Friday, April 29, 2011

Reality Bites: National Chain: Denny's: Baconalia

Much like I had to try KFC's silly Double Down, as a matter of course I have been compelled to take one for the team by way of venturing out to a Denny's to see just what the reality behind the Baconalia ad campaign really is.



Warning: Images in this post may be too disturbing for children... too late?




Since I live in Boston, this proved to be difficult, as all the major cities in the northeast seem to keep Denny's out of their metropolitan areas.  Thus, I realized I'd have to stuff it into my trip through Texas.

After two plans to go to Denny's with friends after nights of heavy drinking as well as another couple of plans to just finally get it over with with a couple different friends, I finally convinced the most unlikely-to-ever-go-to-a-place-like-Denny's-ever-again friend I have (Cortney) to stop there with me as we headed out one morning on our way from Dallas to Pflugerville.

I called ahead to place my order:
*ring, ring*
"Thanks for calling Denny's.  Is this to go?"
"Sure is!"
"What'll ya have?"
"Well, do you guys have that baconalia stuff?"
"Yup, what wouldchya like?"
"Well, I'm pretty sure I'd like the bacon meatloaf.  Can you tell me what other bacon stuff you have?"
"We have 7 pages of bacon."
"Oh.  I thought it was just a few things.  Okay, well the bacon meatloaf then, yeah."
"Your two sides?"
"Ah, yes, right, well, do you have any bacon-y ones?"
"We have the bacon spinach pico de gallo."
"Oooh sign me up for that!"
"Pardon?"
"I meant, I'll take it!"
"Your other side?"
"Hmm, what are my options?"

She listed the sides, and there weren't any other bacon-ified options, so I got some hash browns and changed my garlic bread to a biscuit.  Then Cortney asked me to order her some french toast with hash browns, which then led to a little mix-up where they charged her for a side of hash browns even though she wasn't getting the meat with the french toast, which they usually would just call a substitution.

She would eventually only eat about 4 bites of this:

French Toast

I tried a bite of it myself.  It was fine.  I'm not sure it quite warranted this look of disdain from Cortney, but then she really doesn't like putting crap into her body.





her crispy hash browns, pictured with butter and syrup, which can of course be employed to mask the taste of any food you inexplicably just purchased from Denny's

Biscuit: not exactly fluffy, but not that hard.  At least 2 steps up from worthless.

But on to the main event, this Baconalia business.  When the lady said there were "7 pages of bacon," she meant 7 dishes.  They are as follows:

-Ultimate Bacon Breakfast - Bacon, Eggs, Hash Browns and Toast - A dish that already existed before, only now you get 6 strips of bacon rather than 3.  Pointless order.

-Bacon Flapjacks - 2 Eggs, 2 Strips of Bacon, and 2 Pancakes with pieces of bacon thrown in the batter before griddling - something you can easily do at home and that probably doesn't do much heightening of the flavor compared with just putting them on top, unless of course you make sure to get a lot of good bacon grease in the batter, more than they soak up from just cooking pancakes right after cooking bacon, which most of us have enjoyed for years.  Next.

-Pepper Bacon and Eggs - 2 Eggs, Hash Browns, Toast and 2 strips of Pepper Bacon - Goes without saying that this is also nothing interesting.

-Triple Bacon Sampler - 2 Eggs, Hash Browns, 2 Strips of Pepper Bacon, 2 of Turkey Bacon and 2 of Hickory-smoked Bacon with some cheddar cheese - Still not bringing anything new to the table.

-BBBLT Sandwich - As you'd expect, the only thing different about this concoction is that they use lots more bacon than sane people would ever ask for, namely 6 strips.  Moving right along:

-Bacon Meatloaf:

Bacon Meatloaf, Bacon Spinach Pico de Gallo and Hash Browns

These 2 patties are supposed to qualify as meatloaf, which I find, frankly, insulting.  The molassesy goop they call a "hickory ketchup" was vile.  I was assuming they were cooking bacon into the meatloaf, but it was just sprinkles of (presumably) yesterday's unused bacon pieces on two pucks of something or other with a black, viscous mystery gel on top.

Take a closer look with me at the patty they're calling meatloaf.  "'meat' round" would be more like it.

Ugh. And the "bacon spinach pico de gallo" was just more bacon sprinkles on top of spinach on top of pico de gallo.  I'm actually convinced that my waitress lady made it up.  Hold on, let me see if that's on the menu.  Damn it, it's real.  I was really hoping she actually had that kind of sense of humor.  "Well, if this chick wants a bacon side, I'll just throw two random items and some bacon together and give her one."  Sadly, it's a real menu item.  Also sadly, a real disgusting menu item.

sigh, the lengths I go to...


-Maple Bacon Sundae - Clearly all this would be is vanilla ice cream with maple syrup drizzled over it with old bacon sprinkled on top.  It probably tastes good, but you'd be better off making it at home or buying it elsewhere.
This is me with an actual tear in my eye after eating this food.  Okay, maybe it was actually from laughing my ass off with my friend about the whole thing, especially after we drove with our food down the highway for awhile to avoid traffic and then stopped to eat it parked in the car at a random gas station where a bunch of guys who were clearly illegal immigrants looking for day labor were standing.  We parked on a different corner than where they were, but then they all wandered over to our side until there were 9 men standing within 7 feet of the car watching us.  We drove to the other side of the street, wanting to enjoy our Denny's in peace.


On their website, Denny's claims to "celebrate [bacon] in all its sizzling glory."  Hardly.

Here's some bacon I actually want.

I just found out I got some Delta sky miles for eating there, woot!


Denny's on Urbanspoon