Friday, April 17, 2009

The money would've been better spent on a box of novelty vomit

The food at some restaurants is not meant to be consumed unless it’s after 2 a.m. and the person opting to eat there just spent the last few hours imbibing on enough alcoholic beverages to appropriately dull the senses.

Denny’s is one of those restaurants.

Jerry, however, disagrees.

One of the most important ingredients to our marriage is our DVR – and not for the reason you’d think. The device prevents Jerry from having to watch commercials, which also prevents him from instantly becoming obsessed with a product he HAS TO HAVE.

Or, in this case, a service.

After inadvertently pausing to watch a Denny’s commercial more than a month ago, a day hasn’t passed since without him mentioning the words “Super Bird” or “Moons Over My Hammy” or the fact that we should name our next child “Denny.”

I put up with it for as long as I did because even a continual stream of pleading for Denny’s is better than having to ingest it.

But, eventually, I cracked. I reluctantly agreed to spend money on food that makes a high school cafeteria look like a four-star restaurant just to shut him up. And to provide ammo for the next time I want to do something he deems less than desirable. Like hold my purse while I browse for new shoes.

When we walked in the door, his mood rivaled a 5-year-old on Christmas morning. But while he was muttering something about taking in my “Denny’s experience,” I couldn’t help but survey the tables. Then I realized that I had promised to eat there, but I hadn’t promised to keep my opinions to myself. So I interrupted him.

“You do realize that we’re about three decades too young to be eating here right now, don’t you?”

He just smirked.

“And it doesn’t look like it will be anyone’s pleasure to seat us,” I said, gesturing to the sign in the entryway that said otherwise after at least three lethargic-looking waitresses gave us passing glances.

He ignored me.


Eventually someone showed us to a booth, and Jerry could barely contain his excitement while perusing the menu. Would he have dinner for dinner? Or breakfast for dinner? THE OPTIONS WERE ENDLESS.

Wanting to nail down what Allison would have, I picked up the children’s menu first. And, I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised at the options.

But that was the high point of my “Denny’s experience.”

After that, I had a side salad with lettuce that would’ve been delicious four weeks ago, a mound of something that resembled shredded cheese but tasted like grass clippings, cucumbers that were sliced so thick they could’ve doubled as coasters, croutons that would’ve made good bullets and Italian dressing that had the consistency of condensed chicken soup.

Needless to say, I didn’t make it past a few forkfuls. And that was being generous.

Then, our waiter, Captain Clueless, brought me a meal that was one-third correct. Yes, I had ordered chicken fingers. Thankfully, he at least got that right. But instead of barbecue sauce and blue cheese, I got them smothered in buffalo sauce with a side of ranch.

“Um, is that ranch?”


“I asked for blue cheese.”

“Oh yeah, right. I’ll go—”

“And, this one’s harder, but I also ordered barbecue. The problem is how long will that take to fix? I’m actually on a dinner break from work and I don’t have a lot of time.”

“A while.”

Nice. “Okay, well, I guess I’ll just eat it then.”


No attempt at an apology. No offering to bring me something else or take a portion of the price off our bill. Not even an acknowledgement that we could’ve eaten anywhere else and gotten food that was fit for human consumption.

After that exchange, Jerry knew his prospects for a return family visit had just diminished to somewhere right around his prospects for winning the lottery in Switzerland – no matter how many commercials he fell in love with or how many times he whispered the words “Super Bird” in my ear as I slept.

Not in a boat. Not with a goat. Not in a house. Not with a mouse. Not in a box. Not with a fox. Not here or there or anywhere.



Ray said...

LOL! I've eaten at Denny's before a couple of times. The food's okay, nothing grand of course. At least it's cheap though. Hehe. =P

However: don't you just hate air-head waiters/waitresses that can't get your order right?! It's like, "Wake the hell up already!" Goodness! ;o/

Anonymous said...

I agree.. I never eat at Denny's unless I'm drunk. Everything sounds like a good idea when I'm drunk.

My friend tried to get me to get Denny's with him this morning. No way I was falling for that, even though we were a hundred steps away. Instead we drove twelve miles to get me a lox sandwich.

Timberly said...

Can't stand the place. Gross!

Timberly said...

PS Jerry shouldn't have even tried to make you go there. We know you're such a picky eater!

Sarah said...

Wellll look on the bright side, you can pick a restaurant Jerry hates (or sort of hates, he probably doesn't hate many restaurants!) and one that you like and have a good time for yourself!

I do like Denny's for breakfast, and breakfast for dinner, I never order their "real" food. Plus, I have a soft spot for biscuits, so breakfast is a must. =]

Alexa said...

Yeah, never go to Denny's unless you order a generic breakfast, they can't screw that up!

Anonymous said...

I agree that Denny's is best after 2am- it's the only time it sounds like a good idea to me!

Jennifer said...

I once ordered a chicken salad there at 2am and it came covered in the aforementioned buffalo sauce. If you think it was bad on chicken, try a healthy coating of sauce on the cucumber coasters.

Jennifer Suarez said...

I gotta agree with JERRY on this one. I LOVE denny's! They have tons of breakfast options and messing up breakfast food is pretty tough, so it's rarely wrong.

Bonus? We can bring our kids and not stress over hoping they act perfectly. I mean, I'm not one for bad manners, but my youngest once spit up ALL OVER a table there and no one batted an eye.

Wait... that doesn't help raise your opinion of the place does it?

Well the good news is it was cleaned and disinfected and most of the other people there were parents who totally understood and that's why they weren't phased.

Having 2 kids sure changes your ideas of what a "good" resturant is. Family friendly with cheap prices... that works for us!

cnjweber said...

i feel ur pain. ate there w/ a friend about a month ago b/c it was her turn to pay and she had a bogo coupon for entrees...yikes.

the_plainsman said...

"Not in a boat." They have Denny's on cruise ships, too? No Denny's here, and no TV ads, either unless a national feed. Get it, feed? Never saw their famous/infamous commericial with Miz Paris, either. Oh wait, that was Carl Jr's? We don't have those either. Our 2:00 AM stops are, um, I mean were White Castles or a shiny stainless steel diner, open 24/7. Have had the Denny experience occasionaly while on trips, breakfasts are OK, they hold the BBQ & Ranch at that time.

Kristin said...

The funniest part is that I've been to Denny's once in my entire life and, ironically, it was after 2 am xD
I wasn't drunk, but I'd been at a show in a moshpit for 6 hours and I probably looked drunk, if that counts =P
I only had french fries, but they were cold xD


Janice said...

Denny's is very gross. At least restaurants like Waffle House are good during the day and at 2am, but Denny's just isn't like that.

Anonymous said...

Ahahaha, oh well. Yet another funny anecdote to tell at parties. Better than a kick in the pants.

Marcy said...

One of my friends claims her dad once found a big piece of glass in his burger at Denny's.