A Treasury of Unironic Olive Garden Restaurant Reviews

This morning, 86-year-old Marilyn Hagerty's Olive Garden restaurant review for The Grand Forks Herald titillated the internet. "I don't get it," Marilyn said of the world's fascination with her earnest quest to evaluate the ubiquitous chain restaurant with a standardized menu.

She's not the only one. Here are ten delightful Olive Garden restaurant reviews, including three from The Palm Beach Post, which apparently reviews and re-reviews all local Olive Gardens regularly. Reviews without hyperlinks were accessed via Nexis.

First, the platonic ideal of the genre: "Olive Garden Arrives," Sioux City Journal, 10 Dec. 2006:

A martini is not a martini without an olive. That, at least, is the thinking of a true connoisseur. And to Siouxland residents, many of whom consider themselves connoisseurs of fine food, a city is not a city without an Olive Garden.

"A Taste of Two Italian Restaurants," The Minneapolis Star Tribune, 7 March 02:

Olive Garden and Macaroni Grill: Is one better? Too close to call.

"Olive Garden satisfies Italian cravings at reasonable prices," The Palm Beach Post, 23 Dec. 2010:

It was a busy Wednesday evening, but the noise levels were bearable.

"Olive Garden's comfy setting offers Italian done nicely," The Palm Beach Post, 25 Aug. 2011:

There was music playing, some classic Italian hits and some easy- listening tunes that reminded me of Disney World.

"Don't FIll Up on Soup, Salad; Save Room for Tasty Entrees," The Palm Beach Post, 11 Nov. 10:

Reasonably quiet on a recent Sunday night.

"Good Chain Dining," The Los Angeles Times, 19 Nov. 92:

Indeed, they serve unlimited amounts of soup or icy, crisp salads with inoffensive dressings, along with chewy bread sticks that are almost as big as hotdog buns.

"Restaurant Review: Olive Garden," Yahoo! Voices, 19 Feb. 07:

There are many reasons why I like the Olive Garden in Citrus Heights. They have plenty of parking spaces. The parking area is also clean and free of trash.

"Olive Garden Stumbles in the Translation," The Albany Times-Union, 6/16/06:

The four beef medallions had been drizzled with a balsamic vinegar and cooked to the consistency of rubber.

"Olive Garden Did Its Homework on the Family Table," The Providence Journal, 25 May 06, on the ravioli di portobello:

The stuffing was a savory portobello puree with a blend of delicate spices, stuffed into a light dough cooked al dente.

"Olive Garden Italian Restaurant," The Bend Bulletin, 4 June 10:

The food is consistently reliable, though unexciting; the service staff that has been schooled in professionalism.

"Midnight in the Garden of Food and Evil," San Antonio Current, 7/8/11:

The word "garden" should bring to mind something lush, green, fresh. Sadly, the word is too often carelessly thrown around in the naming of restaurants, like "Olive Garden," "China Garden Buffet," and so on.

[Image via Olive Garden]