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Has anyone ever had a good experience at IHOP?

Kajikit Aug 9, 2007 10:48 AM

I'm wondering if they ALL suck, or just our local one... we went there once and had incredibly slow service and even worse food, (our waitress was the only one in the place and she was run off her feet and getting complaints all round, poor thing!) Her excuse was that they had a new person in the kitchen and it was their first day and they didn't know what they were doing... okay, I'll buy that. The waitress was very nice about it and our meal (what we'd managed to eat of it) was comped. We stayed away for a year and tried them again recently, and it was a carbon copy of the first time! We didn't have to pay for my breakfast, because it was thoroughly inedible, and I sent it back to the kitchen virtually untouched.

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  1. s
    shellyesq RE: Kajikit Aug 9, 2007 12:45 PM

    I've definitely been to IHOP's that have slow service, but I've always enjoyed those chocolate chip pancakes.

    1. d
      dalaimama RE: Kajikit Aug 9, 2007 02:45 PM

      Mu daughter decided that she HAD to go to IHOP for her birthday before school. The food was good - not great, but good basic scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, and pancakes. Reasonably good coffee. And they gave my child a free ice cream sundae and sang Happy Birthday to her. The very idea of having ice cream for breakfast thrilled my daughter beyond belief.

      Like many chains, the quality probably depends on the franchise owner. This particular franchise supports the neighborhood and is a meeting place for a number of organizations. But, I've been to other IHOPs (I worked for a business that would have breakfast meetings at IHOP) and have generally found the food to be good. Keep that in context - it's good for what my expectations are, rather than good as is comparable to a gourmet experience.

      1. k
        Kari RE: Kajikit Aug 9, 2007 05:29 PM

        Our IHOP on the weekend always has people standing outside waiting for over an hour for breakfast...We go early, like 7am on Saturdays to avoid any crowd. Food is typical diner fair. I have noticed that IHOP no matter what time, seems to run a little slow in the service.

        1. southerngal RE: Kajikit Aug 9, 2007 08:26 PM

          I don't go to IHOP often, but the food has been good. I like their pancakes.

          1. Bob W RE: Kajikit Aug 9, 2007 08:37 PM

            Oh yes, but you probably don't want to hear about visits to IHOP with Aunt Pearl in 1969, huh?


            1. t
              tobycat RE: Kajikit Aug 9, 2007 08:45 PM

              The two in my area, northern California above Sacramento, are good. Good service, clean, busy, good pancakes.

              1. hotteacher1976 RE: Kajikit Aug 9, 2007 08:47 PM

                The ones I venture to are pretty okay with the service. I think it's the volume of customers that kills the speed.

                1. s
                  starkoch RE: Kajikit Aug 9, 2007 09:58 PM

                  I haven't been in an IHOP for a very, very, long time until last month.
                  It was better than I expected, but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat there.

                  If you are interested, here is my recent experience at an IHOP.


                  1. weinstein5 RE: Kajikit Aug 9, 2007 10:13 PM

                    Service has always been the variable in the IHOPs I have gone to - the food has always been consistent - not the worlds greatest break fast but on ethat is still good.

                    1. j
                      judiftx1 RE: Kajikit Aug 10, 2007 05:07 AM

                      I do not understand why anyone would go there for anything but breakfast. Here in the Austin area the service is actually pretty good, and while I do not like the buttermilk pancakes, the Grain and Nut ones are quite tasty, and my husband loved the Country Griddle ones but now they have removed them from the menu.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: judiftx1
                        kindofabigdeal RE: judiftx1 Jan 30, 2008 02:06 AM

                        The Harvest Grain and Nut really are very good pancakes. I think their plain ones are just that, plain, but the HGN are delicious and very filling.

                        1. re: kindofabigdeal
                          madgreek RE: kindofabigdeal Jan 30, 2008 03:53 AM

                          +1. The wife got a gift certificate for Christmas, so we were there on Sunday. I got the HGN pancakes and was pleasantly surprised. I didnt even use any "syrup" with them. The flavor was perfect with just a little butter. I have to start making these at home!

                      2. h
                        HunterJay RE: Kajikit Aug 10, 2007 05:47 AM

                        You know, I went to Orlando last year for a short vacation. One of the best meals I had was at IHOP. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't 5 star but the food was good and the service was attentive. I think it's like any other chain, some are good, some aren't.

                        1. s
                          SarahEats RE: Kajikit Aug 10, 2007 06:27 AM

                          For the longest time the only IHOP I'd ever been to was in Ewing, NJ and it had the most amazing short-order cook known to mankind. This guy was incredible and the restaurants ran like a well-oiled (pun intended) machine. Service was fast (we were always out of there 30 minutes from the time we sat down) and the food was always good. Hash browns cooked perfectly, buttery soft pancakes, eggs done just right...the whole deal. We don't live in that area anymore and hadn't been there in years, but I heard they had a pretty bad fire and rebuilt. I can't say how that affected the quality of the food, but that store will always live in my memory as one of the best breakfast spots in town.

                          In later years I tried an IHOP on Route 206 somewhere south of Bridgewater, NJ that was subpar - there were no customers besides me and my mother - and the food was just so-so. A few months ago my husband and I tried the IHOP near Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne, PA and the line was insane! We waited at least 30 minutes with hordes of other people before finally sitting down. Our waitress was rushed, but very good and very attentive, we had our food mere minutes from when we ordered and everything was outstanding. It was on the same level as the short-order cook from Ewing. The only reason we haven't been back is because I hate waiting in line and I prefer to cook breakfast at home.

                          So the long answer to your question is - in my experience with IHOP (at 2 of the 3 I've been to) I've always had great service, good food and a good time.

                          1. e
                            Emm RE: Kajikit Aug 11, 2007 05:26 AM

                            The food and service at the IHOPs where I live are usually pretty decent, especially considering the low, low prices. Fans of deliciously Southern, bad-for-your arteries food should try the new buttermilk fried chicken and waffle combo. I just wondered what took them so long to think of serving it.

                            1. Kajikit RE: Kajikit Aug 11, 2007 09:32 PM

                              Thanks for the opinions... I guess it's just 'that' IHOP that is so awful... the slow service I could live with, but the scrambled eggs were either instant or egg-beaters and they tasted watery. Ick. How do you ruin scrambled eggs, of all things?! And the funnel cakes were cold, soggy and greasy all at the same time. I didn't expect gourmet, but I was hoping for at least edible!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Kajikit
                                ccbweb RE: Kajikit Aug 17, 2007 11:39 PM

                                This is one of those things I don't get....the eggs are bad so they have to be something other than badly cooked eggs? Its pretty easy to mess up scrambled eggs, actually, too much heat for too long and you'll squeeze the life out of them. Cook them too quickly and then stick them in a window under a heat lamp and watch the liquid ooze out. Point being, they were still almost certainly real eggs....just very badly cooked.

                                I'm a fan of IHOP for breakfast. I like a variety of things at breakfast (eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, pancakes, etc) so I always like the combo options. And, hey, your own thermal carafe of coffee. That's just genius.

                              2. p
                                Pony_girl RE: Kajikit Aug 11, 2007 09:36 PM

                                There is a really dated 1960's era A-Frame IHOP in Vallejo, CA that has perfectly fine breakfast (not fancy, basic), sassy old waitresses and a strange slavic hostess who can't work the credit card machine. Worth a visit if you are in the area

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Pony_girl
                                  swissgirl RE: Pony_girl Feb 11, 2008 01:17 PM

                                  I think the decline in IHOP is directly related to the architectural change from A-frames to more conventional Denny's-type buildings. : )
                                  That's my theory anyway. Now it is indistinguishable from Denny's, Bob Evans, Perkins, Carrows, etc.

                                  1. re: swissgirl
                                    puffalumps RE: swissgirl Jun 20, 2008 06:37 PM

                                    Hear, hear!

                                    We called ours the Holy Cathedral of Pancakes. There's just something about that pointy roof...

                                    1. re: puffalumps
                                      Scirocco RE: puffalumps Jun 28, 2008 08:24 PM

                                      Completely agree. The old A-frame we had in Middletown, RI was an original and good (at least back when I lived there). All the new ones I have been to since have been AWFUL. Blase waitstaff and so-so food. Very sad. And what's with the new "stuffed french toast"?? It's a friggin' donut.

                                2. j
                                  jlawrence01 RE: Kajikit Aug 12, 2007 05:01 PM

                                  The ones that I have been to have served up a good plate of pancakes and have been a LOT better than the local independents. My only gripe is that they do not serve real maple syrup. However, I can bring my own homemade syrup so it is not a big deal.

                                  1. jinet12 RE: Kajikit Aug 17, 2007 04:49 PM

                                    I have not eaten there in years, but it is THE place that the high school kids like to go...and we live in a huge city with tons of choices, so I really don't get it...They say that it is cheap and good....

                                    1. Phaedrus RE: Kajikit Aug 17, 2007 05:45 PM

                                      I went to grad school with the son of one of the founders of IHOP. He has this ID card that he flashes to the front guys and we would always get great service. Food is about the same though, runny eggs and lots of butter and salt. Super dry pancakes, but when you're drunk you really don't care.

                                      One owner actually came and sat down and talked to us, he got the restaurant after working through the whole restaurant chain with my friend's dad when IHOP first started and he started to reminisce about the good old days. That was pretty cool.

                                      1. t
                                        Ted in Central NJ RE: Kajikit Aug 18, 2007 04:21 PM

                                        Yes! I once ate at an IHOP that actually had a clean lavatory for its customers. Admittedly, this was an aberration, but it was nice, all the same.

                                        My last (and I do mean LAST) attempt to dine at the IHOP in Somerset, NJ was halted by the absence of air conditioning and the statement by the hostess that they were short-staffed and as a result, service would take very long that day. Isn't that a great combination? Very high temperatures coupled with long waits for food. Is it any wonder that we walked out?

                                        1. s
                                          shallots RE: Kajikit Aug 18, 2007 05:15 PM

                                          We were caught in a blizzard in Winchester VA several years ago and felt lucky to get a motel room. The IHOP next to the motel stayed open through the blizzard and the three days until the interstate reopened. They served several motels-full of people under rought conditions, until they ran out of food the last night. (Hum along to "the night we closed the IHOP down, all the cars were skidding")
                                          That IHOP was prepared, had rooms for their workers, and kept things going because they'd planned for it.
                                          For that, I will always have something good to say about IHOP.

                                          1. c
                                            corgette RE: Kajikit Aug 18, 2007 06:06 PM

                                            I have to chime in that somehow the IHOP pigs in a blanket have a hangover-curing quality unrivaled by most food. The service has never been much to write home about, but man, do I love mapley sausage wrapped in fluffy pancakes. Genius.

                                            And aren't they the ones with like 4 different syrups on the table? This thrilled me no end as a child.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: corgette
                                              Bob W RE: corgette Aug 20, 2007 12:42 PM

                                              yes -- we always loved the "boysenberry" syrup. It was just so exotic. LOL

                                              The only good thing about IHOP now is the bottomless coffee pot they leave on the table.

                                            2. d
                                              dragonfare RE: Kajikit Aug 18, 2007 06:11 PM

                                              Excruciating, rude, and carrying a slop rag while serving the meal. Spokane.
                                              Excruciating, rude, and bad food. Oklahoma City.
                                              Fool me twice, no way a third.

                                              1. Phaedrus RE: goodeatsinadive Aug 19, 2007 10:55 AM

                                                Do you know what he ordered?

                                                1. g
                                                  GilloD RE: Kajikit Aug 19, 2007 11:07 AM

                                                  Eh. It's IHOP. I actually stopped into one the other morning and the coffee was beyond weak, pale and awful. But the pigs in a blanket were pretty good and plentiful and the price wasn't bad. Service was about what you'd expect, but I felt like I got what I paid for. Butter Pecan syrup!

                                                  1. zorra RE: Kajikit Aug 20, 2007 03:38 PM

                                                    Sure. I can't say I've ever really had a bad experience there. I do have a couple of IHOP stories I won't bore you with (you're welcome) but suffice it to say I've never had a complaint about the pancakes or the huge omelets. and really, why else would anyone go there?

                                                    1. marmite RE: Kajikit Aug 21, 2007 08:27 AM

                                                      Yes, though it may have as much to do with circumstance as with the food. I was in a wedding last year, and flew to California from New York with another bridesmaid. As soon as we landed, the bridezilla horribleness began. The other NY bridesmaid and I managed to sneak off to the IHOP for some downtime, and it was one of the two high points of the weekend. The server was delightful, the food was tasty (I had the vegetarian chili cheese omelet) and there was no bridezilla! :p

                                                      1. OysterHo RE: Kajikit Aug 21, 2007 08:51 AM

                                                        No, I've never had a good experience at an IHOP. The food was meh, the service meh, but worse than all that they always seemed filthy - the dining room and the bathrooms.

                                                        I'd rather starve.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: OysterHo
                                                          GilloD RE: OysterHo Aug 23, 2007 10:11 AM

                                                          That sounds more like a regular "Meh" experience than an awful one.

                                                          The thing abotu IHOP is that when it lets down- and it does- you almost see it coming. I'd rather have a "Meh" meal at IHOP than some 4-Star that gets all talked up but falls apart on the plate.

                                                          1. re: GilloD
                                                            OysterHo RE: GilloD Aug 23, 2007 06:42 PM

                                                            Meh, I can live with. Filthy, no way. It ruins everything for me.

                                                            1. re: OysterHo
                                                              GilloD RE: OysterHo Aug 24, 2007 01:29 PM

                                                              There's an MFK Fisher story where she discusses the difference between, like, "Oh, the chef had his hands on my food" and filthy, dirty, gross. And how good food can sort of get you to forget about the latter. I doubt IHOP would manage that.

                                                        2. a
                                                          Avalondaughter RE: Kajikit Aug 24, 2007 07:33 AM

                                                          About 10 years ago I went to an IHOP in my neighborhood (Westcheter NY). I hadn't been there in years. The experience is was so bad I didn't go back until recently. the place was mobbed that day and the service was abrupt and unfriendly. They had some kind of special that day that was supposed to be southern inspired. It had eggs and grits and hash browns. When the hash browns didn't arrive at my table, I asked the waitress for them and she brought them. My boyfriend at the time orderded banana-pecan pancakes. There weren't many banana slices on them, so he asked for more. We got our bill. They charged me for the hash browns. I had to point out to the watiress that the hash browns were supposed to be part of the meal. They took off that charge, but they charged $2 for the sliced half of a banana they brought my boyfriend. He could get a bunch for that much money! The charge was for "extra fruit topping". I could see if the topping was hot fruit compote, but a few measly banana slices????

                                                          My husband and I went to an IHOP a few months ago while traveling. It was in St. Charles, IL. Service was much friendlier there. However, the food was worse than I remembered it being in the past.

                                                          1. f
                                                            fara RE: Kajikit Jan 29, 2008 05:44 PM

                                                            Ihope is THE place to be in Fayetteville, NC on a weekend morning. I like the plain pancakes and pot of coffee at the table.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: fara
                                                              BellaDonna RE: fara Jan 30, 2008 05:32 PM

                                                              The IHOPS around where I live are fairly decent. It's not too greasy and the food is very edible.

                                                            2. m
                                                              mdepsmom RE: Kajikit Jan 31, 2008 09:50 AM

                                                              Here is a copycat recipe for the HGN pancakes. I haven't tried them yet (but will be on Sunday) but they have gotten tons of great reviews.

                                                              Copycat IHOP Harvest Grain & Nut Pancakes

                                                              4-8 servings 10 min 5 min prep

                                                              3/4 cup Quaker Oats
                                                              3/4 cup whole wheat flour
                                                              2 teaspoons baking soda
                                                              1 teaspoon baking powder
                                                              1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                              1 1/2 cups buttermilk
                                                              1/4 cup vegetable oil
                                                              1 egg
                                                              1/4 cup sugar
                                                              3 tablespoons finely chopped blanched almonds
                                                              3 tablespoons chopped walnuts

                                                              Lightly oil a skillet or griddle, and preheat it to medium heat.
                                                              Grind the oats in a blender or food processor until fine, like flour.
                                                              Combine ground oats, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
                                                              In another bowl combine buttermilk, oil, egg and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth.
                                                              Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients, add nuts and mix well with mixer.
                                                              Ladle 1/3 cup of the batter onto the hot skillet and cook the pancakes for 2 to 4 minutes per side or until brown.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: mdepsmom
                                                                kindofabigdeal RE: mdepsmom Jan 31, 2008 08:54 PM

                                                                I don't recall there being whole oats in the pancakes and I'm a little surprised that they are 100% whole wheat. The blanching of the almonds is definitely important for getting the same texture as theirs.

                                                                1. re: kindofabigdeal
                                                                  mdepsmom RE: kindofabigdeal Feb 1, 2008 09:09 AM

                                                                  The recipe states to grind the oats in a food processor or blender to make flour.

                                                                  1. re: mdepsmom
                                                                    kindofabigdeal RE: mdepsmom Feb 1, 2008 11:39 AM

                                                                    ahhh, so you're saying I should learn to read???

                                                              2. t
                                                                thedoorchick RE: Kajikit Jan 31, 2008 09:57 AM

                                                                I haven't been to IHOP in quite some time, but it's a great place to go when it's 2 a.m. and you've got the after-nightlife munchies. I love their banana nut pancakes.

                                                                I don't know if I've ever eaten anything but pancakes there.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: thedoorchick
                                                                  spellweaver16 RE: thedoorchick Jan 31, 2008 06:42 PM

                                                                  You should try the omelettes sometime. I wouldn't go for the stuffed french toast of any kind unless you like overly sweet things.

                                                                2. danhole RE: Kajikit Feb 1, 2008 06:41 AM

                                                                  I like IHOP. There is a wide variety of food, and most all of it is pretty good. Now we have 2 that are close by. One is AWFUL! Small. dingy, dirty, surly staff, and they randomly substitute ingredients, i.e. white bread for sourdough, YUK! Just tell me when I order that you are out of something and I will change my order! The other one is wonderful. Clean, attentive wait staff, fresh food and never substitute. We drive a bit further to go to that one.

                                                                  What makes me giggle is the banner they have on the building. It says "Senior Citizens. Buy one get one free." Now who would want to buy a senior citizen, and then get another? LOL!

                                                                  1. c
                                                                    crt RE: Kajikit Feb 1, 2008 09:19 AM

                                                                    IHOP? INOT! Why? The food may not be particularly bad for a chain. But the service in every one wev'e been in was terrible. Bad enough that it is slow. But the waiters/waitresses have always been inattentive and never very cordial or even friendly. Just getting a coffee cup refilled a major problem. But the one thing that finally broke the perverbial camels back was that they absolutely refuse to do substitutions. Even minor ones. At least everyone we had ever been in. By far your much better off finding an 'independenly owned' breakfast house/coffee shop/diner.

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: crt
                                                                      mlgb RE: crt Feb 1, 2008 07:03 PM

                                                                      That's odd. The ones I've been to have always had great service. Fast and friendly. And not a problem with substitutions (although maybe you 'd get charged an extra dollar or two).

                                                                      1. re: mlgb
                                                                        crt RE: mlgb Feb 1, 2008 08:25 PM

                                                                        Well I guess you're the lucky one. I've had these problems at one in San Diego, Huntington Beach, and Garden Grove.

                                                                        1. re: crt
                                                                          mlgb RE: crt Feb 2, 2008 09:17 AM

                                                                          Now I'm wondering if you've got a coffee carafe on your table, why are you trying to get a coffee cup refilled? The one with the best service in my area is the Los Altos one in Long Beach. I've noticed the manager is always visible.

                                                                          1. re: mlgb
                                                                            crt RE: mlgb Feb 2, 2008 11:34 AM

                                                                            No coffee carafe on the tables at the locations in San Diego or Huntington Beach when we ate there. However I believe there was one on the table at the Garden Grove location.

                                                                            1. re: crt
                                                                              mlgb RE: crt Feb 2, 2008 12:30 PM

                                                                              Was that a long time ago? The coffee carafe has been SOP for at least 5 years. I know the one on Main Street in HB does it. It does make it nice when you don't have to flag anyone down.

                                                                    2. f
                                                                      fran124 RE: Kajikit Feb 1, 2008 09:31 AM

                                                                      We had a wonderful experience at an IHOP! It was New Year's Eve the year the movie Ghandi came out. We were living in Cupertino and had a friend from Brooklyn visiting us. The three of us went to see Ghandi, which you might recall was a fairly long movie. Afterwards, we started driving down the Camino Real toward San Jose looking for someplace to eat. Nothing! New Years Eve, and nothing still open... except the IHOP.

                                                                      When we walked in, we realized we were the only customers. There was a large party there, but they were friends of the owner, and they were Polynesian. They were having a great time laughing and singing Polynesian songs. The owner graciously welcomed us and brought us party hats, paper leis and champagne - which wasn't bad with pancakes. We loved it. It was one of my favorite New Years celebrations.

                                                                      1. Suzy Q RE: Kajikit Feb 2, 2008 10:11 AM

                                                                        IHOP is a pretty good breakfast choice, especially if you're in a new area and don't know what restaurants may do breakfast, or how their breakfast may be. We do have a few indy breakfast places here, and to be honest, I don't find them that much different or better than IHOP.

                                                                        That being said, I love IHOP for their late night food. Nothing beats their potato pancakes at 2 a.m. :-)

                                                                        1. m
                                                                          mariannas RE: Kajikit Feb 2, 2008 04:36 PM

                                                                          The IHOP in my hometown of Yakima, WA has just wonderful lingonberry crepes. Oh my goodness. I'm a bit of a crepe snob and these totally live up to my standards.

                                                                          1. l
                                                                            lamster RE: Kajikit Feb 4, 2008 10:04 AM

                                                                            We don't normally go to IHOP but did this weekend for Sunday breakfast. We had some friends visiting town (with their two little boys) and it was a great place to take them for Sunday morning breakfast. There were plenty of other kids around so I wasn't uncomfortable when their kids were getting a little loud and roudy.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: lamster
                                                                              southernitalian RE: lamster Feb 4, 2008 10:13 AM

                                                                              I like IHOP too and agree it's a great place for rowdy kids. We camp twice a year with a group of friends. We've gotten pretty good at cooking while we camp but we've also developed a tradition of stopping at the IHOP on our way out of the mountains (NC) and back to Charlotte. I like their omelettes and this particular location has great coffee. Especially after living for three or four days on hot dogs and Jiffy Pop.

                                                                            2. s
                                                                              swissgirl RE: Kajikit Feb 11, 2008 03:20 PM

                                                                              I haven't been to IHOP in awhile and my last experience wasn't good or bad, just mediocre which is unfortunate, since going out to breakfast is one of my favorite things.

                                                                              But I seem to remember, as a kid in the 70s, IHOP had a rack of syrups on the table with a selection of flavors - blueberry, strawberry, apricot (my favorite) and trying them all as I worked through my pancakes. Am I remembering correctly? That, and the cool A-frame architecture, is what I remember and liked about IHOP. Now, it's not any different or better than other chain breakfast places.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: swissgirl
                                                                                Suzy Q RE: swissgirl Feb 11, 2008 03:43 PM

                                                                                Yep, they still have the syrups.

                                                                              2. d
                                                                                Diane in Bexley RE: Kajikit Feb 12, 2008 10:23 AM

                                                                                Haven't been to IHOP in years. They used to have a hamburger club sandwich that came with FF. This was about 20 years ago when I could eat food like this and get away with it. They were truly yummy. But it could also be that I was a poor, starving college student with unsophisticated palette. Do they still have this sandwich?

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Diane in Bexley
                                                                                  gloriousfood RE: Diane in Bexley May 18, 2008 08:20 AM

                                                                                  OMG, I used to be addicted to that hamburger club sandwich! No idea if they still have it. Recently, after a long hiatus, my husband and I went to the IHOP in Harlem for bfast.. It was clean, service was efficient, the food was great, and the coffee caraf and syrup caddy brought back some wonderful childhood memories.

                                                                                2. monkuboy RE: Kajikit Feb 12, 2008 07:22 PM

                                                                                  It depends on the manager. There's a nearby IHOP that has very good service and pretty decent food. Even when it is really crowded the employees are doing their job right (Alhambra, CA). On the other hand, there was another nearby IHOP (since replaced by a Panera in Pasadena) that was horrible because the manager didn't know how to smile and the employees must have taken a cue from him. And another IHOP in Monterey Park is so-so. I haven't been there in a while but again, the manager was very standoffish and had no idea how to smile either, and it seems the entire place acquired the same mood. I don't know if it is the same since it has been a while but it seems to me that the manager makes all the difference when it comes to the experience at a restaurant.

                                                                                  1. PDeveaux RE: Kajikit Feb 23, 2008 10:53 AM

                                                                                    Our IHOP in DeLand, FL can be iffy but one Sunday morning my sister and I stopped for breakfast on our way to another function. Once we told our server that we had somewhere to be she did everything she could to get our food to us and brought the check right away so we wouldn't have to flag her down. We enjoyed our food, had plenty of time to get where we were headed and the server got a great tip that time! I have always enjoyed the pancakes at IHOP and they know how to cook bacon!

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: PDeveaux
                                                                                      kindofabigdeal RE: PDeveaux Feb 23, 2008 12:00 PM

                                                                                      I've had an experience like that, and I've also had times when I went in and just asked them to keep my coffee full (or keep a warm carafe) and they've done that as well. I feel obligated to mention I've only done this at downtimes and have tipped accordingly for the work.

                                                                                      1. re: PDeveaux
                                                                                        TampaAurora RE: PDeveaux Jun 21, 2008 04:33 PM

                                                                                        Oh, the DeLand IHOP brings back memories of high school! Even then I knew it was a grease pit which may have never seen bleach, but we loved that it was cheap and there were pancakes!!! When a friend of mine got married recently in Daytona, we found an IHOP and reminisced. I also evened out his sideberns in the parking lot with manicure scissors but that is probably a different thread :)

                                                                                      2. podunkboy RE: Kajikit Feb 25, 2008 06:07 PM

                                                                                        We've eaten at a couple locations in Wichita and have had good service and HOT food. I mostly go there for a patty melt burger, although I did actually order a pancake breakfast a couple times ago that was quite filling. My wife loves the crepes florentine (hold the hollendaise sauce), I even help her finish the last bite or two, and I'm no big fan of spinach.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: podunkboy
                                                                                          dream_of_giusti RE: podunkboy Feb 28, 2008 09:11 AM

                                                                                          I have to chime in because I don't think I will ever get to write an ode to IHOP again. My love affair with IHOP began in preschool when my dad would take me at least 3 times a week for breakfast. Growing up my cousin and I would con my grandmother into taking us by asking for hot chocolate, she let us drink the little coffee creamer cups and have pigs in a blanket. In the summer the IHOP near me is open 24 hours a day. My sisters and I used to call up guy friends to take us to IHOP at 3 in the morning. After prom half of the many high schools' students can be found at IHOP. My husband and I laugh because no matter what time day or night we see someone we know at IHOP. The moral to my story is the IHOP near me is great, always busy, and the food is consistently good. The consistency of the food for the price is a great value for someone like me who will travel across states to satisfy a craving.

                                                                                          1. re: dream_of_giusti
                                                                                            Suzy Q RE: dream_of_giusti Mar 1, 2008 12:58 PM

                                                                                            Pigs in blankets! Ohhhhhhh man now I'm completely craving them! The ones at IHOP are SO good.

                                                                                        2. f
                                                                                          Fibber McGee RE: Kajikit Feb 28, 2008 11:48 AM

                                                                                          While I much prefer Original Pancake House if it's breakfast, I've actually had some good experiences (with decent food and good service) at the IHOP in Royal Oak, Michigan.

                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Fibber McGee
                                                                                            Diane in Bexley RE: Fibber McGee Feb 28, 2008 12:28 PM

                                                                                            Oh Fibber, OPH is the best! We lived for years in the Chicago area and I salivate at the thought of Walker Bros. OPH pancakes, basted eggs, real cream in the coffee, etc. Every time we go back to visit the relatives, they think we are nuts to stand in line for an hour. All we have here are yucky Bob Evans, not the same!

                                                                                            1. re: Diane in Bexley
                                                                                              Fibber McGee RE: Diane in Bexley Feb 29, 2008 03:28 AM

                                                                                              I take it you're not a fan of Tee-Jaye's.
                                                                                              If you're ever in the Dayton area, Diane, there's an OPH in Centerville.

                                                                                              1. re: Fibber McGee
                                                                                                Diane in Bexley RE: Fibber McGee Feb 29, 2008 05:35 AM

                                                                                                Thanks Fibber, don't get to Dayton too often, we find a reason about once a year to go to Pine Club for steak or the Millrace Restaurant in Clifton Mill for breakfast. As for Tee-Jaye's, no, not a fan.

                                                                                                1. re: Diane in Bexley
                                                                                                  Fibber McGee RE: Diane in Bexley Feb 29, 2008 09:15 AM

                                                                                                  Not a surprise about Tee-Jaye's. The couple of times I've tried them, in Zanesville and the one off of 670, the service wasn't very good and the food not much better.

                                                                                            2. re: Fibber McGee
                                                                                              Suzy Q RE: Fibber McGee Mar 1, 2008 12:59 PM

                                                                                              I would love to have an OPH in my neck of the woods. I haven't been to one in ages but they're wonderful.

                                                                                            3. Scrapironchef RE: Kajikit Feb 29, 2008 10:17 AM

                                                                                              Just got back from the Atlanta area and went to one near Lithonia on Panola Road. Normally I would avoid IHOP because of my chain aversion but it was either that or Waffle House (too grim to contemplate). I have to admit it was a pretty good breakfast, everything cooked as ordered, hot and tasty. The only problem was the rack of syrups had no labels on any of the pitchers, leaving you to choose between the kinda purple one, the kinda red one a light brownish one and one that was kinda purply brown. THey all pretty much tasted the same so it didn't make a lot of difference.

                                                                                              A secondary point is how Waffle house owns the breakfast market in the suburban area there, wifey and I drove around for about forty five minutes looking for a reasonable alternative. There just weren't any mom and pop places to be found.

                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Scrapironchef
                                                                                                mdepsmom RE: Scrapironchef Feb 29, 2008 01:29 PM

                                                                                                At our local IHOP, the syrups in the rack aren't "labeled," per se. The name of the flavor is embossed onto the cap. Easy to miss, if you're not looking there.

                                                                                                1. re: mdepsmom
                                                                                                  Suzy Q RE: mdepsmom Mar 1, 2008 01:00 PM

                                                                                                  I was just going to say the same thing - I've not seen labels on a syrup in IHOP forever. The names have been embossed on the caps for as long as I can remember, although they've changed them from brown to blue in recent years. The blue, IMHO, is much easier to read.

                                                                                                  1. re: Suzy Q
                                                                                                    Scrapironchef RE: Suzy Q Mar 2, 2008 09:01 PM

                                                                                                    The ones I saw were brown, but with or without the labels the flavors were indistinguishable.

                                                                                                    1. re: Scrapironchef
                                                                                                      Panini Guy RE: Scrapironchef May 19, 2008 06:49 PM

                                                                                                      If you couldn't tell the imitation maple from the boysenberry, I don't want you cooking for me ;-)

                                                                                                      Really, until some other chain offers boysenberry syrup, IHOP will continue to own a small part of my pancake dollar.

                                                                                                      1. re: Panini Guy
                                                                                                        Scrapironchef RE: Panini Guy May 22, 2008 04:16 PM

                                                                                                        I can tell the difference, but HFCS is HFCS no matter what food coloring you put in it.

                                                                                                2. re: Scrapironchef
                                                                                                  SuzyInChains RE: Scrapironchef Mar 3, 2008 04:31 PM

                                                                                                  What kind of bad experience did you have at Waffle House? There are no IHOPs hear me, but I find Waffle House to be a fine alternative.

                                                                                                  1. re: SuzyInChains
                                                                                                    Scrapironchef RE: SuzyInChains Mar 3, 2008 04:46 PM

                                                                                                    The grease level at the ones I ate at was off the charts.

                                                                                                  2. re: Scrapironchef
                                                                                                    kindofabigdeal RE: Scrapironchef Mar 5, 2008 03:56 AM

                                                                                                    I'm glad to hear you at least tried to find something. IHOP does a decent breakfast, and unfortunately my breakfasts there are generally better than what I've gotten at local places, even those that came with recommendations. Just because a place is independently owned doesn't mean they don't source all their stuff from sysco.

                                                                                                    I once went to a very attractive local restaurant for breakfast. They had a very homey looking kitchen which was, by design, in plain site of the entire restaurant. While I was sitting there watching the cook opened up a bag of gravy mix for my biscuits and gravy. a very sad experience.

                                                                                                  3. KaimukiMan RE: Kajikit May 18, 2008 03:42 AM

                                                                                                    Never Again

                                                                                                    six of us went to IHOP in Kaneohe (Oahu) for dinner tonight. The 20 minute wait for a table turned into 30 or more. Once we were seated it was 15 minutes before they brought water/took our order, and then about a half hour to actually get our food. None of it was good. My pancakes were dried out, not warm, and poorly cooked. My bacon must have been sitting in a steam table since they started dinner service. Thank heaven I didn't order eggs, some of the other guys did... poor souls. They explained that they had been hit by a rush of large groups earlier in the evening, and they were understaffed. They were kind/smart/generous enough to cut 20% off our bill. While we knew that the slow turn around time was not our waiters fault, we did know that the fact that our plates arrived smeared with each other's food, that he dropped his order book on the floor and then stuffed it back into his apron pocket, along with napkins and cutlery and he stuck the bill down in a wet spot on the table so that it was almost impossible to tell what we were being charged for were his issues. We tipped him, mostly out of pity, but we did not tip well (and generally we do).

                                                                                                    1. e
                                                                                                      elkgrovestella RE: Kajikit May 18, 2008 05:01 PM

                                                                                                      I work with seniors with Alzheimer's dementia. At least twice a month we go to IHOP for breakfast. While IHOP is not high on my list of places to go for breakfast I do appreciate ours greatly-they do a good job of cooking (I've always gotten perfect poached eggs), they are quick, and we've always had great service. Since we are somewhat regulars we do tend to get the same waitress and she is a love. She knows us, knows what my grannies like and has my order down to memory (I always get the International Passport with the swedish crepes w/lingonberry sauce). I can't speak for any others in the area, but every other Thursday morning I have no problems with going to ours!

                                                                                                      1. s
                                                                                                        Sharuf RE: Kajikit May 19, 2008 03:48 AM

                                                                                                        I frequently breakfast at the local IHOP. The place is clean and efficient, the manager greets me like a best friend, the hash browns are always perfect, and their crepes are wonderful. Ordering eggs poached medium is hit or miss, but that's a minor quibble considering how right everything else is.

                                                                                                        One sign of a good breakfast venue is whether it has any breakfast clubs. ("Breakfast club" = a group of pals who show up same time, same day each week.) My IHOP has one.

                                                                                                        1. beelzebozo RE: Kajikit May 19, 2008 03:14 PM

                                                                                                          i have them all the time. here's how it plays out:

                                                                                                          - friends and i go in
                                                                                                          - promptly seated
                                                                                                          - eat delicious pancakes
                                                                                                          - pay amount on menu
                                                                                                          - leave
                                                                                                          - joy ensues

                                                                                                          it's definitely not the sort of place you go in and expect to be catered to in the way you would be at a fine dining joint, but what do you expect? it's ihop. go for the pancakes.

                                                                                                          1. a
                                                                                                            aynrandgirl RE: Kajikit May 19, 2008 08:58 PM

                                                                                                            I love the cinnamon roll french toast. Along with syrup and lots of butter, a sugar-addict's dream.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: aynrandgirl
                                                                                                              FoodieKat RE: aynrandgirl May 21, 2008 01:24 PM

                                                                                                              Wow, wish I had seen those on the menu. Though the cornmeal pancakes are very good too. But I love the cinnamon roll french toast from Coco's so would probably love IHop's version too.

                                                                                                            2. FoodieKat RE: Kajikit May 21, 2008 01:21 PM

                                                                                                              Actually, yes. I had a very tasty late brunch/lunch there a few months ago while waiting for my car to be serviced at the nearby dealership. This was in Santa Ana, California. The service was extremely friendly and quick (maybe because it wasn't busy), and the food was fresh and tasty. Their cornmeal pancakes are yummy. The restaurant was spotlessly clean too. They even made us some iced coffee which, while not brilliant, was unlimited in supply and definitely drinkable, and I appreciated the extra effort since they don't normally serve iced coffee. The only restaurants in the immediate vicinity were fast food chains so this was definitely the best of the bunch.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: FoodieKat
                                                                                                                billfish RE: FoodieKat May 21, 2008 09:09 PM

                                                                                                                Pancakes are not something you want every day,but when you are jonesing,they really hit the spot.And IHOP has never failed to hit the pancake spot for me.When I lived in New England,I frequented the Bickford's chain ,mostly because of a delightful waitress who worked there named Roberta.She was a living doll;but if pushed to the wall,i would say that IHOP does pancakes better.I never venture into the sandwiches and dinners on their menu,and never much asked for any high-dollar service,just bring the pancakes and leave me be.I cannot recall IHOP ever disappointing-but agin,this is only a 2-3 times a year thing.Hey,its pancakes.
                                                                                                                The carafe of coffee used to be really cool,but in these days of No-Smoking,it is pretty much a non entity.

                                                                                                                1. re: billfish
                                                                                                                  FoodieKat RE: billfish May 23, 2008 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                  Ha yeah, my iced coffee experience at IHOP consisted of the waiter bringing over the proverbial carafe of coffee with two glasses of ice. To his credit though, he did keep bringing more ice to top our glasses off (Mr Foodiekat and I). He was a very good, attentive waiter.

                                                                                                              2. k
                                                                                                                karenf RE: Kajikit Jun 20, 2008 02:32 PM

                                                                                                                My husband likes IHOP, but I am not impressed. The only thing I eat there is the whole grain and nut pancakes. They are really pretty good.

                                                                                                                1. mamamia RE: Kajikit Jun 20, 2008 06:48 PM

                                                                                                                  We're within walking distance to an IHOP, so it's easy for us to pack the kids in the stroller and head over.

                                                                                                                  They give kiddies a paper menu and crayons, so that's aces for this mom. Husband likes the coffee carafe, I like the pancakes.

                                                                                                                  1. Calipoutine RE: Kajikit Jun 27, 2008 03:48 PM

                                                                                                                    They have new " taste of America" pancakes. The week I went, my sister had the carrot cake( good) and I had some type of strawberry( not so good).

                                                                                                                    1. Calipoutine RE: Kajikit Aug 5, 2008 06:27 PM

                                                                                                                      My sister just called me, raving about this months taste of america pancakes. She had the WA apple crisp and my BIL had the Bananas foster( it came with ice cream). She said they were both great. Pretty smart of IHOP to introduce 3 new flavors each month. Gets ppl going back to try the new offerings.

                                                                                                                      1. Grover1962 RE: Kajikit Aug 14, 2008 08:43 PM

                                                                                                                        Try the one in Garden Grove...they aim to please.

                                                                                                                        1. f
                                                                                                                          ferret RE: Kajikit Aug 15, 2008 03:42 PM

                                                                                                                          I had several great experiences at IHOP. Unfortunately they were about 38 years ago when my expectations were low and a plate of silver dollar pancakes was manna from heaven.

                                                                                                                          1. n
                                                                                                                            nedj10 RE: Kajikit Jan 11, 2009 06:14 PM

                                                                                                                            I just wnted to add 2 cents to this very long thread. IHOP is hit or miss , it usually varies by individual store. Here in Atlanta the Roswell IHOP is spot on every time but the South Cobb location is the absolute pits. The trouble is the Management seems to care but it is a care motivated only by half attempts at profit concerns. A few months ago my girlfriend and I were in the South Cobb store and had deplorable service. I emailed IHOP and received a call from the "District Manager" He was polite and did apologize even offered to send me a gift certificate for the cost of our bill.. Well long store short despite having my Name, phone and email no certificate ever arrived. and a month later a friend said they had a bad time at the same store and would never go back. So I suppose I would say go to a new ihop with an open mind..but odds are your first impression will probably be a good one. Also I would highly reccomend the Roswell Rd IHOP and the Buckhead one both are welcome oasises at 2 am when you just can't do another trip to the ableit mighty and glorius Waffle House.

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