VIRAL: 86 Year Old Restaurant Columnist With Dead Serious Review of New Olive Garden

An adorable 86 year old woman was not trying to be funny when she wrote a review of the new Olive Garden in Grand Forks, North Dakota, but her sweet, serious analysis of the experience, ("My server was ready with Parmesan cheese.") and rave review - has gone viral. SO viral that a news crew followed up with her, and in her words "I don't get it." You HAVE to read this review!

An adorable 86 year old woman was not trying to be funny when she wrote a review of the new Olive Garden in Grand Forks, North Dakota, but her sweet, serious analysis of the experience, (“My server was ready with Parmesan cheese.”) and rave review – has gone viral. SO viral that a news crew followed up with her, and in her words “I don’t get it.”  You HAVE to read this review!

Here’s a screen grab that shows the first half:

And even though she ‘doesn’t get’ why she’s getting all this attention, the review has gotten so much buzz that the newspaper’s website has gotten record breaking traffic, warranted follow up stories, and even caused a spike in the visits to her previous columns, such as: “Dippin’ Dots, Crazy Bread await fans at UND hockey games” and “Reader in 1912 asks,Why not sugar beets?’  While the headlines may sound like something from the satirical site The Onion, I assure you this is completely real.

The full review is HERE.

Some additional memorable lines from the Olive Garden review:

“She first brought me the familiar Olive Garden salad bowl with crisp greens, peppers, onion rings and yes — several black olives. Along with it came a plate with two long, warm breadsticks.”

“The chicken Alfredo ($10.95) was warm and comforting on a cold day. The portion was generous. My server was ready with Parmesan cheese.”

“On a hot summer day, I will try the raspberry lemonade that was recommended.”

It’s easy, of course, to make fun of The Olive Garden,  and the fact that the commercials show ‘real, accent-n’all’ Italian families yearning for an authentic Italian meal at a chain restaurant. But, while I understand the irony of this review, which proclaims the restaurant to be the “most beautiful restaurant now operating in Grand Forks,” I will concede that I have made my way around a ‘neverending pasta bowl’ or two in my lifetime, and while the review does come across as hilarious, I also think this woman is the most adorable old lady alive right now! And seriously, she’s 86 and still writing! I love Marilyn Hagerty!

If you’re not sold on how awesome Marilyn is and how dumbfounded she is by the attention, check out the local news’ follow up story on her. She sings the praises of a Burger King burger somewhere in the middle.  (I can’t embed it. That news station must be VERY protective of their content to make sure NO ONE can steal it. really?) HERE’S A LINK.

For more viral bric-a-brac, follow @BrianBalthazar on twitter!

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3 Comments

  • I have been reading Marilyn Haggerty for years. I love her and her cool, gracious style and lack of pretention. If you want to read her absolute best column ever (in my opinion), read her article which is published every year on Christmas eve entitled, “All Roads Lead to Home”. I read it every year and get a little choked up!

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