I am a bit of an Olive Garden connoisseur. It ranks within my top five favorite restaurants because of its airy atmosphere, and everything you order can be smothered in cheese. Depending on the layout, they can also be very quiet, which to me, is infinitely more welcoming than the blaring music of most restaurants. It's also not a bad place to exist on a rainy evening, and that's exactly when this delicious bowl of Chicken Gnocchi was served to me.

While the number of gnocchi vary with each bowl, it hasn't stopped me from draining well over 100 bowls in the past four years. It's basically Chicken Noodle soup, but turned up to 11. The soup is thick, without being too chowder-y, and it while it needs a sprinkling of Pecorino Romano cheese and a bit of salt, it still stands out amongst Olive Garden's other soups. It's got your standard carrots and celery, but its also got bits of spinach and of course, pieces of chicken and gnocchi, which when pressed against the roof of your mouth can create a euphoric feeling that courses through your entire being.

So why am I going crazy over a soup you may ask? Simple.

For starters, it's typically included with whatever main course you order, so you're essentially getting a free appetizer with the cost of dinner, which is important to consider in the total cost of the meal, and how much food you're actually getting. Secondly, it's endless. Whether you're ordering it on its own, for roughly seven dollars in the Northeast US, or you ordered an entree, the soup is endless, just make sure your waiter/waitress/waitperson is actively visiting your table and you can easily drain a second bowl at no extra cost. Thirdly, it leaves you feeling full, for not a lot of money, which is crucial in today's world, where crocks of French Onion soup are being served at the same price as a seemingly endless supply of soup. That's outrageous.

So what are broke college kids to do, when tasked with finding a place to eat with time to kill? I find myself driving to Olive Garden in joggers and a tee shirt to fill up on some of the best soup in the country.

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