I went to Olive Garden last night for the first time in my life, last night. The television ads paint it as a family restaurant with the tagline: “When you’re here, you’re family.” That holds true. Families of all sizes packed the place. Commercially produced Italian was never so well packaged. The Italian music, the “old” photos, and the bottles of wine all contributed to the ambiance. But never for a second was I fooled by this chain restaurant into thinking that this was all real. The food is for masses: bland and mass produced. Noise level was far above a whisper. The lighting shifted from too bright to too dark and back. That said, the prices were up of a mid to high-end restaurant at $11-17 for entrees. It is as if the masses were being fooled into having a nice “night out” at a local joint. I was impressed by the consistency of the experience. The place could have been a lot more chaotic than it actually was. Long lines meant patrons could have been forced out the door or that service may have been shotty but that was far from the case. The restaurant tried hard to keep the Italian family illusion alive and that is what makes this place a hit with most.