BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Oregon’s Olive Garden

with 4 comments

Why do college undergraduates flock to chain-style restaurants that are no cheaper than the independent joints more in walking distance from their campuses?

We made the mistake of going to Pastini Pastaria, an Oregon-only Italian chain, on Friday night, when it was flooded with Oregon State students just back from winter break. It’s family-owned still and only recently expanded from the Portland area to Bend and Corvallis, but is starting to take on that generic Olive Garden feel.

We did see Craig Robinson’s wife and two children sit down to dinner there as we were on our way out. It’s the place to be seen. But we like our pasta at home better.

Written by baltimoregon

January 12, 2009 at 12:57 am

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4 Responses

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  1. Laura – The trouble with good restaurants begins when they expand. It seems like it’s impossible to maintain the standard when you have more than one place. Perhaps Jean George Vonderichten (sp?) is an exception, although each of his restaurants usually is a different concept. I envied you the food tour of San Francisco. Glad you both enjoyed your time there. We always love going there. Judy


    January 13, 2009 at 8:29 am

  2. Why do college students flock to chains and chain-style restaurants? Because they’re comfortable, and I don’t mean that in a demeaning way — when you’re away from home, sometimes you just want predictable food. And there’s rarely good cooking space in dorms.


    January 13, 2009 at 12:52 pm

  3. Good point. It’s a good substitute for Mom’s cooking. And a lot of times chains are mostly what’s available in college towns smack in the middle of suburbia. But there are a lot of even more affordable options here.


    January 13, 2009 at 4:02 pm

  4. […] last week’s disappointing trip to local-chain Pastini Pastaria (overcooked pasta, ridiculous waits), we were thrilled to finally make it to Clemenza’s […]

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