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The Daily Dish Restaurants

Hundreds of Defensive Customers Justify Their Decision to Eat at This Italian Chain Restaurant in Times Square

Spoiler: Sometimes it's just about those breadsticks.

By Sara Gauchat

Endless bowls of soup and salad. Reasonably priced pasta. A menu you can rely on, no matter where you are. Oh, and did we mention the unlimited breadsticks? That's right, folks, we're talking about the Olive Garden, that staple Italian-American restaurant that graces suburbs all across America.

But why oh why, you might wonder, would anyone eat at an Olive Garden in New York City, especially smack in the middle of Times Square? It's a question that virtually every New Yorker has deeply pondered at some point in their existence every time they pass the massive restaurant, with its long waits and crowds of would-be diners. Clearly, NYC is a culinary playground, so why would hungry diners (especially tourists) forego sampling some of the greatest food in the world in favor of waiting two hours and paying inflated prices at a restaurant that’s quite likely in a strip mall 15 minutes from their home?

Well, that very question is in the process of being thoroughly examined over on Reddit right this moment. “Redditors who have eaten at the Times Square Olive Garden, why?” delves headfirst into this mystery. So just what are those reasons?

Well, breadsticks obviously. The first comment to that effect has now grown to hundreds of nuanced posts discussing the (debatably) lost art of OG sticks. And the hungry people’s devotion to those carby staples is no joke at what is possibly the world’s largest Olive Garden location, where running out of breadsticks is a fate worse than actual customer-on-customer knife fights.

The oh-so-viral Reddit thread for the original question is now more than 12,000 posts long, so there are also plenty of other non-breadstick-centered defenses being shared. New Yorkers getting “suburb home sick” is a legit explanation. Seeking refuge after a hurricane seems totally reasonable. Access to a real bathroom during the Times Square New Year’s Eve festivities/insanity has some pretty solid logic. Being straight-up overwhelmed. And a 9/11 tie-in will invoke some actual feels. (No, you have alfredo sauce in YOUR eye.)

And possibly the winning-est post of them all? “I have a buddy who goes there when he is breaking up with someone. He doesn’t want to ruin any other restaurants.” The new “Seinfeld” script that’s crafted via the subcomments on this one is totally worth its weight in never-ending pasta—no matter whether you’re in Times Square or Topeka.

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