Traditional dishes and all -you-can-eat salad, soup and bread sticks are the draw at this upscale-casual Italian restaurant.. In Short Established in 1982, this chain gained a following for its laid-back atmosphere and generous portions. Patrons settle into comfortable booths and tables in dining rooms with plants, artwork and décor reminiscient of the villas in the Tuscan countryside. Starters include scampi, sausage or pepperoni pizza, and several soup choices, as well as a signature seafood dip (crab, shrimp, cheese and marinara). Entrees include classics like lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo and chicken parmigiana. There are also "Garden Fare" options, which promise 30 percent fewer calories.
Great food, but alas another chain.
It is kind of sad when one of Mid-Michigan's best Italian restaurants happens to be the Olive Garden. Not to take anything away from the solid consistency and reputation the Olive Garden has earned, but East Lansing/Lansing/Okemos needs more people to invest in local businesses to allow our capital to grow and attract more business. The Olive Garden is a great place to go, but tends to be quite busy on the weekends due to a lack of other options.