It was a restaurant review that brought Marilyn Hagerty to the attention of folks outside Grand Forks, ND, last year. When the 86-year-old restaurant reviewer wrote about her experience at the Olive Garden, the story went viral and she became a household name (at least in foodie households). From there it was only a short hop to interviews on national TV, a role as a guest judge on "Top Chef," and a book deal with Anthony Bourdain through his Ecco Books imprint. She also received the Al Neuharth Award for excellence in journalism (an honor given to both Walter Cronkite and Garrison Keillor).
One year later, she returns to the Olive Garden for another review and a reminiscence of her past memorable year.
She has more to look forward to, since her book, "Grand Forks: A History of American Dining in 100 Reviews," will be published in late August at $14.99. The book is a collection of restaurant reviews, from Red Lobster to Le Bernadin, drawn from her 50-year-career. Hagerty continues to write five columns a week for the Grand Forks Herald, including the Wednesday "Eatbeat," which is her restaurant review.