Denny’s vs. IHOP: Denny’s

The Denny’s vs. IHOP struggle became relevant to me during my freshman year of college. I’d like to be clear from the start: Yes, I am aware of the third option in this contest: Norm’s. Since I’m from the Central Valley, Norm’s didn’t even exist to me until coming to SoCal for college. It’s non-universality rules itself out of this debate.
Back to the top two contenders. The argument will usually come up in the wee hours of the morning, after a party is over, a concert has ended or the club has shut down and you’re hungry for some comfort food and bottomless coffee. So: where do you go?
Without an ounce of doubt, I’d assume we’re headed to Denny’s. Hell, we’re college kids! Why would I spend $4 on three pancakes at IHOP when that same $4 can get me unlimited pancakes (that I’ll shamelessly split with friends)? On top of that, their hot chocolate is refillable … for free!
My dream of devouring a Build Your Own Grand Slam one night screeched to a halt when a friend complained, “Yeah, but I don’t want to sit there waiting forever to get our food.” Excuse me?! That might as well have been blasphemy to me, as hungry as I was in that moment.
Giving it a moment of thought, I can recall a few memories where that comment was true. After high school football games junior year, my first year as a varsity cheerleader, the cool thing to do was reserve a side room for my team, the football team, the ASB kids and any other kids who wandered in wearing our school colors. Of course, on nights like that, it’d take close to an hour to get your food after ordering — but can you blame it on the staff? When a group of punk ass kids rolls in 40 deep, expect there to be a wait.
After Homecoming senior year of high school, my best friend and I were stuck with $52 worth of unpaid orders. I was near tears, clutching my $10 bill in my glitter-polished hand, when the waitress with turquoise eyeshadow leaned over to us and said “I could get in trouble for this, but I can’t bring myself to force you two to pay the bill when I know y’all can’t. You two have been polite to us all night. Pay for what you can, girls.”
Bless her soul! That memory is why, to this day, I tip so well at Denny’s and continue to receive excellent service. Do unto Denny’s as you would have Denny’s do unto you.
Another godsend from America’s Diner: the “2-4-6-8” menu. On that quarter-menu insert alone, I’ve found there is something to fit everyone’s cravings: from the $2 pancake puppy sundae (a truly American work of art), the $4 biscuits and gravy breakfast platter, the $6 soup and sandwich combo, to the $8 chicken fried steak and eggs skillet. What more can you ask for at such a great value!
First and foremost, I am a die-hard Denny’s fan because I can feast like a queen even when I’m ballin’ on a budget. Even if I have a couple dollars extra to spare, I’d rather add on a large side of bacon at Denny’s then add some frou-frou whipped cream bullshit to my shortstack (emphasis on the short) at IHOP.
And did you know not all IHOP’s are 24-hours? – the real reason I have trust issues and why I can depend on Denny’s to be there for me, conveniently located at nearly every exit of almost every freeway. Their staff is the realest in the game, and their Twitter account is even realer.
Denny’s: I love you. Until death do us part.

Leslie Yacopetti is a fourth-year drama major. She can be reached at