Marilyn Hagerty: Interview with genius Olive Garden reviewer


For the review, do you typically go by yourself or do you bring along other people?

Both ways. I either go by myself--I have several friends who like to go with me--and I identify them by their full name the first time, and I call them SB or DJ or something in future references in the column. I just started doing that, I'm not quite sure why.

Did you bring anybody with you for the Olive Garden review?

No, I did not.

How come?

Because I was pretty busy that week, I had to get an EatBeat done, and friends who wanted to go said we couldn't get in because we tried to make a reservation and they don't take them, and we knew we'd have to wait a couple hours when it first opened. That is why, as I explained, I went in the middle of the afternoon, because I wanted to get in.

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Olive Garden has been packed since Marilyn Hagerty's review.
Has Olive Garden gotten even busier and more popular since your review came out?

I don't know about the Olive Garden, but I have been told by restaurant owners that after there's a review, then they have a rush for quite awhile. And those who have been around a while know that will happen. But some of them don't know it and they get a rush. That's what I've heard.

Are there any restaurants opening soon that will be the subject of your future reviews?

Yes, I have done one for next week, I've already finished it. My deadline is 10 days before--I have to have the review in 10 days before it's printed. And I have submitted one on "The Drunken Noodle," which just opened in East Grand Forks.

Oh wow, when is that going to run?

What's today? Today's Thursday. It's going to run Wednesday. This coming Wednesday. The Drunken Noodle.

"The Drunken Noodle" doesn't sound like the kind of restaurant that you'd normally be at. Was it pretty wild there? Was there a lot of drinking?

No, it's just an Asian restaurant that's opened up. I think probably late at night there is a lot of drinking, but I like to drink too.

Oh, what do you like to drink?

Well, it depends what kind of food I'm eating. I like wine, I like beer, I like martinis, I like Crown Royal. I don't drink a lot, but when I drink I know what I want to drink.

If you don't mind me asking, would you mind telling me how old you are?

Do you know how old is the Queen of England?

I don't know [Google says she's 85].

Well, I'm the same age.

Do you go on the Internet at all?

Yes, of course!

Everybody on the Internet today is sharing your column and really enjoying it.

I feel they're being rather condescending, but it's OK with me.

Thanks for your time, and good luck to you.

OK, bye.

Previous Coverage:

Olive Garden Review: The greatest restaurant review ever written


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