What’s a Frankenstein Food you ask? Well it’s a term I made up after I started noticing more and more of these crazy combo foods that restaurants come up to blow our minds one by one. The KFC Bowl, the Not-So Omellete at Yours Truly, The Burger King King Omellete sandwich, The Fat Sandwiches at the Rutger’s grease trucks, these are all examples of Frankestein foods, taking foods that usually are considered separate, and combining them to form an amazing whole. I guess you can call these “Island of Dr. Moreau Foods”, or maybe just “Dr. Moreau” foods, but Frankenstein Foods just rolls off the tongue a little easier. But whatever, I’m not trying to create my own lexicon, I just wanted a term to file these foods under.
So last weekend I was back in Cleveland for a wedding, and like everytime I am on “vacation” or “travelling”, I took the opportunity to eat some good old fast food. My first day back I gave Cleveland snacking buddy Pants a call to see if he had any suggestions as to new places that may have popped up since I’ve gone that I can get some sweet lunch at.
He had no suggestions.
So I hit the road, trying to figure out a place to go when I saw it off in the distance shimmering like an oasis in the desert…Rally’s. And after such past gems as the Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburger, and their limited time Cheezy Special Burgers, what new amazing sandwich did Rally’s have to offer? The Philly Cheesesteak Burger.
I first learned of this sandwich via some research my friend Jim Ogrin did for an upcoming fastfood podcast we will be apart of (stay tuned!) after he visited the Rally’s/Checkers website, yet I had somehow forgot about it until that moment. And not only were these burgers readily available, they were somehow selling these 2 for $4. Being a little precautious, I ordered one with an order of small fries (man have I gone wussy or what?). I got home and opened up the wrapper to find a cheeseburger topped with philly cheesesteak meat, red onions, and what I guess is cheese sauce, sandwiched between two sourdough buns. And it was sweet. And an added plus, seeing how I am a fairly picky carnivore, there were no condiments I had to pick out and that always gets extra points in my book. Honestly after I ate it, I immediately saw why they were selling these 2 for $4. They are that awesome.
On the drive back to New York that following Tuesday, my friend Todd was in the middle of his driving shift when he turned to the rest of us and said, “Uh, if I see a Denny’s I’m stopping…cool?”
And we were all like “Uh, ok…”, and it was then that he regaled us with the tale of the Denny’s Slam Burger.
A cheeseburger topped with hashbrowns, an egg, and hollandaise. Seriously. So immediately after that I became a staunch supporter of the Denny’s stop movement, and then, about an hour later, we saw a sign for Denny’s (Lenny’s).
We went inside and opened up the menus only to see no word about the Slam Burger. WTF. So the waiter showed up and Todd asks him where the Slam Burger was, and the waiter kindly informed us that it was on the late night (stoner) menu, but he did slyly through in that they “make exceptions” and let’s just say that we became those exceptions. So, after an extended wait where we figured they were freaking out and calling in the special late night cook and maybe spitting in our food, we finally got our Slam Burgers and visually, it looked amazing. A juicey burger with a crisp layer of hashbrowns, a fried egg, and some hollandaise dripping out here and there. But upon eating it, I was reminded of something: Denny’s ain’t known for their burgers. The burger meat reminded me of “cubed beef” or the kind of beef that’s often used for cheap country fried steak in that it’s not quite hamburger meat, and it dries out like a mofo. On top of that, everything else was kind of a tasteless melange of grease. And don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of grease melanges, but this one just didn’t work for me. The yolk wasn’t runny, the hashbrowns tasted like they were frozen Ore Ida brand, and the hollandaise just didn’t have enough flavor.
So bottom line:
Rally’s Philly Cheesesteak Burger: 4 (out of 5)
Denny’s Slam Burger: 2