VIDEO: Marilyn Hagerty reviews Space Aliens on 'Anderson'Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty, whom TV talk show host Anderson Cooper called "my favorite food critic of all time,” made a second appearance on his show on CBS Wednesday morning. And it may not be her last appearance either.
By: Tu-Uyen Tran, Grand Forks Herald
Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty, whom TV talk show host Anderson Cooper called "my favorite food critic of all time,” made a second appearance on his show on CBS Wednesday morning.
And it may not be her last appearance either.
Hagerty was first on the show on March 20 when she reviewed the Crown restaurant in New York City. This time she reviewed Space Aliens in Grand Forks and shared the same meal of ribs and soda with Cooper on the Wednesday show.
At the end of the segment, which came toward the end of the 9 a.m. show, Cooper called on viewers around the country to submit a restaurant they want Hagerty to review.
Hagerty told the Herald that all she knows is Cooper’s people asked her if she would be willing to review restaurants suggested by his viewers and she said “yes.”
The longtime columnist gained Internet fame in early March after her review of the Grand Forks Olive Garden went viral, which is to say it spread through blogs and email like a virus.
After interviews by various news outlets, she eventually ended up on Anderson Cooper’s show. There she was presented with a free two-week cruise to Italy for her and her best friend.
“I guess they want me to taste some of real Italian food,” she told the Herald. “I guess they think I need that.”
She’d just received the certificate for the free trip from Celebrity Cruises in the mail, she said, and has asked her daughter and “best friend” Gail Hagerty to accompany her. “She said she would move heaven and earth to go. She would have to move a lot of court cases, too; she’s a district judge (in Bismarck).”
They haven’t decided when to go yet, Hagerty said.
4.5 out of 5
In the Wednesday TV segment, Hagerty was seen having a good time at Space Aliens, a sci-fi-themed chain restaurant.
She tucked into some ribs, which she said ranks four-and-a-half bread sticks out of five. That’s a rating system Cooper devised, a take-off on the warm bread sticks she remarked on at Olive Garden.
“You never want to give them a five,” she told him. “A person always has to have something to strive for.”
Hagerty ate with her hands, which she said she wouldn’t do in New York, but feels comfortable doing in Grand Forks. “I feel very satisfied, no longer hungry,” she said in the voice over.
Sated, she joined a 4-year-old girl she met at the restaurant in a round of Pop-a-Shot basketball and other games. They managed to snag a ball with the claw crane, which she gave to Cooper as a gift.
Hagerty told the Herald she’d never met the girl before but thought Cooper’s people made the arrangement.
Even now, after more than a month of fame, she said it still feels hard to believe, especially that Cooper would say she is his favorite guest and favorite restaurant reviewer. “It’s very amazing to me.”
Reach Tran at (701) 780-1248; (800) 477-6572, ext. 248; or send email to email@example.com.