The Most Important Meal of the Day


Denny’s chain of family restaurants not only scored a ‘grand slam’ with a kiddies’ breakfast commercials on Super Bowl Sunday, they spent the balance of the ad budget-feeding a couple of million hungry people a hot ‘slam’ breakfast with a couple of eggs, pairs of pancakes and sausages. The one day publicity campaign landed a mountain of media coverage from TV visuals and radio newscasts to front page spreads. That amount of positive free press can’t be bought at any price. On the surface, it was a generous gesture in these hard times but it was also an inspired promotion.
All of which prompted the Palate to compare Denny’s breakfast with that of its leading competitor, IHOP, which has been staging its own ‘endless stack’ of pancake promotion. Both chains have merit but, by and large, you’ll get a broader selection of breakfast choices for a tad less money at Denny’s. Not that IHOP lacks special features like the bottomless coffee pot and variety of syrup flavors on every table. On the debit side, the syrup lids are poorly designated (black impression on equally black plastic), the kitchen doesn’t seem to get the message that pancakes must be hot and the limp bacon strips thoroughly cooked and crispy. Service at both chains is able and friendly with an edge on the latter to the big ’D’. A “new-edge” Cooking method at Denny’s beats out the IHOP system but getting a java refill, especially of decaf, can be frustrating as Denny’s coffee stations tend to be poorly spaced. The Palate is a bit tilted towards those fluffy IHOP pancakes but I’m ga-ga about those  thick slices of Denny’s  ‘French Toast Slam’ or the more sensible  ‘Moons Over My Hammy’ scramble at Denny‘s.
On the home front, there are ever more quick-fix frozen dinners claiming to be of ‘restaurant quality’ but few succeed. The closest comers have to be Bertolli Italian Oven Bakes and 10 minute Skillets for two. The most disappointing frozen meals I’ve yet encountered were Gorton’s frozen seafood and fish dishes that provide too much breading, too little texture or taste and skimpy portions to qualify as a quick home dinner value. Only the packaging looks appetizing and you can’t chew cardboard. Face it friends the best thing to make for dinner is still a reservation at a full-service restaurant.
Wherever or whenever you venture, indulge in a hearty breakfast every morn’ because nutritionists agree the way you start the day influences every move you make until, and even after, you go ‘beddie-bye.’

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The Curious Palate

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