The season of comfort food has returned. Shorter days and cooler nights annually send my tummy in search of food to warm the body from the inside out.
Mashed potatoes, gravy, pot roast, and in the morning give us pancakes and bacon. Winter is coming, and hot food in the tummy is an absolute essential to brave whatever Mother Nature has in store for north Iowa.
With this in mind, my dining companion and I recently headed off to a favorite old American diner — Denny’s. It’s a friendly place where the service is prompt, and the menu is filled with a great sampling of today’s favorites and a load of traditional American foods. There’s nothing overly fancy on the menu here — nothing I can’t pronounce — and nothing that my grandmother, if she were to be magically transported here from the 1940s, wouldn’t recognize as real wholesome food.
I opted for a hot sandwich from the grill. Dubbed as the “Super Bird,” this grilled favorite comes piled high with real turkey, smothered in warm, melted Swiss cheese. Topped with crisp bacon and a tomato (still summer fresh), this sandwich did not disappoint. The grilled sourdough bread was crisp and light, the perfect complement to the fresh turkey and cheese.
While a bowl of soup was tempting, I paired it instead with a fresh garden salad. The huge bed of lettuce came topped with ripe cherry tomatoes, thick slices of cucumber, croutons and a sprinkling of grated cheese. The portions on both the sandwich and salad were extremely generous, giving me plenty to take home for a light supper later on.
My dining companion, meanwhile, tried the vegetable beef soup and could not have been more pleased. Served piping hot, it was packed with tender veggies and chunks of real beef sure to fill you up when you need it most.
Friends of ours trek to Denny’s several times a week for an early morning breakfast. As a big breakfast fan myself, I recommend the pancakes and bacon, but with an outstanding variety of omelet choices, there’s something for everyone.
There’s just something about food at a friendly diner like this that nourishes both the body and soul.
2411 Highway 18
Open 24 hours