This week I reached out for a Blaster Fire Burger, new from America's 24/7 diner, Denny's, with 1,700 restaurants across America and 'round the world.
The Blaster Fire Burger, along with Co-Reactor Pancakes, Two Moons Skillet, and Lightspeed Slam, are tie-ins with the new Star Wars movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story. There have been 10 Star Wars movies so far, accounting for $9 billion in ticket sales (plus an unaccounted $100 trillion in reasonably priced popcorn and candy bars). Denny's is hoping for a piece of that action in burgers and flapjacks.
Here's the Blaster Fire Burger breakdown: a quarter-pound all-beef patty, chipotle Gouda cheese, bacon, spicy ghost pepper sauce, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and pickles on a toasted brioche bun.
Total calories: 850. Fat grams: 47. Sodium: 2,140 mg. Carbs: 54 g. Dietary fiber: 3 g. Protein: 49 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $9.29, including a side dish. My side suggestion: Denny's new Bacon Cheddar Tots. They taste like authentic deli potato latkes with jolts of bacon 'n' cheese. I got an extra order to go. They didn't last the drive home.
Denny's isn't known as a burger barn, but its burgers are perfectly fine, totally legit. Each one is cooked to order and served juicy hot off the grill, not cardboardy dry from a microwave. The patty is plump and tasty. This Star Wars-inspired burger has an extra charge of heat, fueled by chipotle Gouda cheese and ghost pepper sauce.
Denny's choice of cheese is Gouda-'nuff, although it's the ghost pepper sauce that has guests checking the walls for a fire extinguisher. The Blaster Fire Burger is piled high with bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. The fluffy brioche bun is a sweet touch.
Denny's must have gotten a bulk deal on Gouda. The diner also has a new Bacon Gouda Burger and Smoky Gouda Prime Rib Broccoli Skillet.
In addition to the Star Wars menu items, Denny's is selling exclusive Solo: A Star Wars Story trading cards for $3 a pack. Denny's is donating the proceeds from the cards to the No Kids Hungry project, with a minimum contribution of $1 million.
The Star Wars promotion ends June 26.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast-food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know in the comments or on Twitter.