Thursday, January 19, 2012

Grand Slam!

The Denny's Grand Slam is really one of the greatest innovators of breakfast in the restaurant industry.  There are diners that have menus equivalent in size to novels because they'll dedicate pages and pages to breakfast plates, many of which are similar but slightly different.  Good idea?  Bad idea?  Debatable.  But the one thing about Denny's Grand Slam that I absolutely love is that you can build your own.  You don't have to pick one of their pre-determined breakfast combos, such as the All-American or French Slams, but can instead choose from a list of about 15 items and pick the combo that fits what you're in the mood for.

Naturally fitting for this post, I did not build my own Slam.  Instead I went for the Lumberjack.

Two eggs, two bacon strips, two sausage links, hash browns, two pancakes, and two pieces of toast

If you've been reading this blog long enough, you'll know that the Lumberjack is also the name of a breakfast dish from Lake Murray Cafe that the Murray Crew would regularly have competitions with.  Here's what the two dishes look like side-by-side:

The left is the presidential hopeful prior to the election.  The right is when he/she actually wins

Maybe it's because every Denny's is different or maybe it's because I've eaten from these "homestyle" cafes, but on the surface the Lumberjack Slam really doesn't look that good.  I realize food seldom ever looks like the picture, but come on:

I think my Lumberjack suffered from severe chronic depression or something

By the way - yeah, I did a terrible job of centering my plate.  Whoops.  But the plate just looks...sad.  It's all deflated and has no life.  I just think Denny could do a better job assembling this meal.  I know he's better than this.

One other thing that bugged me was that the waiter, who's a really nice guy, comes over to our table in the middle of the meal (not with the check, mind you, but just to check in) and asks if we want to purchase a raffle ticket.  Proceeds go to some charity and you could win an IPad or something.  It's a nice cause, yes, but going up to someone while they're eating and making this pitch I think is really rude.  The thing is - he was just doing what management told him.  I could tell right off he didn't seem very comfortable doing it and I don't blame him.  If they're going to sell these raffle tickets they should have them at the register.  You don't make a pitch like this to someone while they're eating.  I'm sorry - you don't.  Not in the Gourmet Rulebook.  That happened once when my family was at the Great Plaza Buffet.  This girl was going from table to table asking for money for some project or something she was doing.  She was promptly kicked out of the restaurant cause they don't screw around there.  I love that place.

In other news, on the evening of the Lumberjack breakfast, The World According to Rich and I went to Red Robin.  Josh in Macedonia and A. Pawar and I used to enjoy going there.  There were others who would go but I can't remember who off the bat.  Maybe Shag2theNasty or Austin Ferrari?  LandonWhereBrandon?  Maybe even BrandonWhereLandon?  I dunno.  Anyway, I've been there maybe once in the last three years because it's good but not amazing.  Kind of like John Adams; he's considered a good president but being sandwiched in between Washington and Jefferson didn't do him any favors.

Cheeseburger and steak fries

One of the reasons we stopped going to Red Robin, at least we joke, is that during our last visit we had a waiter who somehow managed to screw up every order.  I don't blame him too much as I just think he was having a bad day.  It happens.  But first it started with A. Pawar's overly complex order of, like, chicken strips cooked lightly well done on one side and medium well-hard on the other.  Then I think he gave Josh in New Patagonia chicken instead of beef and gave someone else Dr. Pepper instead of Coke then didn't fulfill our request for some more "endless steak fries."  It was just a bad night and I feel for the guy.  Maybe his girlfriend dumped him, who knows.  

Memories of that particular service were coming back for this meal.  When we walked in, there was nobody manning the entry so we weren't seated immediately.  But what really ticked us off is that this one waitress walked right by, RIGHT BY, and didn't bother to acknowledge us.  Not a hello, not a smile, nothing.  That drives me INSANE.  Hey, Katie Crabby Pants, how about "hey there, I'll be with you in just a minute!"  Is that really so hard?  It's Customer Service 101.  This is one of the reasons I can't stand Cafe Athena in Pacific Beach.  Three times I've been there.  Not once has anyone said hello or goodbye - and they've got somebody working the front.  The last time I went there I was waiting for the Bone Crusher and I strolled inside a couple times just to see if I could get any kind of reaction at all - but I got nothing.  Katie Crabby Pants works there, too.  Unbelievable.  Is it so hard to say hello?

Anyway, Red Robin also gives out unlimited fountain drinks which I took advantage of:

It's like my bladder got into the ring with a sugar-coated Mike Tyson

By the end of the meal I had downed three Cokes and the water.  One of them belonged to The World According to Rich, but our waitress had brought it while he still had over half a glass left.  He wasn't gonna drink it so...I did.  Can't let it go to waste.  Starving kids in West Virginia would love to have that.  

Thanks for reading!