Read what Grand Forks' 'Olive Garden' critic thinks of McDonald's


She won the hearts and stomachs of America with her genuine review of Olive Garden. Now 88-year-old food critic Marilyn Hagerty has turned her attention to McDonald's.

The Grand Forks Herald writer is in the headlines again after her latest piece reviewed each of the four McDonald's restaurants in the city.

The North Dakotan's winning, unpretentious take on food is evident once more, describing the coffee she had at the South Washington Street location as "strong and not too hot," and said "you know you have eaten" after polishing off a sausage egg McMuffin.

A coffee at the East Grand Forks restaurant was "worthy," and Hagerty indulged in her "secret sin" – a Big Mac – at the restaurant near Columbia Mall.

She found her final stop at the Gateway Drive franchise to be the "newest and most attractive" McDonald's eatery in town.

Each Hagerty review is now treated like an event, with People Magazine among the many publications that have already picked up on her latest musings.

Hagerty's 2012 review of the new Olive Garden in Grand Forks launched her as a culinary celebrity, the Star Tribune reports, becoming a judge on Top Chef and releasing an anthology of her columns that included a foreword written by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain (pictured with Hagerty above.)

The Grand Forks Herald has an archive of Hagerty's reviews, which includes plenty of columns on local independent restaurants, as well as chains including Red Lobster, Denny's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

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Grand Forks food writer gains overnight fame for Olive Garden review

Marilyn Hagerty's review of the new Grand Forks Olive Garden is a hit on food web sites and social media. Her newspaper account of a meal at the chain is described as "earnest," "pleasant," and "refreshing." Some readers wondered if it was a schtick from the Onion. Hagerty herself is a little mystified by all the attention.

When Anthony Bourdain met the Olive Garden reviewer

The pair hit it off, and he even published a book of her food reviews.

Grand Forks columnist reviews some of the best New York City restaurants

Earlier this month, Marilyn Hagerty's review of the new Olive Garden in Grand Forks went viral. Following a media blitz with appearances on ABC, CBS and NBC, the 85-year-old scored a reservation at Le Bernardin, one of the top restaurants in NYC.