The Maple Bacon Sundae from Denny’s
At the apex of Denny’s “Baconalia” is the Maple Bacon Sundae. More clearly, it is a Maple Syrup, Hickory Smoked Bacon, and Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae. The title can be a little misleading. The bacon is not a “Maple Bacon”, it’s just the normal Denny’s hickory smoked bacon. The “Maple” in the title refers to the use of Maple Syrup. The sundae resembles a more traditional hot fudge sundae with syrup in the place of hot fudge and crispy bits of bacon in the place of crushed peanuts. Maybe thinking of it this way will ease the quease in some of our less adventurous readers.
Layering begins with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the bottom, continues with syrup and bacon in the middle, a second scoop, and finishes with a healthy drizzle of bacon bits and maple syrup (well, maybe healthy isn’t the right word, but you get the picture). The maple syrup provides the sweetness, much like a fudge topping, while the crumbled bacon provides the salty, crunchy opposition to the smooth, sweet and creamy ice cream. You’ll notice two of the last three words in the preceding sentence were cream(y). This was purposeful and well deserved. The vanilla ice cream served at Denny’s is more than just frozen skim milk, like you sometimes find in a place that doesn’t hang their hat on ice cream. It contains no less than 12% buttermilk, which I’m told, is a little less than Haagen Dazs, but much more than your average, run of the mill, ice cream.
If you’re a fan of the salty sweet mix of, say, a Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll or something of that nature, I think you’ll like this. I was pleased with the fact that they didn’t try to overdo the syrup and bacon content and paid attention to getting the ratio right to maintain the balance between the two tastes. The layering allows you to get a bite of each with every scoop (I’m recalling a Seinfeld bit here) although, unlike a hot fudge sundae, I’m not really sure you want to finish by scooping the last bit of syrup out of the bottom. If you’re eating this for dessert (I guess I’m not really sure what else you would eat it for), you’ll want to try to save two or three spoonfuls of pure ice cream for the end to walk away with your palate properly finished.
This one earns points for adventure and more points for not just being a novelty, but also being a well thought out, legitimate desert. Now here’s the best part: It’s priced right at an affordable $2.99. Not bad considering the quality level of the ice cream and the expensive toppings.
Pros: Finds a nice middle ground between adventure eating and real food.
Cons: Make the last bite count. Walking away with a spoonful of syrupy bacon flavor can linger.
Price: $2.99 More Info: Dennys.com