How a cowboy survived a trip to Olive Garden.

by Kevin on October 30, 2010

There are certain things that just don’t go together very well. Things like peanut butter and onions, or entering a ranch rodeo and using an English saddle, or  cowboys and fancy Italian restaurants. I have been to Olive Garden three times in my life and I have yet to see another cowboy in there. There is just something unsettling about a cafe that doesn’t serve chicken fried steak and mashed taters.

We had to wait 25 minutes to get us a table. I didn’t mind the wait, but what bothered me was that there was about 4 men and at least 4 boys sitting on all the waiting benches and not a stinking one of them was man enough to offer my wife and 4 year old daughter a seat. I tried real hard not to glare at them. It probably wasn’t there fault they were raised so poorly. I kept reminding myself that I was here because my wife wanted to eat here and I loved her.

We finally got seated and I had forgotten that they print the menus in Portuguese or something. I didn’t understand a thing on that menu except salad. My wife explained to me that everything had noodles. I am confident that I’m not going to pay any fancy cafe $16.75 for a plate of $0.33 Ramen Noodles.

I was just gonna eat the salad and breadsticks, but my wife talked me into getting some cheese covered catfish. Actually it was something called Parmesan Crusted Tilapia and of course it came with a side of Ramen Noodles. I have to admit, it wasn’t bad after I doctored it up with a bunch of salt and 3 pounds of ketchup. I never did see the cheese the feller said was on it.

They sat us right by the kitchen. Every waiter in the whole joint walked right around my daughter’s chair about 400 times. She’s been out at the ranch for about 10 weeks now and she kind of got used to having lots of space. She finally looked up at this one waiter (he was very large horizontally) and told him, “You keep gettin’ too close to me…back up!” My wife wanted to die and I laughed out loud. We both got in trouble from Mom.

We decided to go all out so we ordered dessert. I got my daughter a sundae and my wife the most chocolaty item I could find. I saw a cup of coffee with cream and sugar at the bottom of the dessert menu and I ordered it. The waiter asked me which flavor I wanted and what I wanted most was to not look like an idiot because I didn’t know what he was talking about. I just smiled and told him to surprise me. He did.

He brought a sundae that weighed more than my daughter and the chocolate thing looked pretty good. He sat the coffee down in front of me and then put a shot glass in front of me. I asked him what it was for and he said it was a shot of Amaretto. I suddenly flashed back to my younger days in Acuna and thought this must be a new version of a flaming Dr. Pepper. I asked him if he was going to set the Amaretto on fire so I could drop it in the coffee and then slam the coffee down. He looked at me like I had lost my mind and before I knew what I was doing, I took that shot glass and drank it. The waiter said, “You were supposed to pour that in your coffee.” I told him to bring me another one and I would. My lovely wife put a stop to that before he could get two steps away.

At the end of the night, I realized how much fun Olive Garden could be. But the best thing is that I went there, not for me, but for someone I love dearly. My wife doesn’t ask much of me and I would do anything for her, including takin’ her to a fancy noodle cafe.

It’s not about me. It’s about her. What an easy way to show my wife how much I love her! The look in her eyes and the smile on her face nearly makes me want to go back there the next time. It is kind of nice doing something I really don’t want to and see how much joy it brings someone else.

This Sunday morning, you might need to look at church from an Olive Garden point of view. Church isn’t about you. It’s about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It’s about God, not you. You may not want to go to church, but it pleases God to have his children come and worship him.

Give it a shot this week. Find a church somewhere. Ask some of your friends where they go. Don’t do it for yourself, go worship the man who gave his life on the cross so you could live forever with Him if you choose to.

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  • That’s a fab story Kevin and I loved the coffee part especially.

    I’m a huge coffee fan / snob and I love your little tale – but it is a reminder to do stuff we don’t necessarily agree with or like for the sake of someone we do.

    • Kevin

      Great to hear from you Stuart. Hope things are going well for you.

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  • Don Coyote

    Luke 22:42

    “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

    Pretty much sums it all up.

    • Kevin

      “Pretty much sums it up” — I would agree with that.

  • I’m still laughing hilariously! Showing it to my husband because he will love the part about the flaming Amaretto! You have such a great sense of humor that highlights your writing.
    But what I loved best was the, “Do it for the man who gave His life for you.” It pleases God. Do it to please Him! Got to remember those for my young men who are going through a “everyone in church is a hypocrite stage.” And this in their 20s!


    • Kevin

      I hear people all the time say that they are not going to go to church for this reason or that reason. When someone says that, I think it points to the fact that they don’t understand that you go to church for God, not you.

      • Don Coyote

        Brother John Hagee, out of San Antonio, once preached a sermon on this subject. One of the most common excuses used is “it’s one of my days off, I don’t wanna spend it in church”

        Brother Hagee’s reply to that was “It ain’t YOUR day bubba, it’s HIS!”

  • Thomas (the aforementioned husband of Janis)

    That is a great story. I love the descriptions of the situations.

    I think Olive Garden must have an injunction against Ramen putting tomato sauce in their dehydrated noodles, otherwise the Garden would go out of business. It’s hard to compete with $0.33.
    I would have done the same with the shot glass, and my wife would have stopped round two as well.



    • Kevin

      I read your comment to my wife and she laughed out loud. I think you are right about the injunction.

      Thanks for the comment Tom!

  • Does the Amaretto go down smooth or does it take your breath and make you want to vomit?

    Olive Garden is one of my wife’s favorite places to eat as well. I am very inclined to oblige since I am not much of a steak person. I am more inclined towards chicken.

    Love your stories!!!

    • Kevin

      Chicken? I guess I like a little yard bird ever once in a while too.

      To be quite honest, I drank that little bitty glass just to be silly. We were having a good time and I knew it was supposed to poured in the coffee. The waiter was standing there and I just did it to embarrass my wife. That’s one of my favorite activities. Amaretto smells a lot better than it tastes, but it won’t make you vomit.

  • What a great story and a great message. If everyone could learn that one simple fact- “It’s not about me”- this world would be a much better place. Come to Tampa and Olive Garden for your family is on me!

    • Kevin

      I’ll come to Tampa, but the only way Olive Garden is on you is if I throw it up on you.

      Thanks for readin’!!!

  • Ed

    I’m not a huge fan of Olive Garden either. But my wife simply loves the place, so I go to make her happy. And making her happy makes me happy. ’nuff said.

  • cathy rice

    Good job made me cry…..again!

  • Talk about unequally yoked. I’m still looking for a gal who likes the same country cowboy kind of eaten as me. Just can’t figure out why folks think having fun is paying five times what something is worth. I’m with you, I’d rather go have fun hanging out with God than dining on man’s bread and noodles.

  • I am addicted to reading your articles Kevin. Great job. Both humorous and inspiring with great truths. Keep up the great work. I must shut this computer off now, so I can get some work done.
    Thanks for sharing your great stories with us Kevin.

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  • Bj Stone

    You know Kevin, I have got to learn NOT to drink coffee when I read your stories, it burns somethin awful when it shoots out your nose!

  • G J Fulton

    I’m feeling you brother, try just one evening at the black box theatre in athens texas. I LOVE MY WIFE A WHOLE BUNCH!!!! and yes I was the only one in a cowboy hat

  • Its not my first time to visit this web page, i am browsing this web page
    dailly and get fastidious facts from here all the time.

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