The Time Olive Garden Customers Took Endless Pasta To The Extreme

Pasta with red sauce and drink
Pasta with red sauce and drink - Olive Garden/Facebook

Olive Garden is famous for serving limitless portions of soup, salad, breadsticks, and even pasta, thanks to its never-ending pasta bowl promotion. While the majority of customers consume a reasonable amount of pasta when taking advantage of this great deal, claims of diners overdoing it have become the stuff of legend at the chain. There have even been rumors that some customers will eat until they become physically ill, then continue eating as though nothing happened. As with most fantastical claims, it's impossible to verify whether this ever occurred.

It's also worth noting that it's highly unlikely that any dining establishment would allow a customer to continue eating after becoming physically ill at a table. Bodily excretions, including vomit, are a biohazard capable of spreading illness to other customers, as well as staff members. As a result, many health agencies offer guidance on how to handle this issue. For instance, staff will typically remove other customers from the area, discard food, and don protective gear during clean-up. The area will also require disinfection, which usually involves the application of bleach and washing soiled items in hot water.

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Tall Tales Abound When It Comes To Olive Garden Pasta Promotions

Olive Garden storefront
Olive Garden storefront - Jhvephoto/Getty Images

While claims of Olive Garden customers eating until they become physically ill are probably false, the never-ending pasta promotion does invite some gluttonous behavior, at least anecdotally. According to a Quora thread, a customer stated that their server claimed to provide 16 servings of pasta to a single diner. Another person said that a friend who accompanied them to the chain once consumed 12 bowls of pasta on their own. Of course, there's no earthly way to corroborate these claims.

It's not totally clear the serving size that goes into the never-ending pasta bowls, although a Quora commenter claims that subsequent servings are about half the size of the first. According to Olive Garden, a single bowl of fettucine contains 350 calories and 2½ grams of fat, and adding alfredo to the mix adds 870 calories and 87 grams of fat. When you factor in the commenter's claim about half-sizes on subsequent portions, 16 servings of fettuccine alfredo would provide 10,370 calories and 760 grams of fat during a single meal. Considering that the daily recommended caloric intake ranges from 2,000 to 2,500 calories, these claims seem highly suspect.

How Much Pasta Will You Really Get At Olive Garden?

Olive Garden breadsticks and dipping sauce
Olive Garden breadsticks and dipping sauce - Olive Garden/Facebook

If you're tempted to go on a pasta-eating spree during your next visit to Olive Garden, you may be wondering just how much pasta you actually get during the visit. First, some ground rules: The never-ending pasta bowl must be ordered in the restaurant, and not all locations participate in the promotion. In addition to pasta, you'll also receive breadsticks and your choice of soup or salad for $13.99. If you want toppings on your pasta, such as meatballs, that will cost you extra.

Olive Garden claims to provide endless servings of its pasta, although the promotion is limited in nature, which means the chain may choose to end it at any time. Additionally, the restaurant probably won't let customers remain at a table for hours on end, as that would prevent other diners from laying down their cash to partake in their own pasta feasts. Overall, it seems the folksy, Italian-inspired restaurant will do its best to meet customer requests regarding servings. However, it's best to take claims about an exorbitant number of servings with a grain of salt (or a smattering of parmesan cheese).

Read the original article on Daily Meal.