God bless Marilyn Hagerty. The octogenarian North Dakota columnist whose earnest Olive Garden review went viral earlier this year has been far too busy with her own exploits to keep up with the Great New York Times Donkey Sauce boondoggle.
Since her judicious assessment of Olive Garden's bread sticks and lemonade became a meme, the veteran newspaper woman has been feted by Anthony Bourdain, sent on cruises, and recently honored with a rather serious journalism award previously given to Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, and Garrison Keillor.
So when we checked in to see if Pete Wells's takedown of Guy Fieri's Times Square joint had crossed Hagerty's desk, it hadn't. This crap only matters to us, you see. "I just got home from New York this evening," she wrote late last night. "I was on Anderson Cooper's show talking about the new combined Olive Garden and Red Lobster concept as experienced by me and the cameramen." Her appraisal? "It was a fun outing."
She kindly took a moment to read Wells's review and wrote back, "I quickly read the critique you forwarded and wonder what is the point of tearing down a restaurant. Could there be some pluses and minuses? If it is no good at all, why bother reviewing it?"
And there you have it: even Marilyn Hagerty, Beloved Doyenne of Chain-Restaurant Reviewing, just doesn't see the point.