Saturday, August 14, 2010

Olive Garden, DeWitt

3147 Erie Blvd. East, Syracuse, NY 13214
Grade: A-


Look, I'll just go ahead and say it: supremely unhealthy mega-corporate chain restaurants tend to have amazing restrooms. Sue me. They've got the money and the high-minded designers to pull it off. They have tons of customers and care very much about their image. No matter how you feel about supporting local business (which I try to do as often as possible) instead of these monsters, you've got to admit that you enjoy a comfortable, posh bathroom, no matter where it is.

So sure Olive Garden's men's room is filled with sterile corporate detail: marble countertops, faux-Tuscan decorative wall and floor tiles, black and white photos of Italian architecture and people, wooden stall dividers, a golden frame around the mirror. But you know what? It works. It's clean, comfortable and, though cheesy, classy enough. The toilets and urinals automatically flush. The sink hardware gleams. The counter was fairly covered with water, but it was a Friday night when I visited.

My guess is that every single Olive Garden you might visit in this country would have the same exact restroom. The layout of the DeWitt restaurant is, after all, identical to those of the Monroeville and Greentree locations outside of Pittsburgh. But at least while they are slowly killing us with refined carbohydrates and cheese sauces, stealing customers from locally owned business, and contributing to the general homogenization and blandness of American culture, they are giving us some great bathrooms in the process.

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