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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Review: Olive Garden’s ‘Giant Classics’ Spaghetti and Meatball

Illustration by Julia Berkman

By Julia Berkman

I don’t know how I’m alive right now. I only have vague memories of the night before, but I’m covered in something that looks like blood but might actually be marinara sauce. Oh, it’s coming back to me.


I was a fool, really, to think that this was something I could do. Honestly, Icarus seems like a pretty rational guy in comparison for the feat of hubris I just tried to pull off.

I flew too close to the sun. I tried Olive Garden’s Giant Meatball.

Served to you on a platter, it’s a fist-sized, marinara-and-oil bleeding, porous sphere of around 6 inches in diameter. It sits on a bed of half-assed spaghetti and taunts you.

You can’t possibly finish me, it says. It’s right. But you spent $18, so who are you to deny it the satisfaction of watching you try?

The first cut is the scariest. You don’t know if the center will be raw or dry, but find that it’s an uncomfortable mix of the two. The texture is… appalling. A cross between ash and coal.

The meat to spaghetti ratio should be illegal.

If you manage to even make it a quarter of the way through this abomination, a strange sensation overtakes you. It’s like… your skin is rejecting your bones, like your flesh is being pulled up and around your body in some crude puppetry. If you look in the mirror, you look the same, but that’s all just appearances. The meatball is already in your brain, chewing on it like a puppy. You fell into its trap, didn’t you?  

Don’t try to finish it. Don’t end up like me.


  1. OMG hysterical! I gotta print this and hang it on my wall…if the giant meatball doesn’t chew through the push pin and gobble up my computer I’ll
    call myself lucky!

  2. Very validating for every time I’ve said I don’t like meatballs. A wonderfully descriptive piece to pull out for all those who swear by them!!


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