Restaurant Olivia goes above and beyond creating great food and memories

When it comes to food, my mother is a bit crazy. At home, she swings towards the health extreme, limiting the food options in our house to items she hopes will make us “healthy, wealthy and wise.” This may sound like a great philosophy, but everyone has those days when you come home tired and all you want is a big bowl of ice cream. And it’s those such occasions when it’s not so thrilling to discover that the closest thing you can find to junk food is a box of raisins and sunflower butter. But if you came across my mother out to dinner at a restaurant, you’d never guess that this was the same woman who thought that a glass of blended spinach and orange juice was essentially the same thing as dessert.

When we go out to eat as a family, the seemingly never-ending list of “what’s good for you and what’s not” magically disappears. Ice cream? Go for it. Pizza? Sure. Chocolate cake? Why not? It’s these exact words that make me consider restaurant outings with my family to be the greatest form of freedom. So when we do pick a place to eat, my brother and I take great care to make sure we’ve found the perfect option to satisfy our craving for real food. And no place could better fill that void than Olivia.

Located at 2043 S. Lamar Blvd. the restaurant is the ideal spot for large groups looking for good food. The outside garden is beautiful, with wild vegetation growing across from the patio seating. And if the lines are long, there’s always the wooden swing hanging amidst the plants to keep you occupied. Once inside, you’re greeted by a modern, yet cozy ambience with light blue walls and fancy white light fixtures, thrown together with floral wallpaper and large windows.  But it’s the food that really stands out.

With diverse items ranging from shrimp and gouda grits to a classic spinach omelette, there truly is something for everyone. My personal favorite is the buttermilk pancakes with blueberries, whipped cream and vanilla syrup. They’re sweet, fluffy and quite literally mouth-watering. The staff is incredibly accommodating, and after a long conversation about dessert concepts of the future, our waiter offered us free ice cream.  Although the menu is pricey, (entreés range from around $10 to $32), it’s a great place to celebrate a special occasion. The restaurant is open for dinner on weekdays and brunch on weekends.Olivia has always provided fun memories, and even my mother has to agree that the great taste of their food does more good for the soul than any other health food out there.