Olive Garden has always been my preferred semi-classy restaurant visit when I desire to dine on the many delicious pastas and cheeses of faux-Italy or the endless breadsticks which inevitably spoil the actual meal.
However, despite my love for their appetizers, entrees and everything in-between, I cannot imagine eating there for 49 consecutive days. Honestly, I can’t fathom eating anywhere for 49 days. But this task is exactly what a man named Alex Malone in Fargo, North Dakota undertook after winning Olive Garden’s $100 Never-Ending Pasta promotion, a noble cause to consume as much Olive Garden pasta as possible.
Malone’s seven-week endeavor has just surpassed its second week, and he certainly seems to take his fate in stride.
“Today’s dinner marked the end of my first of seven weeks of eating nothing but Olive Garden’s food, and I couldn’t be happier with my life as it stands in this very moment. Life seems full of color, the future seems full of possibility and I seem full of pasta,” he said in his blog, dubbed All of Garden.
Alas, I cannot help but fear for the man’s life. While Olive Garden’s food may be delicious, I don’t believe the amount of carbohydrates incurred by eating obscene amounts of pasta will be as friendly to his health and constitution once his burden is lifted. In fact, seven uninterrupted weeks of eating at the same chain restaurant is probably unhealthy regardless of where one chooses to eat.
Granted, at the very least, he is allowed to vary his pasta choices each day to create a variety of different tastes. But I can’t view such an ordeal as good for the body or the mind. Calorieking.com offers some small insight into the caloric content of Olive Garden dishes. Olive Garden’s chicken parmigiana dinner weighs in at 1090 calories, a wee bit too much for a single dinner.
Malone, however, has consumed the 36 differing pasta combinations available to him through the promotion, and has often eaten multiple combinations in the same lunch or dinner. Again, I stress that I highly enjoy many pasta dishes, especially from Olive Garden.
I also imagine that no way to escape from it for an ongoing period of seven weeks might inflict damage upon the sanctity of my mind. Regardless of any physical effect on his body that he may incur from his Olive Garden ordeal, there is no doubt that it will likely fatigue his mind.
As it is now, Malone’s behavior appears consistent with other human beings despite his delicious shackles. At day 15, he is beginning to show the first signs of possible regret toward his decision, noting the effect of high pasta consumption on his general demeanor.
However, he still appears to consume many pastas with some form of enthusiasm. Still, I cannot help but feel that once his self-inflicted, seven-week pasta prison sentence has concluded, we will only see an empty shell of a broken man, oversaturated with a different kind of shell in his irritated stomach.