Why Marilyn Hagerty was right to review an Olive Garden restaurant

Eighty-five year-old Grand Forks Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty recently wrote a review of an Olive Garden restaurant that opened in her North Dakota town. Her review caught people’s notice, in cities across America.

Established reviewers believe that one should not review a chain (and certainly not praise a restaurant chain, as Hagerty did). Some of them have sniffed and sniped about her column.

Criticism of Hagerty is so silly she needn’t concern herself with others’ condescension. It’s not only her right, but also a reasonable exercise of that right, to review places close at hand.

Her column is called EatBeat, and after a new eating establishment opened on her beat, she wrote about it.

Why not? I understand the custom of avoiding reviews of chain restaurants, but anyone should understand that the custom doesn’t apply to smaller, rural towns with few dining options.

Those complaining about Hagerty’s chain-restaurant review aren’t upholding an applicable principle; they’re calling attention to their self-perceived sophistication.

It’s perfectly proper for her to review any establishment she wants, and to conclude of that place whatever she wants.

By the way: her review is a sincere, straightforward appraisal of a new Olive Garden in her town.

Hagerty can rest easy: she delivered better for her readers than a few pretentious critics delivered for theirs.

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