Denny's serves a menu of diner classics including all day breakfast items, burgers, sandwiches and more.
If you were excited and waiting for the long overdue arrival of the Denny’s restaurant chain to come to downtown Langley, the wait is over. But sadly this wait comes with a huge disappointment at the new Willowbrook location.
Gone is the quick service you have come accustomed to and service with a smile. Now the wait is pretentious and long and seems as though the corporate office has decided to try and take the classic Denny’s atmosphere to the tapas, mid-level dining level. Falling very short of this goal on an epic level, its quite clear that Denny’s came to this location to try and save the previous restaurant (which they have partnered with 50/50 in the same location) failures and debts, and have decided to share the same kitchen to produce foods for two different restaurants from within one. Perhaps this is where the confusion and delays come from within the kitchen, resulting in long delays in food delivery and incorrectly made orders.
In our case (dinner for 2), our dinner order was simple. Avocado Chicken Caesar Salad for me, and Double Cheeseburger with NO onions, No pickles and EXTRA bacon, which by the way came with the option of (3) different options for cheese on your burger. To begin with, we selected the following appetizers: Cheese Sticks and Onion Rings. Lets review.
Please remember the following while reading this review, “Baby highchair seat”. We will come back to this later on in the review!
1- The deep fryer’s temperature was set too high in the kitchen resulting in burnt batter exterior and cold cheese interior. When the cheese should have been gooey warm and dripping when cracked in half, it was a solid cold piece of cheese. The cheese sticks were also provided by a professional frozen food company (GFS or Sysco), and definitely not homemade. Took 28 minutes to arrive with 5 other patrons in the restaurant.
Delivered Result: FAIL
2- Avocado Chicken Caesar Salad came with four (4) wedges of Avocado. Little bit more brown than I would have liked after being exposed to the air without proper lemon preparation, but still palatable.
The chicken was chargrilled, but not cooked evenly throughout resulting in cold spots and uneven cooking. Definitely pre-cooked and warmed on the grill to order.
3- Caesar Salad. The quantity of lettuce was more than expected, which matched the amount of dressing. Far too much dressing which left the salad unbalanced and forcing the person eating it to search for something cool to drink to ease the ensuing garlic mouth burn. You do not want to be eating this salad at this location if you have any romantic moments planned within the next 8-10hrs.
Delivered Result: FAIL
4- Double Cheeseburger with No Pickles, No Onions and EXTRA Bacon right? Guess what arrived, and remember to keep in mind there were only 5 other patrons on the Denny’s side of this restaurant which shares its location with another tapas restaurant?
Double cheeseburger WITH Onions and Pickles and NO extra bacon! Really. Com’on folks. This is what we waited for 40 minutes for? So not acceptable and the decision of never returning to this location was now made.
After calling the manager over to address the issue because our server (Kiran) disappeared and couldn't be found and never stuck around long enough to ask us if we had any problems with our order after it had been delivered, we explained the issues with our order to him. Before walking away with the improperly prepared order after waiting 40 minutes (I did say that already, but it should be mentioned again, 40 minutes!) He then turns to me before leaving and asked if my dinner tastes good? Tastes good Im thinking? Really!! I have had my order for 3 minutes and you actually think I have had the time or the inclination to begin eating my order while my companions order is being whisked away? GGgeeesh, with oversights like this, its no wonder this experience is beginning to be painful.
Five (5) minutes later, the deconstructed burger arrives back at the table with a side plate of bacon. Great fix, quick turn around time. But wait, its not over. Remember what I had mentioned about how this burger came with 3 different options of cheese? Well the option of what cheese was wanted for this burger was never asked or even provided. This oversight by the manager would match the lack of training or server had which had now asked how my dinner tasted.
Delivered result: FAIL
OK! remember that babyseat high chair I mentioned at the top of this review? Well here goes nothing.
When we were seated 70 minutes earlier and now leaving the restaurant, a couple who felt it necessary to let their crawling child roam the isles of the restaurant and visit other table (EEeewwww, dirty floors and carpet) were provided a highchair for their stay. With this courtesy, always comes its downsides. The usual food spillage and crumbs all over the floor when the child becomes bored with food for the moment or decides to have a cranky temper tantrum. No big deal and comes with the territory, not only for the patrons of the restaurant, especially Denny’s, but for the staff who then have to clean up and remove the highchair and perhaps clean the floor with a quick pass of a mop or vacuum. Apparently clean and tidy house keeping is not in the repertoire for this location. The mess, the chair and the food on the floor sat 8 feet from us for the entire duration of our 80 minute stay and not one person ever acknowledged the disarray or chose to deal with it by removing the lovely eye-candy from my immediate and very obvious view. Again, not very busy (5 patrons) and no excuse for this. It makes me nervous and makes me wonder, if the management team is displaying this type of behaviour in the front of the house, what kind of food safe practices are taking place in the back of the house and out of view by customers? Lazy is lazy no matter how you decide to manage your staff.
Desired Cleanliness Result: FAIL, FAIL!
All in all, this location is great….if it were operated correctly and professionally by a competent management team and if Denny’s put some distance from itself and the previous failed restaurant. The shared kitchen from a costs perspective is a great financial decision, and I get that. But it cant deliver the same service that loyal Denny’s fan have come accustomed too with extremely slow delivery times and subpar food orders being executed from the back of the house, supported by lazy management. Gotta pick up the pace folks. Its Denny’s, not the 4 Seasons.
Additional training to servers is required, and should also include putting someone on the pass to perform quality control on orders BEFORE they go out to the guests.
In closing, wait times are far too long, the Denny’s ambiance is missing from being the bright, dinner type atmosphere to the dark and gloomy tapas style neighbourhood pub. If you were looking for the famed style 24hr breakfast style dinner, then you ought to take a pass here. It has lots of work to do before getting there and new fresh new coat of bright paint!
Visited April 2015
We went to Denny's for breakfast on a Saturday. The place was busy but we were seated right away and our server took our orders quickly. Our meals came out in NO TIME. They were hot and fresh and delicious. Our server seemed to be near by whenever we needed her and she was friendly and attentive. I was worried that our one year old son would get bored and make a fuss, but everything happened so quickly, he didn't have a chance. Very impressed with Denny's.
Denny's may, to many, be that stop you make for food when camping or just passing through, but for my husband and I, it is a paradise and a great outlet for a good homecooked-style meal.
Eugene, one of the servers is always cheerful and helpful to the extreme. He is very jolly and always has nice things to say. The servers may work for tips, but Eugene is well deserving of the tips.
The chicken strip dinner is really good, with a crunchy southern fried type breading, and tender chicken underneath it. The burgers are really good, my husband has a preference for the bacon cheeseburger with the seasoned fries. If something isn't quite right, they will make it right. You get what you ordered at Denny's, and with a side of cheerful attitude added. We go at least twice a week, sometimes more.
My family is picky eaters and all were happy with the quality of food and excellent service. In fact, other Denny locations can learn from this franchise as it was clean and very good value. We would hit it more often if there was not the cursed GEB toll bridge from Langley to our community. The nachos were great and everyone gave it two thumbs up.....