As much as I try, I cannot keep up with Marilyn Hagerty. Well, she has been doing this for 40 years.
But her most recent review, “Long-awaited Olive Garden receives warm welcome” has taken the Internet by storm and has dramatically driven up views of her EatBeat columns on the Herald’s website.
She’s done interviews with papers in New York, had her review written about on Fark, Gawker and BoingBoing, among others. Not to mention the barrage of Facebook comments and Tweets.
I have to admit I’m a bit jealous.
But the reason it’s caught so much attention is that the people who read it who aren’t from Grand Forks, or the Midwest in general, find it quaint and folksy. Not that that’s a bad thing.
But I think if people would take a look at the Midwest, they’d find that many people know how good a good restaurant can be. And most of the time, it’s a local place. They’d also find that we know a thing or two about food.
Marilyn’s review was her typical way of writing up a restaurant. She usually leaves out anything bad that happened, but I read today that the reason behind the overt positivity is that a former Herald editor said he liked how the reviews were like a news story, leaving out most personal opinion. I can understand that.
She first brought me the familiar Olive Garden salad bowl with crisp greens, peppers, onion rings and yes — several black olives.
Twitter posts about the review:
“For those who loved Grand Forks Olive Garden review, here’s Marilyn Hagerty’s equally spectacular Pizza Ranch review.”
“BREAKING NEWS: Marilyn Hagerty also reviewed Taco Bell.”
While it may be fun for all of these people poking fun at her review, I think Marilyn is amazing and I hope to be as active as her when I’m older. I don’t think anyone can exactly explain why the Olive Garden review has garnered so much attention. Some people, including me, think the restaurant is sort of a trough for those uninitiated in actual Italian food. But hey, if you like the food, go there as much as you want. And the service is probably pretty good, at least that’s what I’ve heard so far.
I hope Marilyn isn’t getting tired of being a celebrity already. I think she deserves it.