Olive Garden comes to Grand Forks, North Dakota

The hive-mind denizens of Reddit have seized upon Marilyn Hagerty’s sweet, wonderful review of a new Olive Garden restaurant in Grand Forks, North Dakota. It ran in the Grand Forks Herald and it opens:

After a lengthy wait for Olive Garden to open in Grand Forks, the lines were long in February. The novelty is slowly wearing off, but the steady following attests the warm welcome.

My first visit to Olive Garden was during midafternoon, so I could be sure to get in. After a late breakfast, I figured a late lunch would be fashionable.

The place is impressive. It’s fashioned in Tuscan farmhouse style with a welcoming entryway. There is seating for those who are waiting.

All you snooty urban elites can laugh haughtily as you break naan at the local Nepali eatery, but when I lived in Ohio I can remember a time when we were genuinely excited about an Olive Garden opening at the mall. And Macaroni Grill? That was damn fine eating. And I say that without an ounce of snark.

The review prompted Bradon Stahl at Twitlonger to write to the paper to ask whether the review is for real. It is. And the editor added this interesting tidbit:

By the way, her readers will recognize that as a fairly negative review
since she spent a lot more time on the ambience than the food . . .

So Ms. Hagerty in fact gave the OG a quick shiv to the ribs. Good for her.

Over at Reddit, some commenters took it upon themselves to write their own reviews of various chain restaurants, of which excerpts below:

Taco Bell (by Goots):

The chalupa gondordita’s fragrant aromas wafted past my nose with a graceful elegance. As if knowing my thoughts, the gormless cashier asked my preference for an assortment of libations; I answered, “Mountain Dew.” I’m pretty sure that’s from Ireland. What a varied assortment in this quaint establishment!

Subway (also by Goots):

As I held the rough, herb-encrusted texture of their sixteen-inch, triple-cheese oriental-spiced chicken masterpiece, I couldn’t help but picture the devotion the baker before me had to his breadcraft. With a high-renaissance flourish, my host heaved the oven door closed and meticulously jabbed at the shiny button solely responsible for making all of our mouths water with digestive anticipation.

CiCi’s Pizza (by Bigmur72):

As I entered the strip mall eatery, I was pleasantly greeted by a wafting smell of pizza and regret. The slightly rotund cashier in a skin tight red polo, covered in flour and poor life choices, guided me through the menu. Looks like the buffet will be the winner today. Quite a deal for just $3.95.

Denny’s (by CrunchyChewie):

“October 5th, 2012, sometime around dusk…. This will be my last journal entry….. It’s been several weeks since we last saw a waiter…. I think any hope of rescue has finally died…. I awoke to a shrill wailing and immediately jumped to find out what was going on…. Someone at our table had eaten off their own legs during the night… The look on their face was not what I expected…

Almost… placid…

Our numbers are dwindling…. at night we can hear things scratching at the doors, painful, strained whispers, almost crying out “Grannddd Slaaammm”….

Dear….God…..Help….Us…..”

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One Response to Olive Garden comes to Grand Forks, North Dakota

  1. Lurker111 says:

    Some hilarious commentary here.

    I will say, though, that the O.G.’s that I’ve frequented in Newport News and Richmond (Va.) have been remarkably consistent in quality, and the quality has been reliable.

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