Olive Garden’s Breadstick Sandwiches: Delicious Idea Or Culinary Abomination?

Olive Garden isn’t exactly known for haute cuisine – and this proves it: Breadstick sandwiches.

You read that right. And the food experiment is exactly what it sounds like: chicken parmesan and meatballs wedged in between skinny breadsticks, Fox News reported.

Apparently, the beleaguered restaurant chain wants to earn back the love of its fans with these bizarre, skinny sandwiches, though Olive Garden reps claim that they will be shorter and wider – to more easily accommodate fillings, one can assume.

And ironically, these new sandwiches will come with (and this won’t be a shock): unlimited breadsticks.

That’s a lot of garlic and butter.

Olive Garden suffered some criticism recently from its investor, Starboard Value, which accused the restaurant of lacking discipline when it came to doling out the side dish with abandon to customers. And the same man who led the charge – Starboard Value CEO Jeff Smith (and even accused the chain’s staple item of tasting more like hot dog buns) announced its repurposing on Wall Street Sunday.

At the same time, he claimed he actually loves Olive Garden’s breadsticks and seems very excited about their new life as sandwiches, the Consumerist added.

“It might surprise people that I actually like the breadsticks. It’s one of the things I said at the annual meeting… then it got blown out of proportion. In our slide presentation, we were very clear that what we were talking about was a return of discipline … It wasn’t about getting rid of breadsticks.”

Last year, a 300-page plan was released that proposed to improve the chain, from reigning in the breadstick giveaways, to changing its takeout packaging and making better pasta – which seems like a given. Ultimately, the chain’s board and CEO were dumped, Business Insider reported.

So, it seems a little odd to give breadsticks a new job when they were once criticized for being far too ubiquitous. However, these odd sandwiches actually do sound quite delicious – if not a bit ridiculous – and will surely attract plenty of curious attention.

After all, other fast-food joints have introduced even weirder menu items (we’re looking at you Taco Bell). In that spirit, what ideas do you have for new breadstick sandwiches?

[Photo Courtesy Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]