Movie and corporate tie-ins are nothing new – just ask any kid who ever got his own plastic Simba from McDonald's. But a somewhat unexpected pairing arose when the restaurant chain Denny’s announced that it would be serving a “Hobbit” menu to coincide with the release of “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” the first movie in the planned “Hobbit” trilogy.
The menu includes such items as Radagast’s Red Velvet Pancake Puppies (named for the wizard Radagast the Brown), Gandalf’s Gobble Melt, Bilbo’s Berry Smoothie, and Hobbit Hole Breakfast. The “Hobbit” offerings will be available at Denny’s locations through early January.
Reviews of the dishes have so far been middling. Phoenix writer Alexandra Cavallow wrote that the Hobbit Hole, which consisted of fried eggs, hash browns, cheddar buns and bacon, was fine, though unhealthy. “But one imagines you'd need to carbo-load before risking life and limb in Mordor, so it made sense,” she wrote. “And those egg-filled cheddar buns were good.”
Wisconsin State Journal writer Rob Thomas said he was a little overwhelmed by the breakfast appetizer titled the Lonely Mountain Treasure, which was essentially lemon poppy seed nuggets with cream cheese frosting for dipping. “I'm sorry, I'm just too frightened right now to check the caloric content of that,” he wrote. “It was as if I could feel the baleful Eye of Mordor staring down and me and saying, 'You're going to eat all that? Really? Even my orcs have a little fruit with breakfast.' ”
He said conclusions about the menu overall were hard to draw.
“I don't know if I can honestly say, ‘If you love “The Hobbit,” you'll love Denny's!’ Nor can I say with authority, ‘If you love Denny's, you'll love “The Hobbit!”’ What I can say is that both things exist, in the same time and space, in America.”
Visitors to the website io9, which featured pictures of the food available through the “Hobbit” menu, seemed confused and impressed by the fact that the promotion was happening at all.
“Who knew that a character from the Silmarillion, which is basically where Tolkien put all the appendixes that wouldn't fit in Lord of the Rings, would one day be given his own promotional breakfast food?” a commenter named JulieMarieC wrote.