Marilyn Hagerty Olive Garden Review Goes Viral
Marilyn Hagerty Writes Review of Olive Garden for Grand Forks Herald: How Could an Olive Garden Review Draw This Much Attention?
Marilyn Hagerty wrote an Olive Garden review for the Grand Forks Herald, and it's going viral. Marilyn Hagerty's Olive Garden review isn't just positive, but gushing. And so very earnest.
Knowing what we know about the Olive Garden (i.e. it's as Italian as Kraft Mac and Cheese), you can't help but wonder if Marilyn Hagerty has any experience as a restaurant customer beyond fast food. However, the review had drawn far harsher criticism than it really deserves.
Marilyn Hagerty's Olive Garden review has gone viral: that page alone has over 110,000 pageviews as of this post, and counting.
So this is an article not only about an Olive Garden review from Grand Forks, North Dakota, but how self-styled sophisticates derive humor.
Some highlights from Marilyn Hagerty's Olive Garden review:
- "It’s fashioned in Tuscan farmhouse style with a welcoming entryway. There is seating for those who are waiting."
- "At length, I asked my server what she would recommend. She suggested chicken Alfredo, and I went with that. Instead of the raspberry lemonade she suggested, I drank water."
- "The chicken Alfredo ($10.95) was warm and comforting on a cold day. The portion was generous. My server was ready with Parmesan cheese." (This was our favorite bit)
- "As I ate, I noticed the vases and planters with permanent flower displays on the ledges. There are several dining areas with arched doorways. And there is a fireplace that adds warmth to the decor."
The Olive Garden review is funny because, when compared to virtually any other restaurant, an Olive Garden feels more like an airport dining experience than anything else.
... But wait a sec.
Is The Olive Garden Review Actually Positive?
Here's another restaurant review from Marilyn Hagerty. Do you notice the difference between it and the Olive Garden review?
In the second review, Hagerty focuses on the food. With the Olive Garden, she focuses on the decor. You could easily argue that Hagerty wrote a gently negative review of the Olive Garden, and not a positive review at all.
Marilyn Hagerty has been writing for EatBeat for nearly 40 years. It's not that Hagerty is being passive-aggressive, but more like she's adhering to the adage: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".
Those dissing Hagerty's review as the work of a flyover-state hack are actually missing the point, and inadvertently showing off their own ignorance: they don't understand what they just read. Sure, some of these critics understand food... but do they understand food writing?
As or Marilyn Hagerty herself, she pretty much doesn't give a f&ck what you think: "I don't have time to sit here and twit over whether some self-styled food expert likes, or does not like, my column. The publisher likes it."
To her haters, Marilyn Hagerty says, and we quote, "Get a life".
Hagerty also told the Village Voice that Grand Forks has been talking about the Olive Garden coming to town for years: it was a really big deal for them.