.
Yes, we totally chickened out. But really, can you blame us?