All day all American breakfast
A diner is the quintessential American eatery—serving pancakes, bacon, eggs, sausages, and overflowing cups of coffee, all day and all night. We’ve seen these restaurants so many times in Hollywood movies, like Jack Rabbit Slim’s all-American diner in Pulp Fiction, the roadside diner in Pineapple Express, or the busy dining floor of Katz’s Delicatessen in When Harry Met Sally. There’s even the apocalyptic restaurant ruins of The Walking Dead and the crime scene setting of Stranger Things. The more we see it, the more we want what these movie stars (especially Sally, as played by Meg Ryan) were having.
And when you talk about American diners, Denny’s first comes to mind. One of the biggest, most popular restaurant chains in the US, this diner serves up classic diner fare. With over 1,700 restaurants across the globe—from Mexico to New Zealand—it is the one of the most successful eateries in the world.
All day all American breakfast.
When Harry met Sally (Manila Bulletin)
Luckily for us Filipinos, we don’t have to fly to the US to taste authentic diner food because the brand has finally opened its first restaurant in Manila, the first branch in Southeast Asia. We can now get a taste of the classic American comfort food in a more modern diner setting. What’s more exciting is that the restaurant is open 24 hours—good news for night owls and graveyard shift workers.
“We’re proud to have the opportunity to bring Denny’s to the Philippines and provide local families with diner favorites that resonate with guests around the world. Manila will finally have a taste of a real American diner that serves a menu of breakfast favorites and American comfort food, all day, every day,” says Jean Paul Manuud, The Bistro Group president and COO. The local company adds Denny’s to its list of American restaurants it operates like TGI Friday’s, Texas Roadhouse, among others.
The popular American food chain is an icon in the US, a usual sight along US highways and gasoline stations. Because it operates 24 hours a day, it usually operates a free standing restaurant, but it’s a different setup in the Philippines.
“Here in the Philippines, it’s a different story. In the US, Denny’s are usually located along the highway, exit toll gate, gasoline station. In the Philippines it’s a different concept, our locations are still in commercial buildings like malls, probably not inside, but outside the mall,” says Bistro Group’s director for operations Jam Olaes.
Its first location is at Uptown Parade, an open commercial place in BGC. The second location is at Vista Mall in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, which will open by the end of the month. The interiors of the restaurant is a modern take on the classic diner look, using dominating colors of yellow and red. It also has the familiar neon light signs and images of food and US scenery displayed all over the restaurant.
The look and location is not as important when talking about the food. Denny’s Philippines brings in 90 percent of the original US menu. It is proud of its all time favorite “Slams” menu that includes dishes like the Original Grand Slam, a meal that consists of two big buttermilk pancakes, two strips of bacon, two sausages, and two eggs. Also in the “Slams” menu is the All-American Slam—scrambled eggs with cheese, two bacon strips, two sausages, hash browns, and toast.
But probably one of its best food items on the menu is the fluffy pancakes. The restaurant serves a variety of flavored pancakes, including cream cheese and cinnamon, choco overload peanut butter, banana pecan, and blueberry pancake.
Besides its breakfast menu, must-try items are the chicken cranberry apple salad, chicken and sausage quesadilla, spicy Sriracha burger, and chicken Philly melt. Truly all-American, Denny’s likewise offers steaks and ribs. Other must-try items are the thick and creamy milkshakes and sweet desserts like the banoffee pie and caramel apple crisp.
What makes Denny’s Philippines different from other Denny’s places in the world is its surprisingly Filipino-friendly menu. The local franchise also offers classic Filipino breakfast items like arroz caldo, chicken pork adobo, bistek Tagalog, crispy bangus belly, Lucban longganisa, beef tapa, and pork tocino—all served with garlic rice (except the arroz caldo).
“Basically we try to keep the original menu of Denny’s. About 90 percent of the menu we do have, we added local favorites. When we developed all these dishes, we did a survey of what breakfast food Filipinos like the most and these items came up,” explains Jam Olaes.
The Bistro Group is very confident about the brand and hopes to open more branches in the future.
“Filipinos are familiar with the brand, especially those who are well-traveled,” Jam says. “It’s a full-service restaurant that serves people from all walks of life, as in the US, from construction workers to yuppies. That’s a good brand for us.”