An Olive Garden Review, Called “The Greatest Restaurant Review Ever Written,” is Going Viral

The cutest old lady from Grand Forks, North Dakota is putting me and Nancy to shame. Columnist Marilyn Hagerty of the Grand Forks Herald wrote a touching review of a new Olive Garden that opened up in her city this past week, and the article has attracted over 100,000 page views since its publication on Monday. Daaaaamn.

For her meal, Hagerty ate a chicken Alfredo pasta and drank a cup of water. She writes of the server: “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.”

She goes on to earnestly praise the Olive Garden for being “the largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating in Grand Forks. It attracts visitors from out of town as well as people who live here.” (Marilyn, honey, maybe it’s time to move….)

In response to her popularity, Hagerty told the Village Voice, “I don’t get it. I don’t have time to sit here and twit over whether some self-styled food expert likes, or does not like, my column.”

This article, for some mysterious reason, has 1) increased my desire to eat those remarkable breadsticks at Olive Garden and 2) kowtow to Marilyn’s genius writing. There’s no way you can’t fawn over a lady who simply finds joy in having black olives in her salad!


  • In tokyo you can get uni sashimi from a street cart…here in Dallas uni gets multiple blog posts. It’s all relative, right?

  • JS

    Old person + rural area + new chain restaurant = unintentional comedy gold

  • I forgot to add that two days ago, Nancy said she was going to write a straight review about the Cheesecake Factory before she even heard of this.

  • holy crap…is a trend being set? are ironic chain restaurant meals the next hipster fashion statement?

  • my point is simply that to much of the foodie establishment, they perceive dallas as a lot closer to Grand Fork than they do themselves.

    Right or wrong, can’t argue with that the perception exists.

    we are the little old ladies sitting in our one soba house, enthralled that someone used some organ meat in an entree…and we won’t shut up about it.

    are we living in a glass olive garden and throwing bricks?

    i mean all of this light hearted, maybe there is a point buried in all of it but really just having fun with a fun story.

  • Stacy L.

    First it’s an Olive Garden, next it’s food trucks. Watch out, Grand Forks…we’re coming for you!

  • Todd

    I think I’m in love with her.

    “I don’t have time to sit here and twit over whether some self-styled food expert likes, or does not like, my column.”

  • irodguy

    Hmm I had come to the conclusion that in an effort to stop a huge influx of tourist grand forks placed an article showing there is no good reason to visit. Thus avoiding having to deal with outsiders.

  • Borborygmus

    Garlic Ciabattini Bites at Whole Foods. Every bit as good, but with olive oil instead of margarine.

  • Cowardly Commentor

    It’s so easy and fun to be mean on the internet. e-Courage is great! I like to hate people!

    I know how to do everything that people are already doing!

    Only I know what is real, good, wholesome, and what is to be jeered and laughed at.

    Yay meeeee!!

  • Elaine

    We stopped into an Olive Garden a couple of years ago in Belleville, Illinois, just east of St. Louis, while driving to my brother-in-law’s place in Carbondale. We know that OG is not haute cuisine, but it _is_ dependable, presuming you understand what it is you’ll be getting. It’s Saturday afternoon and let me tell you, this place is PACKED. In order to obviate the waiting time, we took seats at the bar. We enjoyed our meals as well as we expected, but the entertainment came from the people on both sides of us, raving over their food as though it had been prepared by Mario Batali his own self! We laughed the whole rest of the trip!

  • Bob

    Let me know when that Olive Garden Food Truck hits the streets. Next will be the Cheesecake Factory Semi Truck. At last, fine food is becoming interesting once more.

  • Marvin Lee

    Huh? Is this the same Sidedish that just a few short months ago trashed a local blogger in print and online for having the gall to write about their passion for food?

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  • Jo Bennett

    Too many people are really food snobs…every dining experience is not and should not be a five star one…hey we have too few really fine dining restaurants here to even put into that catagory UNLESS you consider all of those steak places a truly fine dining’s often ones perspective..remember Zagat doesn’t even publish A Dallas edition anymore…so this is much to do about nothing once again…but I DO wish OG would update too many of their older restaurants and put them into the category of better ambience and renovations…that is VERY needed…listen up Olive Garden!!

  • Sofie T.

    Why is SideDish turning into SnideDish?

  • irodguy

    While I occasionally feel like salad and breadsticks and go to OG, that’s not the issue here. The issue is that evidently this is big news in grand forks. Thus there are evidently no great local restaurants. This is not a slap at og, it has its place in life. However this does point to a likely issue in GF.

  • logan

    This is the same sidedish that had multiple postings about taco cabana.

  • broop

    The same media org that sold their cover to a Calif-based fast food company that makes teeeeerible food. Animal style? Try Velveeta style.

  • ohdear

    Olive Garden and good food should never in the same sentence, in fact any chain and good food should not be in the same sentence unless its to comment on how their food is anything but good. Open a bag of salad,, ok,, reheat a chilled meal ok, but its not hard-its also not supportive of the local producers and before you all whinge in a few yrs to come when the chains are everywhere and have absorbed all other business remember by not supporting the locals you guys caused their demise.

  • Mark

    I don’t get it.

  • Un happy Diner

    our recent experience at Olive Garden sucked in about everyway imaginable. I don’t feel like writing a chapter here. Anyway it used to be ok, but not now. I guess it’s a franchise and is the owner’s fault.
    Anyway is was so bad that I went to Olive Garden dot com to lodge an official complaint and never even got a response. Needless to say we will never go back.