Feed Me

The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.

I’m at a loss to figure out the jam-packed waiting area at the new Denny’s in Centereach. Sure, I know there are cheap meal deals to be had. And I understand that Denny’s may evoke memories of vacation road trips. But unless my two experiences were utter flukes, the home of the “grand slam” breakfast has to be one of the most dreary, dispiriting places on Long Island.

Grand: A simple chocolate milkshake made with ice cream and milk. A breakfast side dish of fresh fruit.
Slammed: Salty, bitter lukewarm biscuits, watery coffee, rubbery pancakes, hash browns that smack of grease, a gray burger that crumbles when cut, mealy fries, gray-green tinny-tasting green beans, “lemon pepper” chicken awash in a “butter sauce” that tastes of neither lemon nor pepper nor butter but a flavor I can only associate with melted Crayola crayon.

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Denny's institutional beige, brown and orange decor suggests a hospital coffee shop. And while servers appear to have only good intentions, plates remain uncleared for a good ten minutes between courses.

Denny's is at 255 Centereach Mall, Centereach, 631-580-3838, dennys.com.

Newsday Photo of Denny's lemon pepper chicken with green beans and hash brown potatoes/Joan Reminick