Hoffman's Houston
drive-thru gourmet

Denny's brings all of the meats with this fresh new Slam

Denny's brings all of the meats with this fresh new Slam

Drive-thru Gourmet - Denny's Meat Lover's
Denny's is meating up your breakfast.  Photo courtesy of Denny's

This week, I reached out for the grandest slam of all, the Meat Lovers Slam, at America’s favorite diner (quantitatively), Denny’s, with 1,700 locations dotting all 50 states.

Borrowing from Pizza Hut’s baby naming book, the Meat Lovers Slam is a protein-packed power breakfast that’ll last you all day.

Here’s the Meat Lovers Slam breakdown: two fresh eggs, anyway you want ’em, two buttermilk pancakes topped with butter ‘n’ syrup, three strips of bacon, and three sausage links. This is not a dieter’s delight by any stretch of your sweat pants. Ready?

Total calories: 1,480. Fat grams: 73. Sodium: 3,690 mg. Carbs: 157 g. Dietary fiber: 6 g. Protein: 48 g. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price: $5.98, higher in prime real estate spots. Fortunately, many Denny’s are next to a La Quinta, so you can waddle over for an eight-hour nap.

Here’s the thing about Denny’s now, and it’s always been this way … you can get a darn decent breakfast at a really reasonable price, even cheaper than the drive-throughs for what you get.

Denny’s cracks real eggs, none of that pasteurized “egg product” poured from a carton with crusty gunk on the spout. I like my eggs sunny side up, so I can sop up the yolk with toast. Denny’s bacon and sausage are freshly grilled and served hot.

Now the pancakes. They’re first-rate with a new recipe that makes them fluffier than ever before. The flapjacks are made with real buttermilk, real eggs, and a touch of real vanilla. There’s a lot of “real” and “new” happening at your neighborhood Denny’s.

Denny’s corporate is breathing new life into a brand that may have grown stodgy over the past half-century. The 24/7 diner chain has remodeled more than 80 percent of its restaurants since 2010. More important, Denny’s has done a top to bottom menu makeover. About 78 percent of Denny’s core items are either new or improved. Suddenly Denny’s is where you expect quality in addition to fast, cheap, and open all night.

They’ve even got a new campaign, “See You at Denny’s,” and if you’ve ever done Denny’s at 3 am, consider yourself a sight for sore eyes.

Other new menu items: a crepes lineup including Banana Berry Caramel, Banana Chocolate Hazelnut (for you Nutella freaks), and Strawberry Vanilla. They’ve got bigger and crunchier chicken tenders and boneless wings with 10 dipping sauces. A Craft Pancake menu includes Tres Leches & Cinnamon Roll with dulce de leche, salted caramel sauce and banana cream. Those pancakes may not be low-cal, either.

The dinner menu is bolstered with Mediterranean grilled chicken, homestyle meatloaf, a Southwest Chorizo Burger with 5 pepper sauce and beer-battered onion rings, jalapeno creamed corn, and creamier smashed potatoes.

I’m impressed for sure, but I’m forever loyal to my Denny’s go-to: the Grand Slamwich, with scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, and American cheese on grilled potato bread laced with a maple spice spread. That’s a sandwich.


Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.