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Vegan at Olive Garden?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
My department is going for lunch tomorrow, and I'm not sure what's vegan. The website doesn't help. I'm considering just getting the salad without dressing, croutons, or cheese, and with oil and vinegar on the side. Any other ideas?
post #2 of 26
Proabably too late for you, but from their FAQ:

Quote:
Which menu selections are vegetarian?

A few of our menu items can be adjusted to accommodate a vegan or vegetarian diet, but none wholly meet the criteria. Depending on your personal philosophy, we can suggest the following items as meatless, but not necessarily vegetarian or vegan:



Minestrone soup (vegetable and mushroom base; no meat protein)

Garden Salad (without dressing)

Marinara Sauce (mushroom base; no meat protein)

Capellini Promodoro

Eggplant Parmigiana

Fettuccine Alfredo
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Not too late for me, I'm going tomorrow. I had already seen this info on their site. But, that doesn't really tell me much.... cheese? Diary? No clue what's in that stuff.
post #4 of 26
you should just be able to order spaghetti w/ marinara sauce (assuming the spaghetti is ok?) and then request that they leave off the cheese...I have no idea if their pasta is egg-based or not, but hopefully someone there will know?
post #5 of 26
From Sword2SkyVegan



Quote:

Guest relations response: We appreciate the challenges you face in honoring your personal convictions. Veganism and vegetarianism take many forms. A few of our menu items can be adjusted to accommodate a vegan or vegetarian diet, but none wholly meet the criteria. Our current nutritional data base does not include information to the level of detail you require. Depending on your personal philosophy, we can suggest the following items as meatless but not necessarily vegetarian or vegan: Minestrone Soup Garden Salad Marinara Sauce Capellini Pomodoro Eggplant Parmigiana Pasta Primavera Fettuccine Alfredo Manicotti Formaggio We certainly empathize with the challenges presented to you when you weigh decisions regarding dining out. We recognize that we do not meet the needs of everyone and our objective remains to offer what our guests, through their selections, indicate are favorites.
post #6 of 26
Quote:
We recognize that we do not meet the needs of everyone and our objective remains to offer what our guests, through their selections, indicate are favorites.

Although I understand this, but how can vegans indicate a favorite if there are none to choose? Just a thought.
post #7 of 26
How can they say a garden salad with no dressing is not vegan? Do they even know what it means??
post #8 of 26
Here's a great tip: Call their corporate office. Websites are notoriously bad for actual useful info. I have had much success calling corproate numbers, and by doing so, you also get to contribute to precieved demand for vegan items, if they don't have them already.



Good luck!
post #9 of 26
My experience with Olive Garden is that they are not very vegan-friendly. The last time I called an Olive Garden manager, she told me that all I could have was naked salad. (Not her words, mine.) Apparently the pasta at Olive Garden *does* contain egg. Most Italian restaurant pasta is fresh and therefore contains it.



Romanos Macaroni Grill is much better. I eat very well there as a vegan. Is Olive Garden the only choice for your corporate lunch?
We see the world as "we" are, not as "it" is; because it is the "I" behind the "eye" that does the seeing.
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We see the world as "we" are, not as "it" is; because it is the "I" behind the "eye" that does the seeing.
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post #10 of 26
Mmm.. Macaroni Grill... Create your own pasta... I know where I'm going to dinner tonight! Thanks!
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Schmeebis View Post

Mmm.. Macaroni Grill... Create your own pasta... I know where I'm going to dinner tonight! Thanks!



Lucky. *grumbles about being trapped at work with nothing but a soup cup*



I was seriously thrilled and somewhat dubious when I was told that Romanos pasta did not contain egg, but three separate managers at three separate restaurants have told me that the pasta didn't have egg, so I finally went with it. The penne al arrabiata is awesome!
We see the world as "we" are, not as "it" is; because it is the "I" behind the "eye" that does the seeing.
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We see the world as "we" are, not as "it" is; because it is the "I" behind the "eye" that does the seeing.
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post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegrrrl79 View Post

How can they say a garden salad with no dressing is not vegan? Do they even know what it means??



Cheese, I guess? And anything in the croutons?
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceryna View Post

Lucky. *grumbles about being trapped at work with nothing but a soup cup*



I was seriously thrilled and somewhat dubious when I was told that Romanos pasta did not contain egg, but three separate managers at three separate restaurants have told me that the pasta didn't have egg, so I finally went with it. The penne al arrabiata is awesome!



I'll take the arrabiata with bowtie noodles, myself. Yum!



And throw in some olives, artichokes, diced tomatoes, and pine nuts. And onions. And spinach. Yes, I get charged extra for added items every time.
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceryna View Post

Is Olive Garden the only choice for your corporate lunch?



Unfortunately so. I think I might give the Olive Garden Nat HQs a call, as many have suggested.
post #15 of 26
On the rare occassion that I go to Olive Garden I order the Spaghetti Marinara, but it's not vegan. Nothing is.
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Schmeebis View Post

I'll take the arrabiata with bowtie noodles, myself. Yum!

And throw in some olives, artichokes, diced tomatoes, and pine nuts. And onions. And spinach.

That sounds sooo good! Artichokes and olives with pasta are the best, and it calls for tomatoes/onions as well, naturally. And the pine nuts and spinach just make it perfect. I might have to make something like that for lunch tomorrow
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Most Italian restaurant pasta is fresh and therefore contains it.

This is actually a myth. The notion that there is some qualitative or ethnic difference between dried or fresh pasta is uniquely american. In Italy, rolled shapes are fresh, extruded are dried. The Italians have been using dried pasta for hundreds of years, it is used everywhere in Italy and in (authentic) Italian restaurants everywhere in the world. Italians don't consider one or the other superior, they are different, and used in different ways.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by remilard View Post

This is actually a myth. The notion that there is some qualitative or ethnic difference between dried or fresh pasta is uniquely american. In Italy, rolled shapes are fresh, extruded are dried. The Italians have been using dried pasta for hundreds of years, it is used everywhere in Italy and in (authentic) Italian restaurants everywhere in the world. Italians don't consider one or the other superior, they are different, and used in different ways.



I don't know about Italy because I haven't been there, but most Italian restaurants I've dined at (or attempted to dine at) have told me that they have fresh pasta which contains egg. I gather that Romanos uses dry pasta, hence the vegan-acceptable-ness (making up words is fun!) of their pasta.



Now I'm craving Romanos. Suck. Maybe I'll ditch the soup cup in favor of a tofu taco.
We see the world as "we" are, not as "it" is; because it is the "I" behind the "eye" that does the seeing.
Reply
We see the world as "we" are, not as "it" is; because it is the "I" behind the "eye" that does the seeing.
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post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by pyrsk View Post

That sounds sooo good! Artichokes and olives with pasta are the best, and it calls for tomatoes/onions as well, naturally. And the pine nuts and spinach just make it perfect. I might have to make something like that for lunch tomorrow



Mmm.. Damn it, I am hungry now! I'm glad you agree on the one-and-only correct form of pasta.



post #20 of 26
Now that I think about it, I'd add sundried tomatoes
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by pyrsk View Post

Now that I think about it, I'd add sundried tomatoes



Now that I think about it, I will next time, too.
post #22 of 26
Dr. Schmeebis, Pyrsk, you are making me hungry. This is not fair. Send me food. ;-;
We see the world as "we" are, not as "it" is; because it is the "I" behind the "eye" that does the seeing.
Reply
We see the world as "we" are, not as "it" is; because it is the "I" behind the "eye" that does the seeing.
Reply
post #23 of 26
I've got lots of leftover falafel and hummus. Where do I send it?
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceryna View Post

Dr. Schmeebis, Pyrsk, you are making me hungry. This is not fair. Send me food. ;-;



Would if I could. I already have a quest to send cookies to someone.. So catch me this time next week.
post #25 of 26
i always go to olive garden for their salad. it is always fresh and its unlimted refills. i order it without crutons and dressing. i use oil and vinager. i also order the bowtie pasta plain with cut up un cooked olives and tomatoes on it. but now someone in here said their pasta contains egg i will be researching that more before i order it.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
I don't know about Italy because I haven't been there, but most Italian restaurants I've dined at (or attempted to dine at) have told me that they have fresh pasta which contains egg.

You'll notice I said authentic. Fresh extruded pasta, fresh spaghetti, penne, etc is an american fad.
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