Last year, Denny's was upbraided for introducing a sandwich, the Fried Cheese Melt, with altogether too much cheese and too many calories. But this week made it clear that the Fried Cheese Melt was a small taste of things to come.
Yesterday, the casual dining chain unleashed the news that the Fried Cheese Melt was but one of nine items on its new "Let's Get Cheesy" menu, which features dairy-filled dishes for every meal. The smallest item on the "Let's Get Cheesy" menu is a dainty side of macaroni and cheese. It has just 140 calories. The other eight menu items all have more calories than the infamous KFC Double Down Sandwich. But even in this lofty company, one sandwich reigns supreme: the Denny's Mac N' Cheese Big Daddy Patty Melt.
The Patty Melt stuffs mac n' cheese in between slices buttered, toasted potato bread -- and, for good measure, adds a ground beef patty, "zesty Frisco sauce" and more melted cheddar cheese. According to the Denny's website, the sandwich has 1690 calories and 99 grams of fat, 36 of them saturated. That's twice as many calories and eight more grams of fat than are in a stick of butter.
Let's not give the minds at Denny's too much credit (or reproach) for their ingenuity -- they aren't the first ones to put macaroni and cheese in a sandwich, or to get media coverage as a result. A small deli in Montclair, NJ was featured in the New York Times for its Benny Mac sandwich, which crams mac n' cheese, fried chicken, bacon and BBQ sauce into a sandwich roll. And an episode of Man vs. Food featured Adam Richman chowing down on a Fat Sandy from Sarasota, FL restaurant Munchies 4:20. The grinder outdoes its new Denny's rival by including french fries, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and two burger patties -- all underneath a giant heap of macaroni and cheese.
HuffPost Food would love to have conducted a taste test of the three sandwiches, so we would be able to tell you which to order next time your jeans are loose. But our cardiologists advised us against it, and there is no Denny's in Manhattan, so you'll have to undertake that journey on your own.