So last week on a whim, I tried to grab one of those Olive Garden pasta passes when they went on sale. I knew they'd sell out in seconds. So I didn't give much thought to actually getting one. Somehow, I did it. When I actually got in I was so surprised that I paid for it without considering all of the ramifications.
Let's take a step back. For anyone not familiar with what I'm talking about, Olive Garden is an Italian (really probably faux Italian is closer to the mark) restaurant. They have a yearly Never Ending Pasta promotion where you can go and pay 9.99 for all the pasta you want, mixing and matching their various noodles and sauces. You also get soup, salad, and breadsticks.
The last two or three years they've also had an additional promotion, the Pasta Pass. For those who can get one, you buy it for $100, and for the 7 weeks that Never Ending Pasta lasts, you can go and eat as much as you want, as often as you want, at no additional charge. The pass also includes free sodas for you and all your guests whenever you go. Last year they only offered 2000 of these passes, and they sold out in 2 seconds. This year there were 21,000, and they sold out in under a minute.
Anyway, background finished, let us return to my thesis. Through lack of deep introspection, I have become one of the lucky 21K people who this year have been afforded the honor of paying $100 for a 7 week carb binge. Upon reflection, I'm not sure whether to be excited or horrified.
I have no doubt I can get my money's worth out of it. Our local Olive Garden isn't far from my home or work. And I do like their soup. I might use it frequently to go there on lunch and just have the soup. Still, it's scary. What will I do when I know all the food I could ever want is already paid for and available not far away? It could be bad. Then again, now that I say that, I did just come back from a 12 day cruise with a buffet only 3 floors away that just about never closed. So maybe I am capable of maintaining my self control while still making it $100 well-spent.
What do you guys think? Am I on the cusp of some sort of culinary adventure, or is this pasta pass a disaster waiting to happen?