When we heard Denny's had released a special menu in honor of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, our first collective thought was "Uh, gross." Our second was "We need to try it. All of it. Now." Which is how I found myself on a fast-food odyssey to Danvers (home of the closest Denny's to Boston). "Where there's life, there's hope, and need of vittles," and all that. While my trek from Central Square wasn't as arduous a passage as, say, Frodo's journey from Hobbiton to Mount Doom, it was as epic a journey as I've ever undertaken. I set off for parts unknown, armed only with a burning hunger for adventure (and greasy diner fare). Join me, won't you?
Upon arriving at the mostly deserted Denny's, I appraised the menu — designed to look like a map of Middle Earth, with photos of items like "Gandalf's Gobble Melt" positioned next to QR codes that directed me to videos of nerds in LOTR gear geeking out over Denny's meals — with a mixture of awe and horror before deciding to dive in. I fell head over hoof down the Hobbit Hole ($5.99), which seemed a fitting place to begin. Composed of two fried eggs nestled snugly in two grilled cheddar buns, the Bilbo breakfast is served with sizzling bacon and hash browns that glistened greasily under the fluorescent lights. The whole mess is topped with mounds of melted cheddar, more bacon, and two Asiago biscuits — because what we need here is a few more carbs. But one imagines you'd need to carbo-load before risking life and limb in Mordor, so it made sense. And those egg-filled cheddar buns were good.
What made less sense was the Shire Sausage Skillet ($7.49), a monstrosity that I trudged into reluctantly, despite my wish to linger at the safe haven of eggs and bacon. Better named, maybe, the Tolkien Tater Skillet (that one's a freebie, Denny's), it arrived in a steaming cast-iron skillet loaded with cheese-covered potatoes, two well-fried eggs, more cheese-covered potatoes, a single (but girthy!) sausage, and a few more cheese-covered potatoes. Methinks Fredegar "Fatty" Bolger might have indulged in one too many Shire Skillets. Sausage consumed, eggs nibbled, I bid the potatoes a not-so-fond farewell, steeled myself for battle, and headed for the badlands of meat and mushrooms.
: Food Features
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