Steel Your Stomachs: Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Pass Is Back

iStock
iStock

Call their salad overdressed and their pasta bland all you want. If there’s one thing Olive Garden could never be accused of, it’s being stingy with their food. From salad to soda, with breadsticks in between, the pseudo-Italian restaurant chain loves nothing more than to modify a menu item with the word “unlimited.” And for $100 (plus tax), 23,000 lucky carb-lovers can spend eight weeks stuffing their faces with as much pasta as their stomachs can handle. That’s right, people: The Never Ending Pasta Pass is back!

On Thursday, August 23, at 2 p.m. ET precisely, the chain will offer 23,000 of its luckiest customers the opportunity to spend the bulk of the fall season gorging themselves on chicken alfredo, spaghetti and meatballs, and whatever other al dente dishes strike their fancy. (You pick the pasta, sauce, and toppings.)

As far as the rules go, there aren’t many: Passholders can use their golden ticket to dine in gratis between September 24 and November 18, 2018, and must show an ID as the passes are non-transferable and no sharing is allowed. You will, of course, get the requisite unlimited soda and breadsticks; and you might want to wear your stretchiest pants. Passes will go on sale at PastaPass.com for one hour only (or until they're all gobbled up).

Before you dismiss it as a quick publicity gimmick, consider this: For the past several years, the passes have sold out in one second—yes, one second. The good news this year is that they’ve upped the ante from 22,000 passes to 23,000. They've also added a second option for OG lovers who are willing to shell out three times as much: For $300, 1000 people can purchase an annual Never Ending Pasta Pass, which will get them all of the aforementioned goodies—for an entire year! Again, there are only 1000 of these available, so you'd better start exercising your fingers and carbo-loading now.

Wisconsin Brewery Rolls Out a Candy Corn Beer

iStock.com/AleksandarNakic
iStock.com/AleksandarNakic

Move over, pumpkin ale. A brewery in the Milwaukee area has brewed up some candy corn beer just in time for Halloween. According to WMUR News 9, the sugary cream ale will be served on tap at the Westallion Brewing Company in West Allis, Wisconsin, throughout October.

The divisive confection is typically made from sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, and artificial coloring, but the brewery decided to make its own flavoring. “Instead of smashing up some candy corns and throwing them in our beer, we made our own candy corn out of less beer-destructive ingredients and threw them into our beer!” the brewery said in a Facebook post. “At the base, we created a cream ale using lactose sugars to keep some sweetness, but added Simcoe hops to create a bit of a bite and a balance (and maybe help remind us that it’s still beer?).”

While candy corn beer is likely to be less popular than its seasonal pumpkin counterpart, other breweries have taken on the challenge in the past. In 2016, The Star Tribune reported that a candy corn imperial ale was “scary popular” at Urban Growler, a microbrewery in St. Paul, Minnesota. "It started as a joke three years ago when we needed to come up with a fall beer," co-owner/master brewer Deb Loch told the paper. "It went over so well that we had to make it every year."

Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida, has also made a Candy Corn IPA in the past, and one brave soul sought advice from the Homebrewtalk.com community in 2009 on how to brew an appropriate beer for a “Hate Candy Corn Party.” Some inspiration for your next Halloween bash, perhaps?

[h/t WMUR]

Find the Best Wine to Pair With Your Favorite Halloween Candy

iStock/vadimguzhva
iStock/vadimguzhva

When you're a kid, Halloween is all about the candy. Unfortunately, the more sophisticated palate that often comes with adulthood can dampen the former thrill of a holiday that’s largely about cheap scares and even cheaper candy.

Thankfully, the folks at Vivino, a popular wine app, have found a way to help elevate the Halloween candy game (and with it, your joy). Their “Halloween Candy and Wine Matchmaker” pairs popular candies, from Skittles to Swedish Fish, with wine selections, to make sure your many treats complement one another.

As Vivino founder Heini Zachariassen told The Huffington Post, "Our candy and wine matchmaker is a fun way for our users to learn and talk about wine in a way that feels relatable and fun. Besides, Halloween is scary enough, we don't think picking a wine needs to be."

The best news of all? Many of the wines and candies have multiple pairing options—which means you can try out different flavor combos faster than you can say “trick or treat.”

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER