Baconalia 2013 has come to Denny's
This week I reached out for Caramel Bacon Stuffed French Toast -- I love all five of those words, especially "stuffed" -- at America's 24-hour diner, Denny's, with 1,600 locations on every main drag. There's more parking around back.
Caramel Bacon Stuffed French Toast is part of Denny's 2013 celebration of "Baconalia" -- a full-blown surrender to our addiction to and obsession with salty strips of crispy fried pork. Remember your mom saying, "Butter makes it better?" Bacon makes butter better.
Denny's has added eight bacon dishes to this year's Baconalia lineup. I picked Caramel Bacon Stuffed French Toast to review because, frankly, Caramel Bacon Stuffed French Toast is funnier and more interesting than, say, the Ultimate BLT. Although there are times when nothing does the trick like a great BLT … with lots of B.
Caramel Bacon Stuffed French Toast also sounds like Denny's is serious and not just playing head games with us. Maple Bacon Milk Shake … really? At the end of Baconalia, I'd like to see a printout of just how many Maple Bacon Milk Shakes you sold. Sounds like you were sending the menu to the printer and noticed room for one more bacon item. And you choked under pressure.
Here's the Caramel Bacon Stuffed French Toast blueprint: a sweet and salty layer of bacon and white chocolate slathered between two slices of French toast, topped with caramel sauce and -- you can never get enough -- more bacon. Served with two eggs any way you like them, two more bacon strips and a side of warm maple-flavored syrup. You should have asked for a booth so you could lie down after this.
Total calories: 1,210. Fat grams: 64. Sodium: 2,150 mg. Protein: 45 g. Dietary fiber: 2 g. Carbs: 109 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $7.99. That's not counting a drink, tax and tip.
Critics nipped at Denny's last year, when the diner chain introduced the first Baconalia. Even "South Park" took a crack at Baconalia. But did Denny's shrink like that one weird piece of bacon at the bottom of the package? No, Baconalia is back … and more bacony than before.
Caramel Bacon Stuffed French Toast is a flavor explosion and a belly-filler. It's got a lot of things fighting for time with your taste buds -- caramel, bacon, chocolate, maple, eggs, etc. -- but somehow it all comes together as a weird, fantastic breakfast any time of day.
I went in thinking, "This is some sort of joke, a desperate cry for attention." But I came waddling out satisfied and impressed. This is one breakfast that you can't say you've had before.
Ken Hoffman's syndicated column appears Wednesday.