1. On a street in Hollywood, there was a Denny’s.
2. Not a nasty, dirty, wet Denny’s, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy Denny’s with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a Denny’s with a hobbit menu and that means comfort.
4. We went because there is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after. The findings:
5. Bowman’s Brew Pumpkin Coffee
First Impressions: Looks delicious.
Flavor: Blech! Super sweet. We had to ask for black coffee to cut the richness.
Middle-earthiness: 3. Somewhere in Middle-earth coffee is grown, but do they use pumpkin syrup and sugar in their morning cups? We highly doubt it.
7. Build Your Own Hobbit Slam
First Impressions: Looks like breakfast.
Flavor: Tastes like breakfast.
Middle-earthiness: 10. The question is would a Hobbit shred potatoes instead of dicing them? Hopefully the movie will answer this pressing question.
8. Sweet Potato Pecan Pancakes
First Impressions: Good presentation.
Flavor: Well spiced with candied pecans throughout. Would actually order these again.
Middle-earthiness: 9. Would have gotten a 10 if not for the drizzle of syrup on top.
9. Honey Cake French Toast
First Impressions: Looks like something a Hobbit would eat.
Flavor: Consistency of cornbread and drenched in honey. A little too heavy but all in all OK.
Middle-earthiness: 10. This is the reason Samwise is so pudgy.
10. Hobbit Hole Breakfast
First Impressions: Looks limp and sad. That mini bun is also out of place.
Flavor: We disagreed on this. Ariane liked the cheesy buns. Justin did not.
Middle-earthiness: 8. “There’s something fundamentally Hobbity about cooking an egg into a hole.” — Ariane
11. Smaug’s Fire Burger
First Impressions: Do they have french fries in Middle-earth?
Flavor: Tasty, but the bun was spongey and did not hold the burger together well. Fried jalapeños on top were great.
Middle-earthiness: 2. Nice try connecting Smaug with jalapeños, but we see through your charade, Mr. Denny.
The french toast and pancakes were just too heavy for us.
13. Bellies full, we went home defeated, only having eaten half the items from the menu. “Go back?” we thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!”
16. Regaining stamina, we returned, ready to tackle the second half, much in the same way Bilbo was prepared to enter Smaug’s lair.
17. Bard’s Pumpkin Pie Milk Shake
First impressions: “It looks like the picture.” — Justin
“It looks worse than the picture.” — Ariane
Flavor: Tastes like eggnog.
Middle-earthiness: 2. Would Hobbits use eggnog spices? Yes. Would they make
milk shakes? Probably not.
18. Radagast’s Red Velvet Pancake Puppies
First Impressions: “It looks like the photo, but there’s no cream cheese.”
Flavor: “Almost like funnel cake, without having to be at a fair.” — Justin
Also, two of the six puppies had the tiniest speck of white chocolate in them.
Middle-earthiness: 2. The only way for a Hobbit to make these red would be with something like beets. And beet pancake puppies sound horrendous, like a Nazgûl’s screech.
19. Bilbo’s Breakfast Feast
First Impressions: Looks like nothing that is in the picture.
Flavor: They ran out of sausage so we substituted bacon (which is better BTW). Basic run of the mill scramble, but the french toast was significantly lighter and eggier.
Middle-earthiness: 8. It didn’t come in a skillet.
20. Dwarves’ Turkey & Dressing Dinner
First Impressions: “Looks like a sad Hobbit Thanksgiving.”
Flavor: Really generic. Chewy turkey, unseasoned broccoli. Although, layering stuffing between the turkey was a good move and the gravy was generously poured. The garlic bread was the best bite.
Middle-earthiness: 9. Hobbits may not celebrate Thanksgiving, but the odds that they roast turkeys are pretty high.
We ate most of the turkey and scramble. The pancake puppies and french toast simply didn’t make the cut.