I am a creature of habit. I do love a good exploration, but when it comes to a meal after a long day, I find myself playing it safe so as to not be sorry. I have heard that Central New York is top-notch for Italian, but my own need for comfort in a world that has changed very quickly as I moved keeps bringing me back to an old favorite.

Oftentimes, I venture to a favorite of mine for a quality Chicken Parmesan preceded by some very chill salad and tasty breadsticks. Yes, it's the kind of place that when I'm there, I'm family.

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How surprising it was to sit down and settle in for a predictable (and I mean that in the most complimentary way) meal and then be approached by the assistant manager of Olive Garden. He asked me if I was the new guy on the radio in town. I confirmed my identity and let him know that he recognized my face from the pictures that with my writings. He realized that indeed the person behind these words was also the person who ventured into his establishment on a regular basis.

He welcomed me to the area and thanked me for coming in often. But at that moment, he let me in on a dark confession. He, too, was someone who had moved to this area, and he did not understand "that whole riggy thing" either.

It should be noted I never said that Riggies were bad, just that I did not understand some things about them. Now knowing my predilection for chain restaurants, you can understand my confusion. I will stand by the fact that I do believe in supporting local and I am still taking suggestions for the best Riggies, Tomato Pie, and so on.

I also am a believer that those working in restaurants such as my favorite garden of olives are also local and deserve our patronage just as much. As a small business owner, I am happy to provide my business to large and small businesses alike. If the product makes me happy, I will always vote with my dollars. When the server knows my order because I am so bored and order the same thing every time and my coke never needs a refill, I am truly in my happiest place.

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