Review: Denny’s ‘Thing Burger’ – A revoltin’ development or slobberin’ time?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8L7j47ppJM

I’m a life-long fan of Marvel’s first family, the Fantastic Four, and the blue-eyed idol of millions, the Thing, is easily the most beloved character out of the cosmically-created quartet. I’m also known to be very partial to delicious diner food and kitschy marketing, so when Denny’s comes out with a burger celebrating everyone’s favorite Uncle Benjy, clear me a spot at the counter.

The Thing Burger is part of Denny’s “Slamtasic” tie-in with the upcoming Fantastic Four movie reboot and it includes fun FF themed dishes like the Human Torch Skillet, the Fantastic Four-Cheese Omelette and the Invisible Woman Slam. If you are feeling especially villainous, there’s even a Dr. Doom Lava Cake that looks pretty tasty. (Apparently Reed Richards didn’t rate a ‘Strecho Cheese Quesadilla’ or any other elastic-like food item.)

To be honest, the menu photos of all the Slamtasic plates looked really good, but I had come to try The Thing (which I keep seeing featured in Denny’s humorous television and online advertising – see the video above), so I placed my order and would soon find out if it was a revoltin’ development or slobberin’ time. I then whispered a silent prayer that I would not be doomed to take a trip to the doctor after ingesting the 1350 – 1920 calories the menu promised.

When the plate clonked down at my table I was very impressed that the food looked a lot like the picture in its advertisement (a rare occurrence in today’s world.) Like its namesake the burger was huge, and I wondered how I was going to fit this…uhh…Thing…into my mouth.

Denny's Slamtastic Thing Burger - photo by Bob Leeper
Denny’s Slamtastic Thing Burger – photo by Bob Leeper

As advertised, my sandwich had a large hamburger beef patty, topped with hash brown potatoes, cheddar cheese, slices of bacon, an egg made-to-order (I had mine over-hard, of course) and Thing sauce, all between a fresh bun with melted cheese drizzled on top (apparently to simulate Ben Grimm’s skin.)

The plate was also loaded with large, hot wavy-cut French fries, and a few of them had touched some Thing sauce that had dripped off of the burger, so I tried them out first and despite the unappealing moniker it was extremely good. A spicy mayo concoction of some sort and I was wishing I had an extra side of it to dip my fries into.

The burger itself did not start out well. My first two or three bites were nothing but poorly seasoned hamburger and bun. Maybe I simply choose the wrong side to begin my attack, but to my mind each bite should taste the same as the others. I ended up adding some ketchup to this portion of the sandwich so it wasn’t just bland hamburger.

Denny's Slamtastic Menu
Denny’s Slamtastic Menu

After the fourth or fifth stab I started to get into the heart of the sandwich and it began to taste the way it was intended. The mix of burger, potatoes, bacon, cheese, egg, Thing sauce and the soft cheddar bun finally melded together into a superhero worthy taste and the remainder of the meal was first rate and very, very filling.

The biggest issue with this hamburger sandwich is that its base was so much bigger than the rest of its toppings (that and the burger base itself was not very well seasoned.) The egg looked like a small quail’s egg in comparison to the beef component. But once everything was joined together it was a yummy mix of ingredients. The fries were also good, but I didn’t feel like eating many of them after finishing the sandwich. (You might want to bring your hotheaded friend along to help you out with those.)

Now, would blushing Benjamin Grimm ever be interested in eating a meal created to look similar to his cursed rocky exterior? If you are familiar with the character then you know that his monstrous condition is an endless source of anguish for the good-hearted hero; so I’m guessing he would most likely be humiliated and saddened by the dish, not eager to eat it.

Although I can’t say it ‘rocked,’ Denny’s Thing Burger was an overall appetizing and fun dining experience. A visit to “America’s Diner” could definitely make for a fun date night after watching the new FF movie, just don’t forget to bring your Aunt Petunia. Grade: 7/10

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