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A Gauntlet night at Denny’s

By Kristy Koehler, February 27 2019 —

Ah, Denny’s. The late-night haunt of drunk people and starving students and the early-morning refuge of senior citizens and hangover sufferers. Nothing cures a night of puking up a six-pack of Smirnoff Ice into a bedside bucket like a grease-laden Moons Over My Hammy or an All-American Slam. 

But does anyone under the age of 65 go to Denny’s not shitfaced or hungover? Can Canada’s Diner provide a touch of class for folks looking for a fine dining experience? We tried it out — so you don’t ever have to. 

The sommelier ‘says’ this wine is white.

Denny’s serves two wines — red and white. Wine-snobs recommend starting your wine-drinking experience with the lightest wine you intend to consume, so as not to overpower the palate. As such, we began with the white. In keeping with the spirit of elevated dining, we selected what we thought would be the perfect pairing — mozza sticks. Apparently the Denny’s sommelier had gone home for the evening, so we were on our own. Our server was well-versed in the mouthfeel of cubed versus shredded hashbrowns, but was no help in the vino department.

The delicate combination of deep-fried batter and chewy, partially melted cheese served with a side of something we could only assume was sour cream, which was a revolting match for the white wine. In hindsight, we should have selected the country-fried steak, with its thick and suggestive mystery cream sauce, but we worried it may have overwhelmed the grapiness of the wine. 

Perhaps the white wine would go better with the salmon — after all, it’s a classic food and wine pairing. Only those who truly like to gamble would order fish from Denny’s — but we enjoy living dangerously. There’s no finer reward than gambling with your guts and living to tell the tale. The wine was better with the mozza sticks in much the same way that a paper cut to your eyeball is better than explosive diarrhea. 

Notice the Pollock-esque splattering of the ketchup. V artistic.

For folks who don’t imbibe, there are still food and beverage pairing options. Denny’s offers a selection of milkshakes with flavours including Chocolate Peanut Butter Regret, Queasy Cake Batter and Horchata Horror. We paired them with the Grand Slamwich — a worrying creation stuffed with what essentially amounts to an omelette. The pairing made us want to grand slam it all over the pavement.

This looked the same coming back up.

Fine dining at Denny’s was a memorable experience — we certainly remembered it in the bathroom several times over the course of the next few days.

This article is part of our humour section.

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