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MARILYN HAGERTY: Breadsticks vs. buns: Olive Garden debuts new sandwich

Dear Shirley,

Olive Garden's new breadstick bun sandwiches are making their debut across America this week. And there are trucks crawling all over the nation to introduce them to everyone.

So one of these days in June, I think you should perch yourself somewhere and then follow an Olive Garden truck. I suppose they will make it to Tucson, Ariz., but I am not sure if any of them will get to the Forks.

Actually, I tried the new breadstick bun sandwich this week when it was introduced at our local Olive Garden. I was curious because I have had calls from media people at CBC in Canada and Fox News.

They know I went viral three years ago after reviewing the Olive Garden that was then new in Grand Forks. The manager there now is Casey Pohl. He was going to treat me to the new creations this week, but he understood when I explained to him that as a news writer I do not accept free food.

I tried the new Italian Meatball Sandwich with alfredo and marinara served on the signature breadstick bun. It had wonderful thin fries with it. It's a lot to eat. There also is a new chicken parmigiana sandwich with chicken breast and Italian cheese on the new buns. I think I might like that version better.

I don't know about you, Shirley, but I always have enjoyed the skinny breadstick buns with soup and/or salad at Olive Garden. As a matter of fact, we used to route ourselves through Fargo just to get them.

Then, when the Olive Garden gods put a place right here in Grand Forks, I would go over there.

To me, the basic lunch of soup and unlimited breadsticks and salad is good. The new buns may be better, but they are kind of big. I sort of like the original, thinner version. And you still can get them.

There will be people who continue gobbling up the unlimited skinnier buns. There probably will be people opting for the new fatter bun sandwiches.

Nobody at Olive Garden ever asked me what I thought. I just wrote down some observations three years ago and ended up on national television shows.

This is a crazy world we live in.

Love from your sister, Marilyn, digesting the changes in this world as I sit on the banks of the Red River of the North.

P.S. Now if Olive Garden would start serving Mr. Goodbars for dessert, it would make a hit with me. Still, I was pleased to get a nice little taste of chocolate in a little green wrap with my check at the Olive Garden.

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