Marilyn Hagerty, North Dakota newspaper restaurant critic behind the most viral Olive Garden review of all time, is back with a review of her local Applebee's. And thank goodness.
With short sentences, descriptive and accessible modifying words and three item lists that aren't broken up by an Oxford comma, "THE EATBEAT: A Salad To Remember at Applebee's" is among the tastiest restaurant reviews in all of Grand Forks. It begins with a salad. And friendship.
We studied the menu. We sipped our water. When all was said and done, we both ordered the Chicken Oriental Salad we remembered at Applebee's.
I was lunching with Merrilee Brown (MB), and we talked about the salad. It is one of those things you remember.
The salad is described as "fresh Asian greens tossed in a tasty Oriental vinaigrette and topped with crispy noodles, toasted almonds and golden fried chicken." You can get a half size version for $8.59. The regular size is $9.99, but you don't need that.
The salad is a signature item.
"You don't need that."
Truer words have never been committed to print.
Hagerty goes on to describe the restaurant's wait staff in her signature no-nonsense, deadpan style native to America's great plains.
Servers at Applebee's are mostly UND students. They don't come around asking if everything is all right. Instead, one of the managers said they are encouraged to show their own personalities. None of this, "Hi, I'm Nick, and I will be your server."
MB and I enjoyed the friendly and relaxed manner of our server, Miguela. She was there when we needed her. She did not intrude.
Like Hagerty, I, too, am grateful that UND student Nick is respecting my boundaries while enjoying signature menu items.
At the end of the review, we are served a description of desserts.
Applebee's is a place where customers tend to linger and chat. And study the dessert menu. MB and I decided we could do without the Blue Ribbon Brownies ($5.49). But we couldn't pass up sharing one of the small gooey, chocolate desserts on the menu. They're called Dessert Shooters and are $1.99.
At just 400 words, Hagerty's review of Applebee's is just long enough to let the reader know that she dined at Applebee's with her friend, but not long enough for Hagerty's brusque style to wear out its welcome.