Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rascal Flatts, Good Charlotte and Sum 41 Sell Souls to Denny's

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 9:59 AM

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One of my more frightening childhood memories is of a Christmas day on which my family was driving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Midway through the five hour desert trek we all started getting pretty hungry--my dad especially--but it being Christmas and all, every establishment we pulled off the road to patronize was closed. Finally we saw a roadside billboard for Denny's proclaiming the establishment "open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year." For the ensuing 20 minutes we were like the Griswolds making their final descent upon Wally World, only to find this particular Denny's closed for Christmas. My dad--normally the stoic type in a situation like this--became enraged to a point I'd never seen in my 9 years on the planet and for the rest of road trip was ranting about how he was going to send Denny's a VERY angry letter and was even considering suing them for false advertising. Of course, neither the angry letter nor the lawsuit ever came to fruition.

It would have been fitting as during the '90s, the Denny's folks were no strangers to lawsuits. As you may recall, the restaurant chain was embroiled in a few high-profile discrimination suits, with one of the class action variety resulting in a whopping $54.5 million settlement. I'm now thinking about filing suit against Denny's in response to this:

Denny's and multi-platinum country music group, Rascal Flatts, introduce the next big late-night dining option with the Unstoppable Breakfast. Named after its latest hit album, Rascal Flatts' Unstoppable Breakfast headlines the newest Denny's Rockstar menu, along with items from the cutting-edge rock bands Good Charlotte, Gym Class Heroes and Sum 41.... "Denny's has a heritage for serving late-night meals to bands and music fans dating back to the 1950s, and the Rockstar menu is a great way to celebrate that history," said Mark Chmiel, chief marketing and innovation officer for Denny's. "Bands from the two previous Rockstar menus really enjoyed working with our chef to create premium items that not only reflected their personalities but tasted great. Rascal Flatts, Good Charlotte, Gym Class Heroes and Sum 41 are continuing the trend of providing Denny's customers with exciting late-night dining options through the third Rockstar menu."

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From reading that you've probably deduced that this is not first installment of the Denny's Rockstar menu, previous menu items have included Hoobastank's Hooburrito, Plain White Ts' Plain White Shake and my personal favorite: Taking Back Sunday's Taking Back Bacon Burger Fries--proving the Long Island emo rockers are bigger fans of alliteration than they are of puns, as they didn't opt for the Taking Back Sundae.

Rascal Flatts singer Gary LeVox is apparently beside himself with excitement after helping create the meal that most conveys the intense Rascal Flatts experience, claiming that "Like Denny's, we work very hard to provide our fans with a high-quality product at a fair price, so naming our breakfast after our current album, 'Unstoppable' made perfect sense. We put our hearts and souls into recording the album and the same can be said for the 'Unstoppable Breakfast;' this is just the kind of meal we're looking for after a show, and we think our fans at Denny's will enjoy it." Gary, I hate to break it to you, but you're not gonna have souls after this. The same can be said for Good Charlotte, Gym Class Heroes and Sum 41. While none of these bands had any credibility to begin with, it's funny to watch them commit to corporate sponsorship so completely. The new menu items will include:

· Good Charlotte's Band of Burritos - Twins Joel and Benji Madden, founders of Good Charlotte, created a pair of burritos distinguished only by the primary ingredients. Both the Boca® Burrito and Smoked Chicken Burrito feature shredded cheese, sliced mushrooms, fire-roasted peppers and onions, and spicy mayo. The dishes are served with tortilla chips and ranch dressing.

· Gym Class Heroes' After School Special - A cross between rock, rap and hip-hop, the band's ability to cohesively combine a variety of genres is evident in the After School Special, which is Texas toast topped with hash browns, a fried egg, shredded cheese, bacon, and fire-roasted peppers and onions. The dish is served with hash browns and a side of Ranchero country gravy.

· Sum 41's The Sumwich - Sum 41's Canadian roots can be found in The Sumwich; two slices of French toast sprinkled with powdered sugar and filled with ham, cheddar cheese and eggs (customer's choice). The multi-flavor meal is enhanced by hash browns and a side of syrup for dipping.

I've come up with some of my own ideas for the next Rockstar menu. I'd love to have a taste of the Nine Inch Noodles Chicken Noodle Soup, or maybe if I'm feeling like dinner I'll try the Sir Pasta McCartney. Are you a metal head? How 'bout trying the Lamb Kabob of God with a basket of Metallica's ...And Breadsticks for All to start. If you're more of an indie rocker you could go for the ...And You Know us By Trail of Silver Dollar Pancakes or perhaps the Built to Sausage if you're craving some protein. Do you like hot dogs? You'll love the Dr. Dog Dog. It's served Philly-style with Cheez Whiz. Want something with some local flavor? How 'bout the Feeble Wienerschnitzel? And last but least, for all you out there who like gamey foods, you haven't lived until you've tried the My Bloody Venison Steak. If we're lucky then maybe they'll bring back the Hooburrito, only renamed the Whoburrito, as followed by the Keith Moon Pie. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.

The fun doesn't end there though as it the Denny's press release also goes on to announce that their allnighter program also features the "Adopt-A-Band" initiative which:

not only provides up-and-coming bands with free meals, but allows fans to hang out and spend personal time with bands following concerts at predetermined Denny's locations. In fact, these late-night Adopt-A-Band parties often become extensions of a concert through impromptu acoustic jam sessions. To date, more than 30 bands including Katy Perry, Saving Abel, and Forever the Sickest Kids have benefitted through Denny's Adopt-A-Band program.

Gee, I wonder if those kids became forever sick after eating at Denny's. Say what you will about the restaurant chain, at least they're not refusing service to black people anymore. For more info on the allnighter program and the Rockstar menu check out www.dennysallnighter.com.

For some Bill Hicks commentary check out the video below.

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