EatBeat: 11 years after her viral column, Marilyn Hagerty is back with another Olive Garden review

One of the largest restaurants in the area, the Olive Garden moves along with a large menu including lunch specials and classic entrees.

Marilyn Hagerty

GRAND FORKS — With seating for 298, the Olive Garden is one of the largest places to eat the Grand Forks area. It draws people of all ages for lunch and throughout the day.

There are appetizers including meatballs parmigiana and spinach artichoke dip. Homemade soups and salads include minestrone and a creamy chicken and gnocchi with roasted chicken.

The choices are many in the restaurant with its large parking lot and large seating area in the south end of business in Grand Forks.

With friends and family, we found the familiar menu on a recent winter day. Five of us were seated in one of the large and homey dining areas. Service was good. Friendly.

We tried the fettucine alfredo, which is a favorite. The menu says it is made in house every day. The classic entrees include chicken or eggplant parmigiana, lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, shrimp and chicken scampi. There are stuffed pastas including a new ravioli carbonara. And there is a choice described on the menu to create your own pasta. This gives a choice of pasta, a choice of sauce and a topping, if desired.


We found the Olive Garden a pleasant setting to visit with friends — Joel and Amy Medd along with son Bob Hagerty and granddaughter Carmen Hagerty visiting from Pittsburgh. The staff is very friendly at the Olive Garden. And on visits there I am reminded of days in March of 2012. That was the time that an Eatbeat column in the Grand Forks Herald caught the attention of national reporters. Some at first scowled at the attention given a chain restaurant. Then their fury turned to support. And there were calls from Fargo, New York, California, Florida. This writer was invited to widely discuss on national television the Olive Garden arrival in Grand Forks.

Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty went viral 10 years ago for her Olive Garden review

Opinion by Marilyn Hagerty
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