Most people find it impossible to think of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” without simultaneously thinking, “Man, I could really go for a turkey melt at Denny’s.”
Actually, that sentence is only true if you change the words “most people” to the “marketing staff at Denny’s.” Which is why, starting Nov. 6, there will be an entire “Hobbit” menu available at Denny’s, as a tie-in with the upcoming Peter Jackson movie. The restaurant chain that provides a safe haven for the drunk, the hungover and those seeking meals that involve the words “grand” and “slam” announced the tie-in Wednesday in a news release that made me laugh and, also, made me kind of hungry.
If you think more fully about this partnership, it makes a certain sense. We now know the first film in Jackson’s second Tolkien trilogy, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” has a running time of two hours and forty minutes. So no matter what time of day you see it — late at night, mid-morning, late evening — you’ll probably be starving for a plateful of meat and/or pancakes when you leave. And Denny’s will be there for you, with tons of menu items that are very similar to their existing menu items, but now have “Lord of the Rings”-y words in their names.
For example, you could have the Hobbit Hole Breakfast, which consists of two fried eggs on a cheddar bun with bacon and hash browns. (Hobbits all have super-high cholesterol.)
Or you could build your own Hobbit Slam, which could be tasty but also makes me feel very concerned that Bilbo Baggins has suffered some sort of physical abuse.
There’s the Gandalf Gobble, which is basically just a turkey sandwich, and the Ring Burger, a dish that cannot be consumed without someone at the table shouting, “One onion ring to rule them all!”
The Lonely Mountain Treasure has, I think, been accurately described by The A.V. Club as “a bowl of French toast crumbles served with a side of icing atop a pile of stones, just as Tolkien once imagined.”
It’s also worth noting that the food blog GrubGrade, as published on the Huffington Post, took its own unexpected journey all the way to Denny’s headquarters in South Carolina to sample the entire menu. GrubGrade’s digestive system exploded somewhere just south of Charlotte, and the blogger has not been seen since. Just kidding! GrubGrade actually found the Frodo’s Pot Roast skillet to be “right up my alley.”
In short, all your culinary plans from November through mid-January — when this limited-time menu reaches its limit, at least until the second ”Hobbit” movie comes out — are now made.
Also: Vie de France, you totally blew it by not creating a “Les Miserables” menu. I would totally buy an “I Dreamed a Dream” bagel sandwich topped with brie marinated in Fantine’s tears.