Learning From a Review of Olive Garden

Marilyn Hagerty

Marilyn Hagerty

I really dig that restaurant viral restaurant review, the review of the new Olive Garden in Grand Forks, North Dakota, published in the Grand Forks Herald.  Do you know what it is? It is a simple, almost majestic, kind of writing.  It is by far one of the best written reviews I have read in years.  Clear, direct, and trustworthy.

Marilyn Hagerty, the fortunate author getting all of the attention, literally walks you through the front door right to dinner and the service with perfectly clear efficiency.  Olive Garden surely spends millions hoping to market such a complete and welcoming image.  This essay shows that simplicity and honesty can carry the best impressions.

We forget sometimes what a review is supposed to be.  We all have different tastes and expectations, and too often reviews are written as if we all share identical tastes and expectations.  Critics are held in priestly esteem, an oracle that guides the self-initiated along the enlightened path.   But in truth, shouldn’t a strong review convincingly share an experience so you can guide yourself?  Or maybe Marilyn Hagerty’s review is more story than commentary.  I don’t know, I don’t care…I like it.

Olive Garden Chicken Alfredo

Looks pretty good now!

The review of the long-awaited of Olive Garden strikes me as a perfect narrative, one that invites you to take in a shared experience without pushing any judgement.  Marilyn Hagerty likes the place, that’s clear, and she tells you why without preaching commentary.  It is brilliant!

For the record, I enjoy the simple marinara they serve.  Plain, sweet, and just like grandma used to make.  It has been years since I ate at Olive Garden, but now I really miss that simple sauce and pasta I thought I would forgo forever.

Good job, Mrs. Hagerty!


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