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You Won’t Believe the 11 Things That Only Olive Garden-Lovers Will Understand

It was disappointing to see that BuzzFeed Business covered the possible Darden splitting of Red Lobster and Olive Garden without a single animated gif or numbered list. The summary of a Barrington Capital presentation, titled simply “What Went Wrong For Olive Garden And Red Lobster,” pretty much reproduced screenshots.

red lobster escalator

What I can’t understand is how there is not a single Olive Garden in the UAE (bear with me, I’m going to be talking about Dubai until I get it out of my system) while Red Lobster is rampant. Pasta? Cheese? Breadsticks? Everyone except the gluten-avoidant can eat it.

eataly dubai mall

It’s not as if locals eschew Italian food. The Dubai Mall houses a newly opened Eataly that sells no wine and has some pretty lame salumi. If you don’t like bresaola, you’re out of luck.

chicken mortadella mexican la fontaine

Mortadella is also not what it seems.

texas roadhouse dubai

Also, Texas Roadhouse serves veal ribs, which doesn’t seem right. There appears to be an interest in American-style barbecue, despite the baby back conundrum. Chili’s uses beef with the bastardized tagline, “I want my BBQ ribs.”


The oddity is Claw BBQ, a relatively new homegrown pork-licensed restaurant that appears to sell pulled pork, Kansas-style ribs and is hyper-conscientious about keeping the pork confined.

cafe habana dubai

Claw also just got a liquor license. Sadly, too late for me. I had a pretty bad over-priced Hemingway Daquiri at the same shopping complex’s Cafe Habana, the NYC chainlet inspired by a Mexico City Cafe. Now in Dubai (obviously).

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