Olive Garden's Pasta Pass has officially launched and those lucky enough to get their hands on the elusive card will now be able to test the limits of their stomachs. There's always been a question in the back of my mind every time this season comes around as to how many bowls of pasta someone could actually eat before throwing in the towel?
To answer this burning question, we brought in competitive eater Raina Huang to test a human's limits on these Never-Ending Pasta Bowls. For science, obviously.
Here's what you need to know before trying this at home:
Here's how Olive Garden's Never Ending Pasta works. Guests with the pass get access to unlimited pasta, soup or salad, and breadsticks at any Olive Garden location. You can mix and match your pasta with different sauces and toppings with more than 100 different combinations to play with.
Now, Olive Garden usually serves you a sizable bowl as your meal begins and the following servings come in smaller portions after you finish your previous order. The restaurant was kind enough to serve us as many bowls of pasta as we wanted all at once, however, just to see how many Raina would be able to wolf down in a single sitting.
Raina explained to us that for starch-heavy dishes, time is crucial. Once a starchy dish, like pasta, is in your stomach, it will expand in size making you full quickly over time. Because of this, she gives herself about a 20-minute window for which she eats her food before her body tells her to stop.
We asked the Olive Garden what the previous pasta-eating record was for that specific location and they told us that someone once accomplished 12 bowls during a visit. Not one to back down from a challenge, Raina took a seat and the pasta challenge was in motion.
You can see how it all goes down during our livestream below:
Over ten and a half pounds of pasta were sitting in her stomach by the end of the challenge. We even caught Raina sneaking a couple breadsticks after all was said and done.
For someone to eat 13 bowls of pasta in 25 minutes is surely a feat that will ring through the halls of the restaurant for years to come. Or at least until Raina's next visit there.