Vegan Olive Garden Dinner? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-20-2008, 09:18 AM
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I'm new to being vegan (been vegetarian for 4 years) and my husband too. Other night we went to olive garden with some "meat eatting" friends. We got the salad without cheese, minestrone soup without cheese, and I got the mushroom ravoli with marinia sauce and my husband got the eggplant and spagatti all without cheese.

I'm just curious if anyone knows for sure if it was all really vegan. Our waitess didn't know anything about wat was and wasn't vegan and I couldn't find anything online. Any info would be great. Thanks.

I guess we'll live and learn right?
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#2 Old 02-20-2008, 09:21 AM
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Well, I know that their basic salad dressing isn't vegan; it contains a number of different cheeses. As far as I know, the minestrone is, but I don't know if their pasta is made with eggs or not. I only know for sure that their salad dressing isn't since they catered a lunch at my workplace and I snuck a peek at the bottle.
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#3 Old 02-20-2008, 09:23 AM
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Hello there,



Well, I am not positive but I have heard that their house dressing even has eggs and cheese in it!



Again, I am not positive, but I have read that the only thing vegan at Olive Garden in the marinara sauce, and breadsticks w/o parmesan. But, I believe everything I read.



-kristen
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#4 Old 02-20-2008, 09:25 AM
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Just wanted to agree with the previous responses. No meal at Olive Garden is vegan as far as I know. When I first turned vegetarian I ate there with family, and thought I did ok with soup and salad. But the soup bases are meat broths too.

Lynn

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#5 Old 02-20-2008, 09:29 AM
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Ohhh wow. Thanks.

I also forgot we did eat some bread sticks too!

Its good to know about the dressing tho. I've actually never asked b4 if they do have different types of dressings. I'm sure they do tho right?

Wat about the bread sticks?

Thanks again!
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#6 Old 02-20-2008, 09:30 AM
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Here's what I find:



http://www.vegetarian-restaurants.ne...ive-Garden.htm



But I'm 99% sure the minestrone soup is vegan and have been assured numerous times it does not contain any meat broths. This si what I get when I go there and I order a side salad with oil and vinegar. Cheap, fairly good, and vegan if you absoluetly have to go there HTH!
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#7 Old 02-20-2008, 09:30 AM
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#8 Old 02-20-2008, 09:31 AM
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Lol! Beat-cha to it!
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#9 Old 02-20-2008, 09:36 AM
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They will make special non-buttered bread sticks if you ask for them.
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#10 Old 02-20-2008, 09:37 AM
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Oh wait! But the menu said the minestrone soup was made with tomato base or something.

Well guess that's my last olive garden dinner. Lol

Thanks again so much
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#11 Old 02-20-2008, 09:37 AM
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If their pasta is eggless then their Capellini Pomodoro is vegan.



On their website the recipe for the Capellini Pomodoro is:



Quote:
8 Medium Tomatoes

11 Basil leaves, fresh chopped

14 oz Dry Capellini pasta

2 1/2 clove(s) Garlic

6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and freshley ground pepper



Procedures



Chop tomatoes, season with salt, pepper, chopped basil, garlic and oil.



Cook the Capellini in salted boiling water and drain.



Toss with tomatoes.



If they're using dry and not fresh pasta there's a pretty good chance that it is eggless. In which case, if you skip the grated parmesan cheese at the table the dish is vegan.



Their minestrone soup would be vegan if the pasta is eggless.



I tend to think that the ravioli dishes would not be vegan because it is very likely fresh pasta and fresh pastas tend to use eggs.



This is an old email that someone got from Olive Garden and posted on the 'net in 2005 regarding eggs in the pasta:



Quote:

Dear :



Thank you for visiting olivegarden.com.



The following pastas used in our restaurants do not contain egg: spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, farfalle, angel hair, capellini, penne, and shells. However, they are prepared in the same area as other menu items or pastas, such as ravioli, that do contain eggs. There is always the possibility of cross introduction of other egg-containing product. We must ask that you use your own discretion when ordering these items.



If Guest Relations can be of further assistance, please write us again through olivegarden.com (www.olivegarden.com/feedback.asp ) or call us at 1-800-331-2729. We look forward to a future opportunity to serve you in our restaurants.



With Hospitaliano,



Erich

Olive Garden Guest Relations


I am the user formerly known as MrsKey
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#12 Old 02-20-2008, 09:42 AM
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I wrote Olive garden a while back and most of their pasta is vegan, excluding the ravioli of course. I posted the response in another thread, I'll see if I can dig it up.



ETA: I got about the same response as MrsKey.
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#13 Old 02-20-2008, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bevylvaj View Post


Its good to know about the dressing tho. I've actually never asked b4 if they do have different types of dressings. I'm sure they do tho right?





The best salad dressing is the following:



Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Celtic Sea Salt

Lemon



100% healthy, 100% vegan and 100% yummy.





Dressing is not a must for a yummy salad.
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#14 Old 02-20-2008, 10:37 AM
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Save yourself some time and money. Buy the cheapest, crappiest ingredients you can find. Dusty, dented jars of rancid tomato paste, a bag of broken spaghetti strands made up entirely of starch and shredded cardboard should do nicely. Turn these into a meal at your own home for $3 and forego the cheap iceberg lettuce salads and other freezer-treat garbage Olive Garden tries to shovel off onto the unsuspecting mass public as "food." I hate that place so much. Watching people eat there evokes the same sense of pity and remorse I get watching a low income retired couple walk onto a used car lot.
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#15 Old 02-20-2008, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soy 6-Pack View Post

Save yourself some time and money. Buy the cheapest, crappiest ingredients you can find. Dusty, dented jars of rancid tomato paste, a bag of broken spaghetti strands made up entirely of starch and shredded cardboard should do nicely. Turn these into a meal at your own home for $3 and forego the cheap iceberg lettuce salads and other freezer-treat garbage Olive Garden tries to shovel off onto the unsuspecting mass public as "food." I hate that place so much. Watching people eat there evokes the same sense of pity and remorse I get watching a low income retired couple walk onto a used car lot.



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#16 Old 02-20-2008, 08:19 PM
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i dunno, i think OG is one of the worst places to eat as a vegan b/c their responses seem to change so much...i wouldnt trust them, and i imagine things are different in every region. imo, they are worst than places like cracker barrel, where its obvious... one would think you *could* make a vegan salad and soup??! oi.
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#17 Old 02-20-2008, 08:37 PM
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The menu says the minestrone soup is vegetarian based. I'm not sure if the pasta in it has eggs though. The dressing is not vegan. It contains cheese. The breadsticks could probably be made vegan if they leave off the butter and you make sure they don't top it with cheese. The maranara sauce is claimed to be vegan. I don't think any of the main dishes are vegan, You can still ask, Though. I would just try and convince whomever wishes to go there to go to a real italian resturaunt instead. They'd be more likely to be able to make you something, If not from the menu, Possibly by request.
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#18 Old 02-20-2008, 09:08 PM
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Olive garden= not vegan I have found this info out MANY times. I have seen responses from others emailing them and they could only give their regards on not having any vegan items. Don't be fooled by plain noodels either!
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#19 Old 02-20-2008, 09:14 PM
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I just refreshed my brain. They say nothing on their menu accommodates a vegan diet. "Their nutritional database does not include information to the level of specific detail".....so in other words you could tell yourself it is, but never "really" know. I've scratched that place off my list.
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#20 Old 02-21-2008, 01:53 AM
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I've e-mailed them more than once, and was told the capellini noodles (the ones they use for pomodoro!) were eggless. Once I talked to a manager there, and was told there were no eggs in the noodles in the minestrone or the capellini. I don't think the manager would lie to my face--if I had an egg allergy and he had assure me there were no eggs in the food and I ate it and had a reaction, there would be problems, and he would know that....
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#21 Old 02-21-2008, 02:13 AM
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I'm e-mailing them again. I made it sound like I wasn't vegan (so they don't say "I can't guarantee our food is vegan") or allergic (so they don't bring up cross contamination). I just said this: Are there eggs in the capellini noodles? I have given up eggs for Lent--I do not have an egg allergy and am not concerned with egg cross-contamination, just the actual noodle ingredients. Also, do the noodle ingredients vary by location? Thank you.



We'll see what kind of response they send back....
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#22 Old 02-21-2008, 02:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soy 6-Pack View Post

Save yourself some time and money. Buy the cheapest, crappiest ingredients you can find. Dusty, dented jars of rancid tomato paste, a bag of broken spaghetti strands made up entirely of starch and shredded cardboard should do nicely. Turn these into a meal at your own home for $3 and forego the cheap iceberg lettuce salads and other freezer-treat garbage Olive Garden tries to shovel off onto the unsuspecting mass public as "food." I hate that place so much. Watching people eat there evokes the same sense of pity and remorse I get watching a low income retired couple walk onto a used car lot.



Seriously. If I was the OP I'd look for a new restaurant. Try using happy cow if you haven't already.
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#23 Old 02-21-2008, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soy 6-Pack View Post

Save yourself some time and money. Buy the cheapest, crappiest ingredients you can find. Dusty, dented jars of rancid tomato paste, a bag of broken spaghetti strands made up entirely of starch and shredded cardboard should do nicely. Turn these into a meal at your own home for $3 and forego the cheap iceberg lettuce salads and other freezer-treat garbage Olive Garden tries to shovel off onto the unsuspecting mass public as "food." I hate that place so much. Watching people eat there evokes the same sense of pity and remorse I get watching a low income retired couple walk onto a used car lot.



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#24 Old 02-21-2008, 06:05 AM
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I"m with SOY 6pack here.

Thier soup I used to like but these days I make my own at home and it is MUCH better.



I just start off with some olive oil,onions,celery,and garlic, add soem carrots for sweetness then a good mushroom broth and tomatos then whatever else I happen to want in it.

Always some cannelli beans though. YUM
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#25 Old 02-23-2008, 06:24 AM
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They SAY their cappellini is safe...







Thank you for visiting olivegarden.com.



The following pastas used in our restaurants do not contain egg:

spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, angel hair, capellini, penne, and shells.

However, they are prepared in the same area as other menu items or

pastas, such as ravioli, that do contain eggs. There is always the

possibility of cross introduction of other egg-containing product. We must ask

that you use your own discretion when ordering these items.



If Guest Relations can be of further assistance, please write us again

through olivegarden.com (www.olivegarden.com/company/contact_us/ ) or

call us at 1-800-331-2729. We look forward to serving you with

Hospitaliano at any of our Olive Garden restaurants.





Erich

Olive Garden Guest Relations
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#26 Old 02-23-2008, 07:42 AM
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Angel hair pasta IS capalini pasta. It's the same thing.



I've worked at the Olive Garden for almost 4 years now as both a waitress and a bartender (I'm a college student and I'm majoring in dietetics, I work there because they work around my busy schedule and the money is dependable).


  • The dressing contains both eggs AND cheese
  • The stuffed pastas contain both egg and cheese
  • EVERY other pasta is eggless. It's Barilla brand. That's the same brand that you can buy at your local grocery store.
  • Breadsticks are not vegan (even if you leave off the hydrogenated margarine sauce) as they contain animal derived lactic acid.
  • The marinara BASE is vegan (so is the "meat sauce", believe it or not. It's made with soy, not meat.). The base is the stuff in the huge large cans that are shipped to each and every Olive Garden. The problem lies in the fact that individual stores ADD stuff to the bases that are sent to them. THIS is why you can't get a straight answer as to what is vegan and what is not-- different stores add different stuff! (and, of course, the real meat is added to the meat sauce base)
  • The capalini pomodoro is made with fresh tomatoes, yes, BUT when the cooks prepare the dish they mix marinara sauce in with the tomatoes.
  • The minestrone soup is absolutely, 100% vegetarian and IS made with a tomato-based broth. It is also made with the old wine that is no longer good enough to drink by the glass in the restaurant (gross, huh?)



Honestly, I wouldn't waste my time eating there if I were a meat eater, let alone a vegan. The food is disgusting, manufactured, artificially flavored, and completely unhealthy.
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#27 Old 02-23-2008, 06:18 PM
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The bread sticks have butter on them. If you ask for unbuttered as soon as you get to your table, they should arrive shortly before the bill.



The diced tomato dish with angel hair pasta is vegan.



Use olive oil and vinegar for your salad dressing.



Oops. Didn't read the above post re: bread sticks. Guess I won't be having those again.

Personally I think there are a lot more vegan friendly chain restaurants. I have MUCH better quality Italian eating experiences @ Macaroni Grill. Much easier.
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#28 Old 02-23-2008, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chocsoymilk View Post

The bread sticks have butter on them. If you ask for unbuttered as soon as you get to your table, they should arrive shortly before the bill.



Regardless, they still arent vegan.
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#29 Old 02-24-2008, 06:29 AM
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Alot of my friends used to be obsessed with Olive Garden. I never understood why. Being from an Italian family if I want authentic italian food I would just go to any relatives house for dinner (especially on Sundays). Plus making your own italian food is a hell of a lot cheaper than that crappy place.
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#30 Old 02-24-2008, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bevylvaj View Post

I'm new to being vegan (been vegetarian for 4 years) and my husband too. Other night we went to olive garden with some "meat eatting" friends. We got the salad without cheese, minestrone soup without cheese, and I got the mushroom ravoli with marinia sauce and my husband got the eggplant and spagatti all without cheese.

I'm just curious if anyone knows for sure if it was all really vegan. Our waitess didn't know anything about wat was and wasn't vegan and I couldn't find anything online. Any info would be great. Thanks.

I guess we'll live and learn right?



It quite likely is not. I must admit that when I come to town, Mom wants to eat there, so I do the best I can too.
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