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Famed 'Olive Garden' restaurant critic Marilyn Hagerty, 85, in the Big Apple

Hagerty-nyc[1]Marilyn Hagerty's 15 minutes of fame has been extended, by popular demand.

The 85-year-old restaurant critic for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota became a worldwide sensation last week when her earnestly admiring review of a chain restaurant went viral.  She described the new Olive Garden as "the largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating in Grand Forks."  Food snobs found her review hilarious, but Hagerty won hearts with her matter-of-fact responses about how she does her job.

Now, through the good offices of none other than uber-chef Anthony Bourdain, Hagerty is in Manhattan, where she'll dine at Le Bernardin, probably the most celebrated French restaurant in America.  She's also joining CNN's Anderson Cooper for a visit to the Olive Garden in Times Square and maybe even catching a lunch with Michelle Obama.  (She's shown in the AP photo above arriving at LaGuardia airport.)

This brief piece in the Village Voice welcomes the North Dakotan to Manhattan. 
Meanwhile, her son, Wall Street Journal reporter James R. Hagerty, gets some mileage out of mom's fame in this entertaining piece.  And here's the New York Times account of her first encounter, this afternoon, with a New York City hot dog vendor and his wares, right down to the soggy onions.

The greater meaning of Mrs. Hagerty's moment in the sun?  Sometimes it's cool to be down-to-earth. Chalk one up for regular folks.

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