In what has to be one of the strangest movie tie-ins in recent history, Denny's is rolling out a Hobbit-themed menu just ahead of the release of the Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The seemingly innuendo-ready dishes include a cheddar filled "Hobbit Hole," "Shire Sausage" and "Gandalf's Gobble Melt." All of which will be available starting November 6.
There's a video to go with this campaign of course and a fansite is reporting that Denny's drafted actual Lord of the RIngs fans to play the part of... actual Lord of the Ring fans. We question the validity of this claim because the faux pas presented in the ad wasn't instantly corrected by angry forum postings in grammatically correct Sindarin.
Denny's seems like a strange pick for a campaign like this but only superficially. Diving deep into hobbit culture it becomes clear that Denny's is basically the ideal pick for a Hobbit-themed menu, perhaps only rivaled by a chain like Golden Corral for appropriateness.
Most people know that Hobbits are the foodies of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. Their affection for eating is such that they have six major meals throughout their day: breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, tea, and dinner. As you can see, the Hobbits like to frontload their daily dining by getting as much eating done before lunch as possible. With that in mind it's clear that Denny's is a good fit for the Hobbit lifestyle.
TheOneRing.net, a Lord of the Rings fansite was actually on hand to try out some of these new menu items. They had glowing reviews of the food although it's clear that they're accurate in reporting, "OK, this isn't health food," The "Hobbit Hole" is a cheddar filled bun, "Gandalf's Gobble Melt" is a turkey sandwich with a side of gravy, "Shire Sausage" is a large pork sausage and "Radagast's Red Velvet Pancake Puppies" are white chocolate red velvet hushpuppies served with icing for dipping. Maybe the most magical part of Tolkien's Middle-earth isn't the dragons or the elves but the fact that Hobbits live for hundreds of years without developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
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