For those that don’t know about the Fried Cheese sandwich, it’s the Russian Babushka Doll of Wisconsin – meaning, it’s cheese inside cheese, wrapped in cheese, and then more cheese. It’s a cheese sandwich on sourdough bread with deep fried mozzarella cheese sticks on it covered with cheese, and then you pan fry the whole sandwich like a grilled cheese. Sounds scrumptious, doesn’t it?
When we got inside and seated, we looked high and low for this thing on the menu and found nothing resembling our cheese monstrosity. Agitated and worried, we asked the waitress if they still had it – “They took that off our menu a while back. We don’t have the 2-4-6-8 menu items any more. Some of the other Denny’s still have it, though.”
It was a tough decision whether to leave and drive to another Denny’s or to simply walk across the aisle and sit in the bar (did I mention this Denny’s has a full bar drinking lounge?). We decided as a group that we could do better than the stupid menu item and we’d order our own piles of greasy food and assemble our own artery-clogging culinary abominations. So we did.
Rocky ordered half an appetizer sampler, a grilled cheese sandwich, and a cherry coke. FullMetalJustin and I were going big (because we certainly weren’t going home). We ordered the Grand Slamwich and an order of cheese sticks – EACH. I knew that wouldn’t be enough, so I got a strawberry shake. Rocky said to the waitress, “I think you see where we’re going with this…” And I chimed in “…to the HOSPITAL!!!”
We talked all sorts of metal. Rocky can talk for hours about metal music and I can listen for hours about metal music. We make a good team. FullMetalJustin (if you couldn’t tell by his name) is also a major fan of metal, so there weren’t any awkward silences – just metal. We also heard FullMetalJustin talk about his recent all-you-can-eat sushi conquests. Rocky has been running marathons recently – yeah, real marathons – so he doesn’t get to destroy his insides like he used to. I was worried he’d pass on this Denny’s adventure, but I was glad he was here talking metal with us.
The food came out and we got to work. Rocky’s assembly was a little easier than FullMetalJustin and I’s. Rocky’s sandwich was pretty true to the menu item. It was missing a cheese stick or two, but overall, he had the concept down and was going to make it happen. In fact, he DID make it happen, and ate the fries too!
The waitress had the cooks make all our sandwiches open faced, since she knew what we were up to. Kudos to you, waitress-who-will-remain-unnamed-but-if-corporate-could-get-her-some-more-hours-she-would-be-thrilled!
When seeing what FullMetalJustin and I were about to eat pre-assembled, it was a little scarier than I thought it would be.
Grand Slamwich with hashbrowns – Big. Full order of mozzarella cheese sticks with marinara – Big. The Grand Slamwich itself is an omelet with sausage and bacon inside, a layer of ham, mayo, American cheese, and maple spice spread on grilled potato bread. So then, you take as many cheese sticks as would fit – FullMetalJustin and I both got five onto our sandwiches – throw on the hasbrowns, …
…cover with marinara, …
…then re-top with the other slice of bread.
Here we see FullMetalJustin powering through the initial bites of this amazing sandwich. He actually had a layer that I didn’t have on mine – strawberry jelly – he needed more lubrication to make sure this thing didn’t get lodged in his throat. … which it DID, in fact. We were all laughing so hard when he started eating, and he sucked a bite into his lung and started coughing uncontrollably while laughing. We thought it might be a good idea to determine where the nearest hospitals were and also if Denny’s had a defibrillator – which they do, thankfully. I’m glad FullMetalJustin pulled through, though.
I think we’ll start calling this the Super Mega Slamwich of Doom. This is a gut bomb. On 82 different levels. Rocky suggested the best way to eat these kinds of monstrous sandwiches is to eat fast and by the time your stomach figures out what is happening, you’re already done with the sandwich. FullMetalJustin took this advice as gospel and absolutely destroyed this sandwich. He was already two bites into his before I even picked my sandwich up. Then, when I looked up again after two bites of my own, FullMetalJustin’s Super Mega Slamwich of Doom was gone. Rocky seriously asked, “where did your sandwich go?” and FullMetalJustin, through a mouthful of gooey cheese and bread, said, “I ate it.” The guy is an insane eater. I wouldn’t challenge him if I expected to live. He’s an eating machine. FullMetalJustin, you are the champion of Denny’s – without question.
I paced myself on my own sandwich. I took down one row of cheese sticks at a time and finished mine. I still had a pile of hashbrowns left on my plate that had fallen out, but I knew I had to eat them. Besides, neither of the two guys I was with would let me leave any food on the plate and say I actually completed the challenge. So I threw some ketchup all over the remnants of the potatoes and cleaned up the whole thing. I also wolfed down the cheese sticks since those certainly can’t go to waste.
I’m not a subscriber to the “trick your stomach” rule of speed-eating, but I still managed to eat the whole thing. Yeah, I was stuffed. Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have gotten a strawberry shake as well. Yeah, I felt like I was going to die when I got home and couldn’t sit comfortably. Yeah, my shirt still smells like cheese-fried-greasy-cheese. Yeah, I made the mistake of looking up how many calories I consumed in less than 20 minutes.
Standard Grand Slamwich – 1,310 calories
Hashbrowns – 210 calories
Full order of cheese sticks - 560
Strawberry shake – 560 calories
Grand Total – 2,640 calories
And yeah, I will be hitting the treadmill in a serious way after that meal… well… the next day, when I can actually move.
The sandwich was just ok. It was a little dry, but maybe the strawberry jelly made up for it on FullMetalJustin's sandwich. I think I would have preferred the Grand Slamburger instead of the Slamwich, if I were to do it again. I think juicy beef would have been better than a dry omelet and the hashbrowns would have already arrived on the burger. It might have just been more difficult to get cheesesticks onto. I think the ratios of bread to cheese in our constructed sandwiches were a little off - it might be better if that were corrected, but this was our first time. I think the wow factor in this case is better than the flavor factor. This sandwich probably isn't going to be on the Denny's corporate menu anytime soon (especially at the Denny's WE went to).
Overall, we had a great time talking horrific food and metal all night. I’m glad FullMetalJustin showed up (I think he had already eaten dinner, but still managed to choke this thing down at a record-breaking pace). And I’m glad Rocky and I can cross this one off our list. I don’t think there’s any reason to go back and get the “actual one” – the ones we ate were far more grotesque than the one on the 2-4-6-8 menu. (However, we got word that Rita would like to partake in the challenge, so maybe we’ll hit up a Denny’s that does have the Fried Cheese Sandwich with Rita and Rocky and I’ll call it a light snack.)
I think I just set a new record: I used the word "cheese" 28 times in this one review (now 29). Sorry, lactose intollerant people...