Monday, January 21, 2008

Denny's opens

The new Grand Forks Denny's location opened on Sunday. I'm interested to hear from people who have visited the new restaurant. How is the food and the service? Will you be a frequent customer?

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think I'll visit for a couple weeks. I never try to go to a new restaurant that is opening right away. They are still working out the kinks so service is never smooth.

It hopefully will be better than Village Inn. The last time I was there we had the worst service and my eggs were brown and they were out of English muffins on a Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I will wait too. But will certainly go. I trust they are open 24/7? I have always had pretty good food at Denny's I have stopped at in my travels. You know what to expect anyway. I suppose they are sort of like the McDonalds of family style restaurants. Love their breakfasts.

OUWxGuesser said...

It hopefully will be better than Village Inn. The last time I was there we had the worst service and my eggs were brown and they were out of English muffins on a Sunday.

Amen... my first experience at Village Inn was also my last.

Anonymous said...

So, you all blogged to say that you had nothing to say?

MattFacingSouth said...

I just came in to say I ate at a Denny's last week, but it wasn't in Grand Forks. So, really, I don't have anything to say, either.

Anonymous said...

Who hasn't eaten at a Denny's in their lifetime? It's nothing too groundbreaking.

Anonymous said...

I have not and will not eat at a Denny's. Then again, I also refuse to eat at places like Applebee's, Ground Round, McDonald's, Burger King, etc.

If I go out to eat, it is almost exclusively at "local" chains (Joe DiMaggio's) or exclusive restaurants to the locale (Del's Diner, Whitey's).

Anonymous said...

When's the last time you ate at DiMaggio's?

Liz said...

I heard they only operate 24 hours on Friday and Saturday--anyone know if that's true?

vcsuvike said...

The Herald reported they are open 24 hours a day, except for Christmas.

Anonymous said...

WOW ! Some real deep intellectual coimments on dining in GF at Denny's How about the hot dogs at Valley Dairy. Good Grief. greenglass4.

GrandForksGuy said...

Wow, when greenglass insults your intelligence, that HAS to hurt. Brother!

Anonymous said...

A Denny's in a college town is always a good thing. Lots of drunken students going after the bars close, and going back when they wake up with their hangover.

Anonymous said...

Is the Big Sioux on Highway 2 still around? That was the best place for a hangover. Eggs, homefries,toast, and a big bowl of chili.
I'd always walk out of there feeling refreshed.

Anonymous said...

My favorite hangover snack was a PB Maxx candy bar and an Orange Slice soda from Valley Dairy.
What is everyone's favorite hangover restaurant/meal?

Anonymous said...

During my early college years - it was the Big Sioux (that was when it was on highway 2) - i think it is one 32nd now.

Anonymous said...

There is the Roadhouse restaurant on Hwy 2 (formerly Big Sioux and 2-29) and there currently is the I-19Big Sioux at 32nd and I-29 - they apparently are now different owners, but they still have the same menu and mostly the same food flavor and everything else. Just please, don't look at the cooks in either restaurant, or you will lose your appetite!

Anonymous said...

Just another shitty place with shitty food for people who like to gorge themselves and end becoming obese and disgusting.

Anonymous said...

The hangover cure that my friend swears by is 2 plain cheeseburgers from McDonald's and a medium Coke. I have to admit I have tried it a few times and it worked like a charm :)

Anonymous said...

My Family and I went to wendy's the other day and had breakfast. I must say it was not to bad considering they had only been open a couple of days. I was rather surprised that they were not that busy, I think it is because not many people know that they are open. The Big Sioux has the best breakfast in town!!!!!

jo said...

Scottish hangover cure: 800mg ibuprofen and a can of Irn Bru before bed. Unfortunately I have no idea the closest place to GFK to buy Irn Bru (soda). I have a hard time finding it when I have to cross the border into Englandshire...

fargodev said...

Seems like Grand Forks and Fargo are both pretty saturated with new restaurants.

I ate at the Texas Roadhouse for the first time last night (in Fargo). It was okay, but the atmosphere was exactly like ____ (any other chain restaurant). Lots of wall decorations that don't make any sense. The food was pretty average.

But Denny's? Really? If you've eaten at one of them, you've eaten at all of them. Nothing special at all.

Nick said...

Amen, fargodev. It'd be hard to dispute your claim, there.

I heart Denny's said...

Oh, hey...I actually ate lunch there today. Maybe I can be the first to offer an informed opinion.

The place was absolutely packed when we got there at 11:30, and it stayed that way until we left. Denny's is definitely busy. The service was a bit slow, but one could understand why, given the number of customers. Our waitress forgot a couple of small requests (more sugar, more water...) but was good in general. She checked on us about four times, which was probably twice too many, if you can criticize attentiveness (I can).

The food was quite plain, but, meh, it's Denny's. What the hell do you expect. Pancakes were better than good, everything else was lukewarm (I got the Heartland Slam), which made it less appetizing. Coffee was surprisingly good, with plenty of flavor. Others at the table got chicken sandwiches, which were also described as plain tasting.

Without a doubt, Denny's is a dish best served drunk. Get yourself a driver, then get yourself and three or four friends plowed, and go to Denny's for breakfast at midnight.

Save the whales. Peace.

naturalplastics said...

Are they going to put the sign on the building straight, or have half of it hanging off the side forever? It looks stupid!

I probably won't go. I'm just not a fan of denny's.

I'm sorry to hear the negativity about Village inn. I love that place.

Anonymous said...

best hangover cure? has to be taco bell or taco johns....even if you go before you are out for the evening and nuke it later, it still cures the possible hangover when easten before pass out.

dale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

These properties, like Denny's and The Olive Garden, factor into some sort of bizarro psychological issue with the stagnant, isolated state of the town of Grand Forks. It's not a case where people are legitimately excited about these businesses, it's a case where people can now say, "We GOT a Denny's, we GOT a Green Mill"..like a, mmm, Fargo, and...other "real" places. Eat it up folks, I'll be at Sanders, The Frog, and Whitey's.

Anonymous said...

food snobs are boring.

Anonymous said...

My friend said he ate there late night a couple days ago and he'll never go back. He asked for peanut butter for his toast and the waiter told him they didn't have peanut butter. He then asked for tobasco for his eggs and for some odd reason the waitor brought him back 2 bottles of different hot sauce and said "i'm not sure which one of these is tobasco." Another person at the table asked for a side of hollandaise when his eggs benedict didn't have it on them and the same waiter told him that they were out. He didn't mention it when they ordered....

Anonymous said...

I hate Whitey's food. Ick. Bring on the Soilent Green.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could afford to eat at Sander's or the Toasted Frog. Until then, I'll be at Denny's.

Anonymous said...

"food snobs are boring."

No, boring food and concepts are boring.

Liz said...

I don't think you're missing much if you can't afford the Frog. I've eaten there 3 times in hopes that I was there on an "off" night the previous times I'd been there, but each time the food has been worse than the last. The atmosphere is great, but the food is terrible. I'd really like to go to locally-owned restaurants, but I obviously won't if their food is terrible.

And speaking of bad service--what's with Bonzers? Many moons ago, when I was still in college, Bonzers was an awesome place to go for lunch or dinner or drinks later in the evening, and we always got awesome service. The last year or so, the service has been really awful--servers standing behind the bar chatting without any interest in the customers, rolling their eyes when you ask them for a drink. One guy even told us in a snotty tone, "this isn't a full-service bar" when we asked for someone to come over and take our sandwich order. How ironic, given their menu brags about their awesome service.

Anonymous said...

Bonzers and The Frog are probably victims of the very bad way in which Grand Forks' smoking legislation was written. The bad law pushed them towards a bar and their dining operation is probably suffering as a result.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the bad service at Bonzer's. I LOVE the chili, but they have WAY too many college drop outs working there who are more intent on chatting than serving.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure I'll stumble into Denny's in the wee hours one of these years, but long before that (I hope), I'd like to be munching and imbibing at one of these: Firkin Pubs , reported in today's Herald to be coming to Fargo and Grand Forks as early as this summer. Anyone know where it might go?

Anonymous said...

Oh, it's best when you either right click on the link above, (to Firkin Pubs) to open it up in a new window or just go directly to www.firkinpubs.com from your regular browser window. Otherwise the whole web page gets crammed into the tiny blog window. I also preferred browsing the site on "mute," though listening to the old bloke was amusing for the first few seconds.

Anonymous said...

Bonzers is a great bar, but you must remember, it's a "bar". If you want a drink you have order it and put your money down. Yeah, it's changed over the years, but thats from puritanical smoking laws. I hate smoke, but it should be every person's right to do so. --CollegeDropOutStillInCollege

Liz said...

Yeah, "it's a bar!" We heard that from one of their slacker employees once. That's why it's called "Bonzer's Sandwich Pub" instead of "Bonzer's Bar," right?

OK, fine. Let's say it's a bar. They have 4 people on staff at 12:30 in the afternoon because people are going to drink like crazy? They advertise their fantastic service on the front of their FOOD MENU but they're just a bar? Right. I don't buy that for a second.

Bonzer's is open for the lunch crowd and into the afternoon. I don't think the 6 tables of middle-aged business folks sitting near me thought "oh, it's a bar--that's OK, I'll just pick up my own sandwich from the kitchen." I get good service at my table when I go to The Hub, Parrot's Cay, Joe Black's, Muddy Rivers, The Roc, Overtime, and all the other bars that serve food in town. It's ridiculous to have different expectations for Bonzer's, particularly when they don't advertise "come to the bar and get your own drink"--they advertise world-class service.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you, Liz, on the bad service from Bonzers within the past year. I usually only go there for lunch with a friend of mine, and during our visits, the server seemed as if he was incredibly angry to take & serve our order. He made me hate myself for even sitting down to order.

But, there seemed to be attitude improvements with our last visit - we were served by a very pleasant and eager to serve young woman. I hope that the service rises to the same level as their food - which is very delicious, but can it withstand bad service?

local boy said...

Anyone hear that GF is getting a TGI Friday's?

wannagrapple said...

Yuck. Please no TGIF.

I think it's extremely telling that the general buzz here in the comment section surrounding the Denny's opening regards Hangover Cures. Just what I look for in a culinary experience. :-/

btw... you don't have to be a food snob to despise prepackaged, overprocessed swill served up in a corporate designed setting. You just have to like food.

Anonymous said...

Denny's is basically only good for a late night fix, but only if you have time to sit and be waited on. One of the things I miss most about the East Coast is the 24hr gas station/convenience stores like Sheetz and Wawa. For anyone not familiar with what I'm referring to, Sheetz is kinda like a subway combined with a regular gas station, except in addition to subs you can also order nachos, hot dogs, breakfast sandwiches and all kinds of other late night goodies made to order. You get the food you want, and you don't have to sit in a restaurant and wait for it.

Anonymous said...

Last time I ate at Sanders I had a steak that was 40% fat-they said that is the way is is supposed to be. Last two times I ate at Whitey's, I had moldy tomatoes in my salad. I have not had a meal at the Frog but acquaintances tell me they weren't impressed. I'll take prepackaged, overprocessed swill anyday.

wannagrapple said...

"I'll take prepackaged, overprocessed swill anyday."

Why do you consider the only alternative to corporate swill to be fairly expensive places such as Sanders and the Frog?

I haven't been here that long but, for example, I really enjoy the breakfasts at 3rd Street Cafe. It's fantastic! Fresh eggs, real homestyle potatoes and tasty meats (~6-7$ for a full breakfast). I have also had consistently good experiences at Dakota Harvest (~ 5$ for a sandwich, ~3$ for soup).

I am not sure what else is out there, but y'all can bet your bippies that I will exhaust every single option before resorting to funding a national chain that is responsible for destroying regional identity.

Anonymous said...

I was responding to combined posts that belittle chain food and rave about the three that I listed. I like some of the local restaurants that are locally grown-Blue Moose and Al's for a few. I also like eating at Applebees and Ground Round. I wonder how many of the so called anti chain people could pick the local vs chain if they were given the same menu item on the same plate.

Anonymous said...

I ate at Denny's last Monday night and the service was awful. Brought the appetizer to the wrong table, got the orders wrong, etc. On top of it all, I got sick after eating there and initially thought it was food poisoning, but I'm still sick today. Not a very good experience. The mozzarella sticks were okay. Probably will be better later on, hopefully, when they get the hang of things.

wannagrapple said...

"Probably will be better later on, hopefully, when they get the hang of things."

Yep, I magine so... For some reason, probably related to an obscure physics law governing chaos, restaurant openings are always chaotic regardless of scope or degree of planning. Hence the pervasive popularity of the "soft opening" when image really counts to the enterprise backers. What the corporate structure provides though, is a proven path to get out of the chaotic phase as soon as possible.

I am sure things will snap to, later when the routine sets in. One of the few draws that mega-chains like Denny's provides is consistent food preparation and efficient service. It is a good attribute, and not to be snubbed, but I just feel as if their ilk have made it a top priority at the expense of freshness and regional specialization.

"I wonder how many of the so called anti chain people could pick the local vs chain if they were given the same menu item on the same plate."

yeh. very good point when it comes to Ye Olde Standards. A chicken finger is a chicken stick is a ckicken strip, huh? But, if the local places have to compete against the chicken finger slinging mega monsters then we can expect no different. Only by financially supporting and overtly verbalizing specific feedback to your favorite place will local places grow to meet our expectations. Pass on the Chicken Strip and opt for the house specialty. If it didn't meet your expectations on taste or price, tell them kindly why. Most small businesses are open to input if its done with a good intent.

This type of iterative interaction between a customer and a business is not possible in the corporate structure. And its not neccesarily a self limiting proposal for a restaurant to target the local crowd... If a locally owned business can garner praise and respect in the community, then just imagine the response and demand that will arise when the incoming Shoppers and Weekenders hear the buzz, eh? The CanadInn will be the *last* stop on the list, while Porpoura free trade coffee drinks paired with sandwiches made of L&M meats atop Dakota Harvest breads will satisfy folks galore!!

livndream said...

Who cares about anyone who wants to wait or not wait to go to Dennys. It's more important to go early then wait, that way you know if the quality of service is getting better or if its deminishing. I bet its a big change to Jeanies on Washington for a 24 hr restaurant.

Dan said...

Let us look at McCain’s conservative credentials:
-IMMIGRATION: he wrote the bill granting amnesty to illegal immigrants (co-sponsored by Ted Kennedy)
-SOCIAL SECURITY: he voted to give your social security money to illegal immigrants
-TAXES: he voted against the Bush tax cuts multiple times (he has since flip-flopped and has campaigned as a lifelong tax-cutter)
-RHETORIC: he routinely engages in Democratic class warfare against big companies in America, particularly the “evil” drug companies who research cures to debilitating diseases for a profit
-ECONOMY: as recently as December 2007 he admitted “he does not know the economy very well” and needed to get better at it
-1ST AMENDMENT: he wrote the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that was declared to be an unconstitutional infringement of the 1st Amendment (co-sponsored by ultra-liberal Democrat Russ Feingold)
-2ND AMENDMENT: he was called the “worst 2nd amendment candidate” by the president of the NRA
-ENERGY TAX: wrote a bill (co-sponsored by his buddy Lieberman) imposing a massive tax on energy which, according to the Department of Energy, would drastically raise the price of gasoline and put 300,000 Americans out of work
-GLOBAL WARMING: supports radical global warming legislation which involved him voting with every Democrat; think only America is responsible to take action, not other superpowers
-JUDGES: he joined forces with Democrats (Gang of 14) to block the Senate Republican’s attempt to confirm conservative, strict constructionist judges; also said Alito was topo conservative for his liking
-WAR ON TERROR: fought with Hillary Clinton to demand that terrorists be given a full American trial
-GAY MARRIAGE: he joined liberals to fight against a federal marriage amendment supporting the institution of traditional marriage
-CHRISTIANS: campaigning in 2000, he famously described Christian leaders as “agents of intolerance”
-PRO-LIFE: he filed an amicus brief against pro-life advocates in Wisconsin
-BI-PARTISANSHIP: he met with leading Democrats in 2004 to discuss the possibility of being John Kerry’s Vice-President; publicly considered leaving the Republican Party in 2001 after he lost the primary
-PROFESSIONAL ETHICS: ringleader of the infamous Keating 5 ethical scandal which cost US tax payers $160 billion (Google it)
-PERSONAL ETHICS: McCain cheated on his first wife after she had a severe accident that left her partially disabled. He then divorced her and married his multi-millionaire mistress, whose daddy bought McCain a spot in the Congress

Anonymous said...

What does this have to do with Denny's?

Anonymous said...

dan, thanks soooo much for that post! I agree with most of those ideas, but had no idea that McCain thought that way too. I can't wait to throw my support his way!

Anonymous said...

Dan...you're talking politics on the pancake thread. But I agree with 9:39. I'm a strong Hillary supporter but think McCain isn't so bad with the exception of his Iraq policy. I'm sure McCain supporters thank you for the free ad.

Let me guess...you're a Hucklebee supporter.

wannagrapple said...

"dan, thanks soooo much for that post! I agree with most of those ideas, but had no idea that McCain thought that way too. I can't wait to throw my support his way!"

Woah. Collectively we can only hope that you were being bitingly sarcastic with that comment. But woe be unto us if it was indeed legitimately heartfelt. When folks start deciding their vote for America's Next Top Leader based on a spammy blog post, then we all oughta be quaking in our boots.

wannagrapple said...

PS... perhaps "Dan" = Anon@9:39pm?

Anonymous said...

My favorite thing about Ron Paul is his tactic of loading up bills with pork for his constituents, then, he votes against the bill. His people get their money, and he can then turn and say he didn't support the bill. Genius!

Anonymous said...

I have eaten at Denny's twice now, and it doesn't seem any beter than Villiage Inn. It is sad, because I was really excited that it was coming. And the Service was really bad.

Anonymous said...

Well I eaten at a lot of denny and they all had the same issue dint have enuff staff and dint know what country scram was!! so it shows how much they been treined and I know they usally dend there best to store opening!! so I don't think ima go back!!