Tasty Tuesday: The Den might not be a grand slam

by Conor Nordberg, Staff Writer

Early birds and night owls alike can rejoice with the introduction of yet another 24-hour restaurant right by campus: Denny’s, locally titled “The Den.” With competitors such as Chipotle, The Habit, Subway, Rubio’s and many others on campus, this brand new establishment will have to make a name for itself to not get swept up by its challengers.

Located near the San Diego State Transit Center, The Den offers outdoor seating along with a very flashy, modern interior that fits right at home with the restaurant’s new aesthetics and goals. Rather than being the old-fashioned diner that has persisted for the past few decades, The Den focuses more on two main things: burgers and takeout. Burgers, while already present in previous Denny’s menus, are far more prominent and numerous in The Den’s menu. While there certainly is seating, there’s also no doubt that one of the restaurant’s main goals is to allow customers to quickly order and leave with their food at any time of day, similar to Trujillo’s.

Behind all the new marketing and branding of The Den lies largely the same food offered at other Denny’s all across the nation. For breakfast, you can choose the Grand Slam or various breakfast burritos. For lunch and dinner, there are various burgers, sandwiches, and salads. There’s also the exciting prospect of breakfast offered all day, so if you want pancakes at 3 a.m., The Den is the place to be.

Students on campus will be glad to hear that The Den accepts SDSU meal plans (excluding the hours between 11:45 p.m. – 6 a.m.). On that note, prices are decent, with a meal running from roughly $5-8. Ordering is very easy thanks to kind service and a simple menu.

I was able to try out both the Grand Slam (two eggs, two sausages, two strips of bacon, and two pancakes), along with The Den Burger (a basic hamburger). The breakfast combo was incredibly greasy, as in having to stop to wipe away all the grease from the plate at times. Aside from that, the pancakes were well-made and the eggs were tasty. The burger was so-so on the other hand, having the unfortunate tendency to fall apart in the hand and just not tasting all that different from any other generic burger.

All the nice designs and menu options unfortunately don’t make up for food that wasn’t all that great. Understandably, the restaurant may just be trying to get into its comfort zone, having just opened; but if you want a burrito, go to Rubio’s, if you want a burger, go to The Habit, or a sandwich, go to Olive Oil Cafe. Unfortunately, the main advantage of The Den seems to be the fact that it will soon be open 24-hours. It’s possible that in a month or so, the food will be far better.