Italian Chain Restaurants

Written by faith davies
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Italian Chain Restaurants
Spaghetti is a common dish at Italian chain restaurants. (spaghetti image by Food from Fotolia.com)

If you're in the mood for Italian food while visiting an unfamiliar city, it can be difficult to know where to go for a good meal. Fortunately, a number of Italian chain restaurants are located throughout the United States. The menus at these establishment feature traditional cuisine as well as innovative new recipes that will satisfy your craving for Italian food while you're on the road.

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Olive Garden

Owned by publicly-traded Darden Restaurants, Inc., the Olive Garden has more than 700 restaurants nationwide and annual sales of £2.1 billion. The restaurant established its own cooking school in the Tuscany region of Italy in 1999, and select employees receive the opportunity to study Italian cooking there. The Olive Garden is known for its "Soup, Salad and Breadsticks" menu offering, which is all-you-can-eat and available as a meal for lunchtime or to accompany an entrée anytime of the day. At least once per year, all of the Olive Garden locations feature the "Never-ending Pasta Bowl," which allows diners to mix and match their favourite noodles and sauces, with unlimited refills. The menu varies from location to location but typically includes the signature "Tour of Italy," a combination of lasagne, chicken Parmigiana and fettuccine Alfredo. The restaurant has both children's and gluten-free menus, and some locations feature call-ahead seating.

Olive Garden

Corporate Headquarters

5900 Lake Ellenor Drive

Orlando FL 32809

800-331-2729

olivegarden.com

Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant

Established in 1993, Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant began in the basement of an apartment building in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and has grown to have 88 locations nationwide as of September 2010. Planet Hollywood International Inc. purchased the chain in September 2008. All of the dishes on the restaurant's menu are intended for sharing, with small dishes feeding up to three people and large dishes feeding up to six. Specialities featured on the menu at most locations include cheese manicotti, baked rigatoni and the restaurant's own Chianti-braised spareribs. Among the pizza choices are chicken pesto and a four-cheese pizza with no sauce. Buca di Beppo restaurants offer a children's menu, and most locations take reservations.

Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant

Paisano Support Center

300 Nicollet Mall

Suite 5003

Minneapolis, MN 55403

612-225-3400

bucadibeppo.com

Romano's Macaroni Grill

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Romano's Macaroni Grill had 222 locations throughout the United States as of September 2010. The first Romano's opened in 1988 and served dishes primarily inspired by the recipes of the founder's mother. The restaurant offers a complimentary bowl of Mediterranean olives as well as peasant bread at the start of every meal. Romano's is known particularly for its grilled entrées: Italian sausage, shrimp, chicken, lamb and beef are all served on skewers with fresh rosemary and accompanied by a medley of roasted vegetables. The restaurant also features "honor system" wine, in which each table is given a jug of the variety of their choice and each guest can refill her glass an unlimited amount of times. All of the Romano's Macaroni Grill locations accept reservations. Vegetarian and gluten-free dishes are available, as is a children's menu.

Romano's Macaroni Grill

3094kgJ Freeway

Dallas, TX 75240

972-980-9917

macaronigrill.com

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