One year after her original review of the Grand Forks, N.D. Olive Garden went viral, Marilyn Hagerty — the most famous food critic since Anthony Bourdain — is not very pleased by how things have turned out for the chain.
Hagerty, who once called the newly opened Olive Garden “the largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating in Grand Forks,” now writes that the food is “predictable” and that she could barely hear the waiter rattle off his “spiel” during the dinner rush.
Hagerty’s Eatbeat column in the Grand Forks Herald instantly went viral last year after the octogenarian sincerely reviewed the chain and its unlimited breadsticks. She praised several things about the Olive Garden, including the attentive staff, the “attractive bar area” and her delicious fettuccine Alfredo.
But now that the Olive Garden is over a year old, “its ample portions and relaxed ambience” are no longer exciting.
Hagerty writes that the seafood on the menu is lacking and complained that she couldn’t even finish her meal because it was so large. The dessert, however, “was excellent.”
All in all, Hagerty is basically over Olive Garden. Could it be that her instant-celebrity means that she is too good for Olive Garden now?
After all, Hagerty was courted by major news networks after the original review went viral and even appeared as a guest judge on season 10 of “Top Chef.”
In conclusion, “No longer a novelty in Grand Forks, the Olive Garden has settled in. It is constantly surrounded by cars and fares well in a restaurant area where there are two new eating places — Noodles & Co. and the Erbert and Gerbert’s. These also line up with McDonald’s and long established Ground Round on the fringe of Columbia Mall.”
We eagerly await the Noodles & Co. review.