stlgph
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Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:04 pm

http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/231419/


"As I ate, I noticed the vases and planters with permanent flower displays on the ledges. There are several dining areas with arched doorways. And there is a fireplace that adds warmth to the decor."



I am in love with this woman.
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Braniff747SP
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:39 pm

If a food critic likes Olive Garden, they are not a food critic.
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desertjets
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:19 pm

What is she reviewing next week, Applebee's?


I guess I took for granted that there are parts of the country that have not yet been graced with an Olive Garden.
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dc9northwest
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:14 pm

I like the: "She suggested chicken Alfredo" part.
I also like the: "Olive Garden has gained a following since 1982 with its ample portions and relaxed ambience"

I guess if you can't have good food you might as well have a lot of mediocre food instead.
 
N1120A
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:31 pm

This is so funny that it could have been written by "The Onion"
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zrs70
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:38 pm

Look.... If we live in a place where there is no jet service, and finally an airline puts a regional jet on the route, people here write about it.

If we live in a place with only regionals, and then a mainline comes, we write about it.

If we live in a place with only narrow-boddies, and a wide-body comes, we write about it.

If we live in a place with only domestic airlines, and an international carrier arrives,we write about it.

SO, if you live in a place with very few food options, and as Olive Garden comes, you write about it.

Now, I'm sure Grand Forks has a few independent restaurants around. But it's not Los Angeles. Give the writer a break!
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Mir
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:55 pm

This is EXACTLY the sort of crap that drove me out of that horrible place. Oh, the pain.....

Quoting desertjets (Reply 2):
What is she reviewing next week, Applebee's?

Her review "Ruby Tuesday's vast menu offers many healthy choices" is, sadly, no longer available for viewing.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 3):
I guess if you can't have good food you might as well have a lot of mediocre food instead.

That is how the US chain restaurant industry works, yes.

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 5):
SO, if you live in a place with very few food options, and as Olive Garden comes, you write about it.

Except that Grand Forks is not wanting for mediocre national chain food places.

-Mir
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Ken777
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:15 pm

We went there about 2 weeks ago and my wife and I agreed hat the food there was better than some of the food we had eaten while in Rome last September. Pretty scary.

And the grandkids consider going to the Olive Garden as a special treat. Looks like we'll be going there for a while.
 
smittyone
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:29 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 6):
Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 3):
I guess if you can't have good food you might as well have a lot of mediocre food instead.

That is how the US chain restaurant industry works, yes.

On the other hand, it's pretty hard to screw up spaghetti and meatballs. For a family with hungry crumb-snatchers the Olive Garden is a pretty good choice.

Better than the Heinous (I mean Golden) Corral at least  
 
jamincan
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:40 pm

 
desertjets
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:48 pm

Quoting jamincan (Reply 9):
Apparently it wasn't even a positive review by her usual standards.

Well that does make it even more amusing. The old lady is being ironic and passive aggressive with so much ease my naive self completely missed it (though TBH I only skimmed the article and hadn't finished my morning tea). She gets a big thumbs up from me and a free round of breadsticks the next time I see her at OG.
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Mir
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:50 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 8):
Better than the Heinous (I mean Golden) Corral at least

I'm certainly not saying there aren't worse places.

-Mir
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dc9northwest
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:53 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
We went there about 2 weeks ago and my wife and I agreed hat the food there was better than some of the food we had eaten while in Rome last September. Pretty scary.

I guess you ate at the typical tourist places... that said, I only had one good pizza in Italy (a "hidden" place in Venice) and I've been to Italy a few times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 6):
That is how the US chain restaurant industry works, yes.

I actually liked the breadsticks when I went to Olive Garden... The rest of the food... I don't remember  
 
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Tugger
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:06 pm

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 12):
I actually liked the breadsticks when I went to Olive Garden... The rest of the food... I don't remember

And to be honest, that is the goal of most corporate chain restaurants. To be relatively unmemorable but in particular to NOT have any bad food or a bad experience, hopefully you enjoy the experience and have a favorable memory of your time there.

Restaurants just can't possibly please everyone so chain's go after a certain target market and then make everything as generic and as widely acceptable as possible to the whole market. Your time and food there should not invoke any bad memories (first order of business) and you should "enjoy yourself". Often no restaurant ever has true control over how much you enjoy it, that is often up the people you are with (if you are with any) and the kind of customer you are (the service staff of course contribute heavily to this).

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Ken777
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:39 pm

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 12):
I guess you ate at the typical tourist places... that said, I only had one good pizza in Italy (a "hidden" place in Venice) and I've been to Italy a few times.

Besides Babington's Tea Rooms (my wife was born in Scotland and really wanted to have a cuppa there) we ate at places we were walking past. Small cafe's filled with people who sorta looked like locals. Thought that would work out as it is sort of like going into a deli in NY City and get some really good food. Same with Sydney, Hong Kong, London & Vienna.

Actually, I think that I'll see if the wife wants to head to OG tonight - all of a sudden it sounds pretty good.  
 
mt99
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:50 pm

There is an update on the story.!

"First, her name is bestowed on a lift station. Now, Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty has received more celebrity because her Wednesday restaurant review of Olive Garden has gone viral"

http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/231591/

Lift Station?
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N1120A
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:56 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 6):
Her review "Ruby Tuesday's vast menu offers many healthy choices" is, sadly, no longer available for viewing.

What's the URL. I have to find a cached copy.

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 5):
Now, I'm sure Grand Forks has a few independent restaurants around. But it's not Los Angeles. Give the writer a break!

Its hilarious. Olive Garden is awful, so such a review is quite entertaining.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 14):
Actually, I think that I'll see if the wife wants to head to OG tonight - all of a sudden it sounds pretty good.

NOOOOOOO KEN NOOOOOOO.
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BMI727
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:20 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 8):
Better than the Heinous (I mean Golden) Corral at least

Good Lord, that place is like a trailer park. And the food sucks.
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smittyone
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:33 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 17):
Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 8):
Better than the Heinous (I mean Golden) Corral at least

Good Lord, that place is like a trailer park. And the food sucks.

LOL yep, if there really is a hell (per the other thread), then it has a Golden Corral on every corner.

On the other hand the one good thing about the 'Corral is that I feel like an Olympian in there by contrast. Haven't seen the inside of one since 2007...maybe it's time?   
 
BMI727
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:41 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 18):
On the other hand the one good thing about the 'Corral is that I feel like an Olympian in there by contrast.

You basically are since you'll likely be the only one not on a Hoveround. And not because they are disabled, just because they're fat.
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canoecarrier
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:44 pm

Good God, did any of you ever grow up in a rural area!? I remember last time I was in Fargo I was pretty happy to find the Outback Steakhouse.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 16):
Its hilarious. Olive Garden is awful, so such a review is quite entertaining.

There's nothing wrong with their soup, salad and breadsticks. Even in a metro area of over 3 million people I find my way there from time to time for an affordable meal once or twice a year.

Olive Garden isn't the best, but it's also not comparable to Golden Coral. Not everyone is pretentious enough to avoid an chain restaurant that serves a decent enough affordable menu you can take a family of 4 once or twice a month. What's next? Bashing Panera, Spaghetti Factory....heathens all of you  
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N1120A
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:45 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 18):
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):

Isn't Golden Corral the place that tried to kick some Atkins Diet-types out because they were going to the carving station too often?
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jetblueguy22
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:47 pm

As a current resident of Grand Forks I have to admit, that place opening was a big deal for this place. My buddy who is from just up north's dad even texted him the day before saying you HAVE to try Olive Garden when it opens tomorrow. In a town with some ehh restaurants this is kind of a big deal. Now as an east coaster I won't touch the place. But when your fanciest place is Texas Roadhouse this is a huge deal.
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smittyone
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:03 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 21):
Isn't Golden Corral the place that tried to kick some Atkins Diet-types out because they were going to the carving station too often?

Not sure, but it makes sense...their business model relies on people loading up on cheap simple carbs!


So does the Olive Garden I guess...but I'm OK with it. I've had some good times in there.
 
Mir
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:31 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 16):
What's the URL. I have to find a cached copy.
http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/224473/

Website keeps giving me an error, though.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 22):
But when your fanciest place is Texas Roadhouse this is a huge deal.

Have people forgotten about Sanders?

-Mir
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canoecarrier
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:56 am

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 22):

As a current resident of Grand Forks I have to admit, that place opening was a big deal for this place.

I'm get the feeling people on this forum don't or have never lived in a semi-rural area. I remember the day they opened the very first fast food restaurant in the town I grew up in. That doesn't mean we all thought we should go there everyday, but there are some towns/cities that don't have the variety a city like Chicago has.
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Ken777
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:04 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 16):
NOOOOOOO KEN NOOOOOOO.

We had left over baked chicken instead. Guess what my preference was.

To make you feel better - we ate at the Texas Roadhouse las week and it was pretty damn good for the money. That might go on the fortnightly list.
 
Loubert
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:27 am

But they send the chefs to Tuscany!   C'mon, everybody already knew that the Olive Garden is not a restaurant to which people go to experience thoughtful and carefully prepared food. I haven't been to Olive Garden in about 10 years, but a look at the menu suggests it isn't even particularly cheap.

This review serves more as indictment of the level of cultural criticism in the media and the media in smaller cities in general.

For example, where I'm from (BUF), the recently retired restaurant reviewer, in her review of Chipotle called the roasted corn salsa from the salsa bar her favorite dish.

I think that food critics at many places, particularly smaller places, do not want to write scathing reviews of potential advertisers, especially when money at newspapers is tight.

[Edited 2012-03-08 18:35:44]
 
N1120A
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:29 am

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 23):
their business model relies on people loading up on cheap simple carbs!

Actually, they are mostly complex carbs, but same thing.
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Bongodog1964
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:00 pm

As a foreign observer of US culture, this one has enlightened my day, especially when I looked on the newspaper website to see that the lady had indeed reviewed Applebees and Golden Corral.
I have to confess to eating in Olive Garden on occasions, my excuse however is that its hard to find independent restaurants on I Drive.
To my mind the best you can say about Olive Garden, as with many other themed chains in the US is that you get a lot of food for your money, providing you don't mind it being fairly low grade ingredients bulked out with things you would rather not know about.

Here in the UK you would never see reviewers, even for local newspapers reviewing chain eateries, after all whats the point, most people already know what they offer. I'm just an occasional visitor to the US, and I have a fairly good idea of whats on offer at Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Applebees, Sizzlers etc, even if you don't go in, half an hour of TV watching will normally tell you. Why would you need to read a review ?
 
Pellegrine
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:15 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 20):
Good God, did any of you ever grow up in a rural area!? I remember last time I was in Fargo I was pretty happy to find the Outback Steakhouse.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 16):
Its hilarious. Olive Garden is awful, so such a review is quite entertaining.

There's nothing wrong with their soup, salad and breadsticks. Even in a metro area of over 3 million people I find my way there from time to time for an affordable meal once or twice a year.

Olive Garden isn't the best, but it's also not comparable to Golden Coral. Not everyone is pretentious enough to avoid an chain restaurant that serves a decent enough affordable menu you can take a family of 4 once or twice a month. What's next? Bashing Panera, Spaghetti Factory....heathens all of you  

You know. I'm not really a pretentious bastard like I used to be.  

I think I'd be really glad to have one of these if I lived out in the sticks. I'd definitely support it. I'm not from a rural area, and never have lived in one.

If I were working in a rural area though, I'd be ***so happy*** to find an Outback Steakhouse or an Olive Garden. Just for the variety.

From US road trips I know...local cuisine is not always reliable. Sometimes you will be crying for a big chain.
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FlyPNS1
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:25 pm

Long ago when I lived in Yuma, Arizona, they held a full parade when the first Wal-Mart came to town. It was both funny and sad at the same time.
 
desertjets
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:30 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 20):
Good God, did any of you ever grow up in a rural area!? I remember last time I was in Fargo I was pretty happy to find the Outback Steakhouse.

I lived for almost 4 years in a smallish upstate New York college town that was ~45 minutes away from a decent sized city. And I remember when they opened up the Ruby Tuesday. For corporate chain places I feel like Ruby Tuesday is better than many of them. But this town was already well saturated with fast food places and had a decent selection of locally owned places that went from Chinese buffets and greasy spoon dinners, to family run Italian restaurants, bar & grills, to at least one fairly nice stand alone place. The problem I see with the chains is that when they come into town and people begin to forget about the locally owned places.... and they struggle.


Though if you are on the highway passing through a chain is safe and easy. Cracker Barrel is a favorite place of mine to stop on road trips.
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KLASM83
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:40 pm

Marylin really is making the rounds! Since I live in GFK and a chunk of my friends write for the Herald, I must say, she is the nicest lady. It's been a long standing trope around here that the worst she could ever say about a restaurant is that it's napkins were too big, or that a salad had too many croutons, so seeing her in the national spotlight makes me chuckle bigtime.

Also, listen/watch to Marilyn's response to her new-found fame!/
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stlgph
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:52 pm

Quoting KLASM83 (Reply 33):

this is awesome!
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je89_w
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:08 pm

Quoting stlgph (Reply 34):
Quoting KLASM83 (Reply 33):

this is awesome!

Indeed. Burger King ought to be proud!  rotfl 

[Edited 2012-03-09 08:10:03]
 
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KLASM83
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:43 pm

Quoting stlgph (Reply 34):
Quoting je89_w (Reply 35):

I like how she's all like "I don't have time for fame, I've got deadlines, Burger King to eat and bridge to play!"

Seems fitting:

Don't you want to hang out and waste your life with us?
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:45 pm

Applebees or Olive Garden would be like a Michelin stared restaurant in most Norwegian towns, if you want bad food small town Norway is where it's at.
 
stlgph
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:00 pm

Quoting je89_w (Reply 35):
Quoting KLASM83 (Reply 36):

no joke. it's worth nothing that Darden Restaurants stock is up today. (Parent of Olive Garden)
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KLASM83
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:49 pm

Quoting stlgph (Reply 38):

no joke. it's worth nothing that Darden Restaurants stock is up today. (Parent of Olive Garden)

They really should give her some stock options, seeing she did so much for the chain as of late.
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stlgph
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:10 am

Quoting KLASM83 (Reply 39):
They really should give her some stock options, seeing she did so much for the chain as of late.

haha. would be nice, but unfortunately, that's not the way our industry works. well, most of the time
there's always been the few bad apples, of course.
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Stabilator
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RE: Grand Forks Food Critic Approves Of Olive Garden

Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:44 am

GFK getting an Olive Garden is a HUGE deal. I don't think anyone here realizes...It's rather sad, actually. All of the college ladies LOVE that place, for reasons beyond me.

The lack of good places to dine, coupled with extremely low quality grocery stores, really makes it miserable to consume food in GFK. Not to mention the weather...and the (lack) of scenery...and...I digress.

/Rant over
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