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Aug 11, 2011 12:38 PM

IHOP - What to order and what to skip?

Please no "skip IHOP" replies.

I feel like revisiting some chains.

I was a kid when IHOP opened in New Haven, CT. It was quite the novelty at the time and a special treat for a Sunday breakfast ... the extensive menu with exotic pancakes and a half dozen different flavored syrups.

The last time I ate at IHOP more than 10 years ago it was one of the most miserable meals of my life. It had not only gone downhill it had gone down to hell ... the coffee little more than brown water, the watery, yet greasy hash browns, etc.

Anyway, I'm curious to see how it is these days. So what are favorites and what are best ignored?
They seem to be on a health kick these days with 'Simple & Fit" choices. How are those

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  1. The wife always orders their whole-grain pancakes (instead of the buttermilk version, which I tend to order). Those whole-grain cakes seem to fall apart soon after some warm syrup is applied, resulting in tufts of what looks like between-the-walls housing insulation. Maybe they are better for you than the buttermilk variety, but they just seem kinda mealy after a few bites and strokes of the butter knife... If I am really (really) running-on-empty-hungry, i will order their chicken-fried steak, sided with biscuits and gravy. The CFS is massive both in diameter and in depth, and stays fairly crunchy even when doused with the white country gravy. Tender it is not; filling, it most certainly is. I hardly ever order it anymore, since I've noticed the accompanying menu calorie count of the item. Just about a day's worth of calories (and sodium) in one meal. Wiser minds (and stomachs) should take half home for dinner, as there will be plenty left over...

    1 Reply
    1. re: silence9

      We went today. My kid wanted pancakes. The one near us is clean, up to date, and always busy. I had a caramel hot chocolate, which was served in a huge cup, and was delicious. They had their new "holiday pancakes" - white chocolate with mint, pumpkin praline, and eggnog. We asked for a sample of the eggnog filing, both my wife and I thought it was gross. I ended up getting two white chocolate & mint pancakes (meh), and 2 pumpkin pancakes. The latter was really good. Pumpkin in the batter, a bit of caramel sauce, and crunchy cinnamon coated (I'm guessing) pecans. I'd get these again, except... carbs knock me out. Went home and took a 3 hour nap with the baby. Apparently they knocked her out, too. :)

    2. I recently went with a vegan friend, who was having trouble finding something to eat. He asked if they could make him anything, and they offered him fried apples, which were really quite tasty. I don't know if it was just those particular cooks, or if all Ihops offer this vegan option upon request, but it'd be worth a shot.

      1 Reply
      1. re: luciaannek

        Erm...are you sure the fried apples were vegan? I thought apples were usually fried in some mixture of butter/sugar/cinnamon/etc.

      2. I think it depends on the location -- we have 3 IHOPs in our general area, and prefer to go to a specific one because the food is cooked better there. My kids love IHOP so we go about once a month.

        I love their buttermilk pancakes with the blueberry syrup. Their omelets are pretty good, depending on the cook/chef. I like the Country omelet, which is ham, cheese, onions, hashbrowns and topped with a dollop of sour cream (I tell them to go light on the cheese). Kids like the belgian waffle and the chocolate chip pancakes.

          1. For breakfast, stick with the original buttermilk pancakes. The other specialty varieties (e.g. cheesecake, any of the fruit ones, etc.) are just too sweet.