Published February 27, 2013
Remember Marilyn Hagerty, the North Dakota octogenarian who waxed poetically about Olive Garden’s warm bread sticks in her newspaper review that became an Internet sensation? She apparently isn’t the only person who loves the Olive Garden.
According to a recent survey by Public Policy Polling of 500 registered voters, 39 percent of respondents found the Olive Garden to be a "quality source of authentic ethnic food." Forty-four percent thought it was not, and 17 percent were unsure. Public Policy Polling broke it down according to party line and revealed that 43 percent of Republicans claimed Olive Garden was authentic, compared with 41 percent of Democrats. By gender, 41 percent of women and 37 percent of men thought it to be authentic.
The pressing issue of the Olive Garden wasn’t the only hot button food subject polled. The very important item of which was America's favorite pizza topping came up. Pepperoni is by far America’s most favorite pizza topping at 27 percent, followed by mushrooms at 14 percent, sausage at 12 percent and bacon at 10 percent.
Also with sequestration just days away, the poll asked which restaurant had the best chicken. It turns out that 48 percent of Republicans like Chick-fil-A over the 29 percent who like KFC better. Democrats, at 39 percent, like KFC to Chick-fil-A at 18 percent.
The study does address at least a serious issue --whether diners should pay more to help provide health insurance for restaurant employees. The poll stated that 41 percent of Republicans approve of the idea, compared with 72 percent of Democrats.