Mama mia, Marilyn mania in Italia!
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Next stop for Marilyn Hagerty: Real Italian food. By real, we mean food made in Italy. For appearing on Anderson Cooper's morning talk show Tuesday, the Grand Forks Herald's food critic and a friend will receive a 12-day luxu...
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Next stop for Marilyn Hagerty: Real Italian food.
By real, we mean food made in Italy.
For appearing on Anderson Cooper's morning talk show Tuesday, the Grand Forks Herald's food critic and a friend will receive a 12-day luxury cruise to Italy.
The cruise is the cherry atop a whirlwind of public attention the last two weeks for the 85-year-old Hagerty.
And, clearly, Hagerty saved her best media bit for last with her entertaining exchange with Cooper, a skilled and personable host.
"It was the highest high of a whole wonderful experience," Marilyn said. "Anderson Cooper has a way of making you feel at ease, like a friend you can talk to. He's not a stiff shirt, by any means.
"He gave me a big hug afterwards and it didn't seem hokey."
Learning of the cruise atop all of her media scrutiny had her "feeling like I've drank too much," Hagerty told Cooper.
She was featured for about 20 minutes of the one-hour show.
Propelling Hagerty to the national stage was her review of the Olive Garden, a long-awaited restaurant by local residents. Tuesday morning on CBS, the national chain received good and bad publicity.
Marilyn revealed the manager of the Grand Forks Olive Garden claimed to be "too busy" to meet after her lunch. However, a video clip showed her asking her waiter at NYC's post Crown restaurant: "Is your bread warm, like at the Olive Garden?"
Hagerty's Eatbeat review of the Olive Garden spread like wildfire across the Internet, starting with naysayers poking fun at reviewing a chain restaurant.
Yet, many more rallied to her defense, as Internet views of the review have exceeded 1 million.
Her next job is to select someone to accompany her on the cruise.
"Everyone is now my best friend," she said. "I never knew I had so many friends."
Forum Communications Co. owns the Grand Forks Herald and the Daily Globe.