Basket Review No. 57: Denny’s

Hello and welcome from gloomy and rainy downtown Fargo. I will obviously discuss chicken strips, the food of the people, but the most interesting part of the review comes during story time at the end of the blog.

This was my first time attending Denny’s, and there were actually some pretty solid looking menu items, so I might be back. The restaurant was hyping up new and improved “premium” chicken tenders. Just those terms alone set the bar pretty high.

I wouldn’t say these chicken strips were “premium,” but they were solid and still better than I expected. They were well-seasoned, sufficiently crunchy and the quality of the chicken was nothing to gripe about.

The fries were fine. I have no idea who’s idea it was to cut fries in this shape. They’re not crinkle fries, they aren’t regular fries, they aren’t waffle fries, they aren’t steak fries … What’s the goal here? Whatever. I don’t care. All that matters is they tasted fine. The texture and seasoning were acceptable.

I got both ranch and Denny’s new signature Den sauce. Both were pretty good. The ranch was pretty typical and the Den sauce was a bit smoky and a bit sweet. It was similar to a poor man’s Cane’s sauce.


It doesn’t factor into the score, but I was allowed two sides and I chose creamed corn for my second side. That was the first creamed corn I’ve ever eaten in my life. I’d say it was pretty decent. This particular bowl of creamed corn had jalapeños in it, which was a pleasant kick that complemented the sweetness of the corn well. I know, I know, my palate is refined beyond belief.

Oh, and there was some Texas toast that was toasted very unevenly.

Overall, I give Denny’s chicken strip basket a 7.2. It was solid. The chicken strips were good, and the fries and dips weren’t bad.

And now comes the interesting part: story time.

I ate this chicken strip basket at like 5:30 a.m. as my final destination of the night/morning/whatever you want to call it.

It was my buddy Michael’s 21st birthday a day prior to this, so we celebrated that night. We went to a couple bars in downtown Fargo, and at the second bar, the Pickled Parrot, I ran into another friend and talked to him for a few minutes.

When I returned to the squad, they said all three of them were wanting to head to the Dakota Magic Casino, which is about an hour south of Fargo by Hankinson, just north of the North Dakota/South Dakota border.

I’m definitely the type to succumb to peer pressure and give the green light to a last-minute adventure, so away we went. Oh, by the way, this was at like 1:15 in the morning.

So we hopped into sober Craig’s Subaru and headed south (say that sentence 10 times fast). By the time we got there, the casino bar was closed, which was probably a good thing, given the circumstances.

I didn’t really gamble, I’m awful at gambling. I was just along for the ride. Casinos are depressing, man. It’s filled with sad-looking people throwing money away and ripping cigarettes. But I’d still go on a Vegas trip just for the experience.

We stayed for maybe an hour and a half and then ventured back to Fargo through the rain. We were all pretty hungry, so we decided to go to Denny’s around 5 a.m. when we arrived.

My buddy Tim ordered the T-bone steak and eggs, and it was the saddest looking steak I’ve ever seen. The outside was just gray and was not even close to medium rare in the middle. That doesn’t really have any impact on the story, and wasn’t really necessary, I just wanted to throw some shade.

So we ate some Denny’s, everyone was dropped off and I crawled into bed at like 6:45 a.m.

Overall, it was not in any way how I envisioned my night going, but it was a good time and I would do it again. Shoutout to Craig, Tim and Michael. Thanks for a good time. Welcome to being 21, Mike. 7.2.

Author: thrillswithjmills

Food lover located in Fargo, N.D. Chicken strip aficionado; blogger; aspiring TikTok superstar.

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