Review: Lake Street Denny’s Veggie Burger is refreshingly all right

By Kassidy Curry/[email protected]

The cold walk from the parking lot of the now closed Rainbow intensifies the ache of my empty stomach. This is the only adequate parking my companion and I ever find near the Denny’s on East Lake Street.

When we walk through the two sets of shabby double doors, the warmth of the diner as well as the 1970’s-esque brown color palette brings a sense of comfort and nostalgia.

This Denny’s has a reputation. In previous visits, I’ve encountered sassy servers and sweet servers. I’ve sat in the empty back corner of the restaurant, in the calm side section with seniors getting their 4:00 dinner, in the crowded front section filled with busy kids (or the 2 a.m. crowd of sleepless students). I’ve listened to regulars argue with the servers, and I’ve watched them jump behind the register to use the phone without asking. It’s a place with character.

“Just the two of you tonight?” the waitress asks us. We nod as she grabs two laminated, multi-paged menus of classic, fatty American meals.

We were seated in the classic booth in the empty front section of the restaurant, which happened to be assigned to the guy who was working his first night shift. So it took us about 15 minutes to get noticed, but we were still eager and willing to stuff our faces with crap.

I ordered a “build your own burger” with a veggie patty, a sesame bun, american cheese and jalapeño peppers along with an oreo milkshake.

While we waited for our food, I heard the two other waitresses working that night comfort the new guy and offer to take some strain off of his workload. Another waitress ended up

The milkshake was the first thing to be placed on the table. My companion finished off the extra silver cup they provided, while I dug into the whipped cream on top. It was not the most deluxe desert, but satisfying nonetheless. When my burger came out, I started with the wavy fries, dipping them in ketchup from time to time. The burger had a hint of spice to it, but overall it was a savory taste.

When we finished, we put on our coats and waddled to the register.

“How was everything tonight?”

“Delicious,” we both added.

I added a tip, signed the slip of paper, and we walked out of the warm restaurant back into freezing temperatures.

Is Denny’s the best place to get nutritious food, cheap food, or even quality food? I wouldn’t say so. Will that keep me from going there? No. The Lake Street Denny’s isn’t just about the food. The Lake Street Denny’s is an experience.