12 greasy memories from the Denny's Rockstar menu

by Mark Teo

December 10, 2013






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via Denny’s

For many, the holiday season means a return to our roots. It means returning to our hometowns, the God-awful places that, as teenagers, we sold our souls to escape. It means going to places like New Glasgow, NS. Or Langley, BC. Or Ajax, ON. Or—well, you get the point.

But while we pretend to hate returning home, the truth is, venturing into surburbia is kind of fun, even if it’s tinged with tristesse. We don’t hate malls nearly as much as we let on. We don’t hate big-box Irish pubs, because while they don’t offer up Belgian Saison microbrews, they’re the only watering holes open on Christmas day. And while no one owns a car anymore, we all love driving, because while walking is still honest, it’s actually really boring. And slow.

Indeed, there’s a lot we love about the suburbs. But one thing we’ll never miss? Denny’s.

Inevitably, when you go home, you’ll eat at Denny’s (at least if you live out west or in Ontario), but not because anyone likes it. You’ll go because it’s open 24 hours and in a drunken stupor, you’ll think 15 pounds of homefries is a good idea. Because, well, we all hate ourselves. But beyond the plus-sized platters of sadness on offer, the thing that always surprises us about Denny’s are the nauseating corporate sponsorships: It feels like Denny’s is perpetually promoting some Lord of the Rings spinoff, replete with, like, Frodo Fries, Two Tower Turducken, or Pain Mordoré.

Few may remember when Denny’s also briefly dabbled in the music world. In 2008, the chain brought several artists into the kitchen to develop signature dishes, and the results looked like the bastard child of Alternative Press and a Ponderosa Buffet. They were the unlikely union of Hot Topic and Hot Pockets. They were food abortions that even the hardiest junk-food fetishist couldn’t love.

Photo: Boardgamerinparadise.com

It was called the Denny’s Allnighter Rockstar menu—a botched attempt, we presume, to capture the imaginations of the music-loving youth. The basic concept behind the campaign? Denny’s would “adopt” bands in need—usually from the bottom half of the Warped Tour roster—to promote a signature dish. Then, media blitz ensued: They ran a contest with AbsolutePunk.net, pestered sites like Idolator to review the menu, and somehow got Paste magazine to post press releases on their behalf.

“Let the jokes about items like Taking Back Sundaes, Eggs of Death Metal and Plain White Toast commence,” they mentioned on a release. So, shall we?


All-American Rejects’ All-American S.O.S.

Photo: Eaglesdare.buzznet.com

Here, the All American Rejects do their best to resemble culinary-school rejects. Now we know what the band’s real dirty little secret: It involves smothering cheeseburgers in sausage gravy. Then weeping. Lots of weeping.


Taking Back Sunday’s Taking Back Bacon Burger Fries

Photo: Eaglesdare.buzznet.com

John Nolan and co. were one of Denny’s marquee signings—because, after eating their platter of grisly gore, you could tell all your friends that you have their blood, bacon grease, and processed astro-cheese on your hands. Thankfully, the band went heart-conscious with their next Denny’s creation, a grilled chicken and sausage quesadilla.


Eagles of Death Metal’s Heart on a Plate pancakes

Photo: Buzzfeed.com

The Eagles of Death Metal surprise us with their Denny’s dish: They didn’t create a signature cherry cola, nor did they dish up a cholesterol-laden Eggs of Death Metal dish. Instead, they patented an heart-shaped pancake, because there’s nothing more adorable than getting whipped cream caught in your greasy handlebar moustache.


Plain White T’s Plain White Shake

Photo: Djrossstar.buzznet.com

Here’s a surefire way to ruin a plain white tee: Vomit up a litre of All-American milkshake on it, then spend the rest of the evening on the toilet, retroactively consuming as much Lactaid as humanly possible.


Sum 41’s Sumwich

Photo: Skopemag.com

Surely, Cone and the boys spent countless hours hanging in Whitby, ON’s Denny’s—after all, their hometown of Ajax borders the town affectionately known as Shitby (or, amongst Oshawa heads, White-by). And it’s probably where they developed the concept behind the Sumwich, and an artery-destroying French toast sandwich stuffed with eggs, cheese, and ham. Let’s have a toast with mini mugs of maple syrup, shall we?


Hoobastank’s Hooburrito

And the reason is diabetes. This chicken strip burrito features two types of cheese sauce, and it’s served with another garnish: cheese sauce.


Good Charlotte’s Band of Burritos

Photo: Buzzfeed.com

Good Charlotte twins Benji and Joel Madden have created two mirror image burritos, one built around chicken, the other built around Boca faux meat. We recommend purchasing twin bottles of Tums.


Jewel’s Acoustic Smoked Chicken Quesadilla

Photo: People.com

… Because the only thing we love more than and acoustic guitars and yodelling vocals are acoustic chicken quesadillas (whatever those might be) and cheese. Lots of cheese.


Gym Class Heroes’ After School Special

Photo: Idolator.com

The Gym Class Heroes’ dish is, according to its description, as eclectic as the band itself: “A cross between rock, rap and hip-hop, the band’s ability to cohesively combine a variety of genres is evident in the After School Special, which is Texas toast topped with hash browns, a fried egg, shredded cheese, bacon, and fire-roasted peppers and onions.” More aptly, it’s the reason why gym classes are mandatory until high school.


Rascal Flatts’ Unstoppable Breakfast

Photo: Eaglesdare.buzznet.com

Rascal Flatts’s unstoppable breakfast, which includes a biscuit smothered in eggs, gravy, and bacon, is sure to cause unstoppable you-know-whats.


Katy Perry’s Hot ‘n’ Cold Cherry Chocolate Cappucino

We’re just going to leave this bizarre, soul-crushing video right here.


Boys Like Girls’ Great Eggsteak

These heteronormative boys like girls, sure, but there’s one thing they like more—and that’s the, uh, heteronormative pairing of eggs and steak.


Tags: Music, Lists, News, all american rejects, Boys Like Girls, Eagles of Death Metal, Good Charlotte, Gym Class Heroes, Hoobastank, Katy Perry, Plain White Ts, rascal flatts, Sum 41, Taking Back Sunday






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