|Popular Anti-Olive Garden YouTube Video|
American Fork, UT—In a move that he announced on Facebook, Gene Dyer let his family, friends, and acquaintances know that he is “no longer attending, patronizing, or affiliated with Olive Garden.” Making it clear that his decision “has not come quickly,” Dyer explained that after years of enjoying the “all-you-can eat soups and those tangy summer pastas,” he had “discovered deeply disturbing culinary errors.” Dyer went on to explain that he was “shocked to find out that what he had relied upon to be crunchy and fresh every time” was destroyed when he found “those four or five unexpected raisins in his all-you-can eat house salad.”
Dyer, who also happens to have recently left the Mormon Church, went on to clarify that he wasn’t renouncing the popular Italian chain “because he was offended” or because “he wanted to go off on some wild Republican and NRA-fueled meat orgy at Texas Roadhouse.” Instead he insisted that he had only sought what is truthful and lovely in every meal, but that finding “ugly, shriveled raisins where one expects lettuce, parmesan cheese, and maybe an onion” had led him first to question, then doubt, then “bravely move on” from a restaurant that had been his emotional and culinary home for his entire life.
Over 150 people responded to Dyer’s Facebook announcement. Some expressed shock and bewilderment. Others expressed support, adding their experiences with “squishy gnocchi,” “tilapia and shrimp that had clearly at one time been frozen,” as well as the shock and disillusionment of finding “three completely different preparations of the Citrus Chicken Sorrento at different yet supposedly participating restaurants.” In a similar vein were comments that featured YouTube videos of “Olive Garden Exposed,” “Top 10 Olive Garden Problems Explained!,” and “The Real Truth about Fake Italian.” Dyer himself mentioned how internet research had helped him see the truth about Olive Garden.
Other people responded differently to Dyer’s announcement. Some talked about warm, loving family trips to Olive Garden that Dyer would now be missing. Others tried to counter comments and videos with personal experiences, with accounts of people finding joy and satisfaction while dining and even working at the popular eatery, and with information to refute anti-Olive Garden claims, information taken from websites like FairGarden.
Dyer mentioned that “at one time it all fit together, the breadsticks and pasta, the chicken, the beef, and the tiramisu,” but that all started to crumble “with those shocking raisins right there in the salad, and now the more that I look, the more I find it is all at best a quaint but deluded place if not a terrible dining fabrication.” This sense that Olive Garden must be complete, whole, and perfect, with no mistakes, flawless presentation and service, or be the restaurant that is “true and living” seems to have prevented Dyer from just forking the raisins out of the salad and enjoying his meal.