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Meet North Dakota's Viral Olive Garden Critic

Meet North Dakota's Viral Olive Garden Critic

Reviewer-gone-viral Marilyn Hagerty chats with CBS about her review of the classic chain restaurant

A Grand Forks Herald Olive Garden review went viral last week, with almost 300,000 hits and Anthony Bourdain calling reviewer Marilyn Hagerty "an internet sensation."

In response, Hagerty has received a ton of media coverage and interview requests, and the 85-year-old is just as sweet in person as she is on paper. This is the person who wrote, "All in all, [Olive Garden] is the largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating in Grand Forks."

On being viral, Hagerty said, "Somebody told me I'd gone viral. I had to ask, 'What's that?' I never thought I'd be viral; I've been alot of other things but never viral."

Naturally, Hagerty's gotten a ton of emails, with "one or two people who thought I was pathetic," she said, but when her daughter asked her about the Internet comments, Hagerty replied, "I'm working on my Sunday column and I'm going to play bridge this afternoon, so I don't have time to read all this crap." Watch the full interview below.


Grand Forks columnist looks back on viral Olive Garden review

It&aposs been just over a year since Marilyn Hagerty&aposs earnest review of the newly-opened Olive Garden in Grand Forks, N.D., earned her national fame.

"I went viral, and I didn’t even know what that meant," the Grand Forks Herald columnist writes. "In the past year, I have learned."

Her judicious assessment of bread sticks and chicken alfredo received 1.3 million hits last March. Calls came in from the "Today" show, Jay Leno and਌NN&aposs Piers Morgan and Anderson Cooper. Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and author, praised her work.

"To top it all off, I received the Al Neuharth Award for excellence in journalism for 2012 that had gone before to the likes of Garrison Keillor and Walter Cronkite."

How did the critique of a popular American chain restaurant gain so much attention?

Not all feedback was good. Snarky online foodies bashed the veteran reviewer in her mid-80s, but many were attracted to her genuine enthusiasm and unfailingly polite prose about a restaurant that&aposs typically shunned by big-city critics.


Grand Forks columnist looks back on viral Olive Garden review

It&aposs been just over a year since Marilyn Hagerty&aposs earnest review of the newly-opened Olive Garden in Grand Forks, N.D., earned her national fame.

"I went viral, and I didn’t even know what that meant," the Grand Forks Herald columnist writes. "In the past year, I have learned."

Her judicious assessment of bread sticks and chicken alfredo received 1.3 million hits last March. Calls came in from the "Today" show, Jay Leno and਌NN&aposs Piers Morgan and Anderson Cooper. Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and author, praised her work.

"To top it all off, I received the Al Neuharth Award for excellence in journalism for 2012 that had gone before to the likes of Garrison Keillor and Walter Cronkite."

How did the critique of a popular American chain restaurant gain so much attention?

Not all feedback was good. Snarky online foodies bashed the veteran reviewer in her mid-80s, but many were attracted to her genuine enthusiasm and unfailingly polite prose about a restaurant that&aposs typically shunned by big-city critics.


Grand Forks columnist looks back on viral Olive Garden review

It&aposs been just over a year since Marilyn Hagerty&aposs earnest review of the newly-opened Olive Garden in Grand Forks, N.D., earned her national fame.

"I went viral, and I didn’t even know what that meant," the Grand Forks Herald columnist writes. "In the past year, I have learned."

Her judicious assessment of bread sticks and chicken alfredo received 1.3 million hits last March. Calls came in from the "Today" show, Jay Leno and਌NN&aposs Piers Morgan and Anderson Cooper. Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and author, praised her work.

"To top it all off, I received the Al Neuharth Award for excellence in journalism for 2012 that had gone before to the likes of Garrison Keillor and Walter Cronkite."

How did the critique of a popular American chain restaurant gain so much attention?

Not all feedback was good. Snarky online foodies bashed the veteran reviewer in her mid-80s, but many were attracted to her genuine enthusiasm and unfailingly polite prose about a restaurant that&aposs typically shunned by big-city critics.


Grand Forks columnist looks back on viral Olive Garden review

It&aposs been just over a year since Marilyn Hagerty&aposs earnest review of the newly-opened Olive Garden in Grand Forks, N.D., earned her national fame.

"I went viral, and I didn’t even know what that meant," the Grand Forks Herald columnist writes. "In the past year, I have learned."

Her judicious assessment of bread sticks and chicken alfredo received 1.3 million hits last March. Calls came in from the "Today" show, Jay Leno and਌NN&aposs Piers Morgan and Anderson Cooper. Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and author, praised her work.

"To top it all off, I received the Al Neuharth Award for excellence in journalism for 2012 that had gone before to the likes of Garrison Keillor and Walter Cronkite."

How did the critique of a popular American chain restaurant gain so much attention?

Not all feedback was good. Snarky online foodies bashed the veteran reviewer in her mid-80s, but many were attracted to her genuine enthusiasm and unfailingly polite prose about a restaurant that&aposs typically shunned by big-city critics.


Grand Forks columnist looks back on viral Olive Garden review

It&aposs been just over a year since Marilyn Hagerty&aposs earnest review of the newly-opened Olive Garden in Grand Forks, N.D., earned her national fame.

"I went viral, and I didn’t even know what that meant," the Grand Forks Herald columnist writes. "In the past year, I have learned."

Her judicious assessment of bread sticks and chicken alfredo received 1.3 million hits last March. Calls came in from the "Today" show, Jay Leno and਌NN&aposs Piers Morgan and Anderson Cooper. Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and author, praised her work.

"To top it all off, I received the Al Neuharth Award for excellence in journalism for 2012 that had gone before to the likes of Garrison Keillor and Walter Cronkite."

How did the critique of a popular American chain restaurant gain so much attention?

Not all feedback was good. Snarky online foodies bashed the veteran reviewer in her mid-80s, but many were attracted to her genuine enthusiasm and unfailingly polite prose about a restaurant that&aposs typically shunned by big-city critics.


Grand Forks columnist looks back on viral Olive Garden review

It&aposs been just over a year since Marilyn Hagerty&aposs earnest review of the newly-opened Olive Garden in Grand Forks, N.D., earned her national fame.

"I went viral, and I didn’t even know what that meant," the Grand Forks Herald columnist writes. "In the past year, I have learned."

Her judicious assessment of bread sticks and chicken alfredo received 1.3 million hits last March. Calls came in from the "Today" show, Jay Leno and਌NN&aposs Piers Morgan and Anderson Cooper. Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and author, praised her work.

"To top it all off, I received the Al Neuharth Award for excellence in journalism for 2012 that had gone before to the likes of Garrison Keillor and Walter Cronkite."

How did the critique of a popular American chain restaurant gain so much attention?

Not all feedback was good. Snarky online foodies bashed the veteran reviewer in her mid-80s, but many were attracted to her genuine enthusiasm and unfailingly polite prose about a restaurant that&aposs typically shunned by big-city critics.


Grand Forks columnist looks back on viral Olive Garden review

It&aposs been just over a year since Marilyn Hagerty&aposs earnest review of the newly-opened Olive Garden in Grand Forks, N.D., earned her national fame.

"I went viral, and I didn’t even know what that meant," the Grand Forks Herald columnist writes. "In the past year, I have learned."

Her judicious assessment of bread sticks and chicken alfredo received 1.3 million hits last March. Calls came in from the "Today" show, Jay Leno and਌NN&aposs Piers Morgan and Anderson Cooper. Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and author, praised her work.

"To top it all off, I received the Al Neuharth Award for excellence in journalism for 2012 that had gone before to the likes of Garrison Keillor and Walter Cronkite."

How did the critique of a popular American chain restaurant gain so much attention?

Not all feedback was good. Snarky online foodies bashed the veteran reviewer in her mid-80s, but many were attracted to her genuine enthusiasm and unfailingly polite prose about a restaurant that&aposs typically shunned by big-city critics.


Grand Forks columnist looks back on viral Olive Garden review

It&aposs been just over a year since Marilyn Hagerty&aposs earnest review of the newly-opened Olive Garden in Grand Forks, N.D., earned her national fame.

"I went viral, and I didn’t even know what that meant," the Grand Forks Herald columnist writes. "In the past year, I have learned."

Her judicious assessment of bread sticks and chicken alfredo received 1.3 million hits last March. Calls came in from the "Today" show, Jay Leno and਌NN&aposs Piers Morgan and Anderson Cooper. Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and author, praised her work.

"To top it all off, I received the Al Neuharth Award for excellence in journalism for 2012 that had gone before to the likes of Garrison Keillor and Walter Cronkite."

How did the critique of a popular American chain restaurant gain so much attention?

Not all feedback was good. Snarky online foodies bashed the veteran reviewer in her mid-80s, but many were attracted to her genuine enthusiasm and unfailingly polite prose about a restaurant that&aposs typically shunned by big-city critics.


Grand Forks columnist looks back on viral Olive Garden review

It&aposs been just over a year since Marilyn Hagerty&aposs earnest review of the newly-opened Olive Garden in Grand Forks, N.D., earned her national fame.

"I went viral, and I didn’t even know what that meant," the Grand Forks Herald columnist writes. "In the past year, I have learned."

Her judicious assessment of bread sticks and chicken alfredo received 1.3 million hits last March. Calls came in from the "Today" show, Jay Leno and਌NN&aposs Piers Morgan and Anderson Cooper. Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and author, praised her work.

"To top it all off, I received the Al Neuharth Award for excellence in journalism for 2012 that had gone before to the likes of Garrison Keillor and Walter Cronkite."

How did the critique of a popular American chain restaurant gain so much attention?

Not all feedback was good. Snarky online foodies bashed the veteran reviewer in her mid-80s, but many were attracted to her genuine enthusiasm and unfailingly polite prose about a restaurant that&aposs typically shunned by big-city critics.


Grand Forks columnist looks back on viral Olive Garden review

It&aposs been just over a year since Marilyn Hagerty&aposs earnest review of the newly-opened Olive Garden in Grand Forks, N.D., earned her national fame.

"I went viral, and I didn’t even know what that meant," the Grand Forks Herald columnist writes. "In the past year, I have learned."

Her judicious assessment of bread sticks and chicken alfredo received 1.3 million hits last March. Calls came in from the "Today" show, Jay Leno and਌NN&aposs Piers Morgan and Anderson Cooper. Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and author, praised her work.

"To top it all off, I received the Al Neuharth Award for excellence in journalism for 2012 that had gone before to the likes of Garrison Keillor and Walter Cronkite."

How did the critique of a popular American chain restaurant gain so much attention?

Not all feedback was good. Snarky online foodies bashed the veteran reviewer in her mid-80s, but many were attracted to her genuine enthusiasm and unfailingly polite prose about a restaurant that&aposs typically shunned by big-city critics.


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