3/18/2013 10:30:00 AM

Fast Food Review: Denny’s BBQ Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites

Denny’s new BBQ bacon mac ‘n’ cheese bites are really, really good. But they really, really don’t belong on the Baconalia! menu. Served by the half dozen, the golden-fried balls are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, and ours were perfectly cooked - the outer breading wasn’t too thick or heavy. It easily cracks open to reveal soft macaroni and oozing cheese, and the BBQ sauce on the plate is tangy and only slightly sweet, making a great dipping sauce.

Speaking of dipping, the ramekin of pepper jack sauce on the side should be ignored entirely. “It’s just a bowl of calories!” exclaimed one diner. There’s already plenty of cheese inside each fried sphere, and the sauce has no discernable taste - whether there's actually pepper jack in it is anyone’s guess. Certainly the few stingy pieces of bacon sitting on top of the bowl do nothing to enhance the flavor.

Which brings us back to the Baconalia question. Is there actually supposed to be a lot of bacon in those mac balls? Because in our batch, there definitely wasn’t. When one guest ran into a bacon piece he almost spit it out - “What’s that chewy thing I just bit into?” - until reminded bacon was in the title of the dish.

Still, that shouldn’t stop you from ordering them. Served on a different plate, these mac ‘n’ cheese bites would easily be at home at a hip Williamsburg bar, where you’d likely pay triple the $4.59 price tag. Just get your bacon fix elsewhere, like the pepper-bacon-avocado omelet or the sourdough BLT, and you’ll be fine. As long as you avoid the “pepper jack” dip.

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