88-year-old Olive Garden food critic Marilyn Hagerty takes on local McDonald's

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By Elizabeth Murray

Marilyn Hagerty, the Grand Forks, North Dakota food critic whose reviews of popular food chains such as the Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesday, Taco Bell and others have gone viral, has taken on America's most popular restaurant — McDonald's.

The 88-year-old, who Anthony Bourdain has called "the antidote to snark," reviewed all four local McDonald's in the Grand Forks area in the past week, sampling their breakfast and dinner menus. 

"It's where a lot of people go, and I write for a lot of people," Hagerty told NBC's Kevin Tibbles, adding that she often goes to McDonald's for lattes, "because they're cheaper than Starbucks."

In her review for the paper, Hagerty wrote

My trail through the McDonald's restaurants took me to East Grand Forks, where I ordered a medium-sized low-fat latte. I got quick service and paid $3.18. I collect the little cards that come on the lattes in order to get a free one after the fifth purchase.The lattes cost less than those I enjoy at Starbucks. But they are worthy. The only problem is occasionally, one of the restaurants will tell you their machine is not working."Not working?'' I think. I almost foam at the mouth in disgust, but I try to be pleasant.

"It really bugs me if they say their machine is broken," Hagerty said. "You know you drive there and you go through all that bother. You get there and then they say, 'Oh, our machine is broken.' Unacceptable."

As for the lunch and dinner menu, Hagerty reviewed the classic Big Mac. 

"Oh, that was just too much," she said of the staple fast-food burger. "That could last you for a week. I shouldn't be eating that. But it was good, I liked it."

Hagerty also said she enjoyed the atmosphere , especially of the chain's newest location in the Grand Forks area. "You might not really call it upscale," Hagerty said. "But compared to the others, it is."

For its part, McDonald's told TODAY in a statement: "We are honored that Marillyn Hagerty took the time to objectively review all the McDonald's in Grand Forks in a way only she can." They added that they were working on fixing the latte machines.