[LOVE LETTERS] An Ode to Denny’s


it even comes with the slight air of melancholy and everything

If there is one thing I absolutely HAVE to do whenever I visit the States (apart from driving straight to a liquor store to grab a case of Natty Light quick smart) it’s go to Denny’s, at least twice. I love Denny’s. Seriously. Like a first born or something.

Apparently it is considered low-brow dining by some Yanks. Pffft, whatever, snobs.

I can remember my first visit vividly. I was 10 years old, on holiday in Florida with my parents, and we were searching for somewhere to have pre-Disneyworld breakfast. Life was pretty sweet. Enticed by the huge yellow sign, plus the fact that it was close by and my sister and I were engaged in a mild fistfight at the time, my parents took us in.

The menu was a smorgasbord of awesomely named food. I ordered a BLT, having never heard of such a sandwich before (it was the early Nineties and I am still positive the concept hadn’t been introduced to the UK), and it blew my tiny British mind. I’d never had such crispy weird bacon on toasted bread with so much mayo and such big tomato slices. And it was cut into quarters. And each quarter had a toothpick with a flag in it holding it together. But wait, my dad has pancakes with his bacon and eggs? What. The. Fudge.

The Amazing Grand Slam

Suffice to say that Denny’s became a regular for the rest of that holiday, and for all of my subsequent trips out there: It was the staple 3am post-party chow-down whilst I was studying in West Virginia - I would literally eat plates of hash browns with hot sauce to soak up booze. I have consumed countless Grand Slams like a ritual, with a tall glass of milk and black coffee, to treat a hangover. I’ve sat drinking milk, watching people have All-You-Can-Eat Pancakes in Vegas, too fragile to consume food. I’ve even ended a 4th of July celebration in Hermosa Beach with one of their impossibly thick omelettes, at 4am.

Now, it might sound like most of my more recent experiences have been during/post-alcohol, and that’s probably right I guess. But I have visited sober as well, and the food still stands up. Their hash browns are honestly some of my favourite of anywhere I’ve eaten them in the US.

It’s cheap, it’s tasty, and it’s all you would expect an atypical American diner experience to be; it even comes with the slight air of melancholy and everything. I’m heading back over yonder this autumn with a friend who’s never even been to the States before, so can’t wait to take him and get him all Slammed up, with a Natty Light for dessert of course.

…and I’ll review their burger too…

  • Rob.

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