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IHOP You Hop Away

May 1, 2005
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:The Harvest Grain ‘N Nut Pancakes are good.

Cons:The food, service and ambiance is bad at the locations in which I have been.

The Bottom Line: Stay away. In my opinion I would only eat the breakfast items.

The last time we went to the IHOP (International House of Pancakes) in Hyannis, MA we reminded ourselves not to go again. However finding ourselves close to my mom’s condo in Florida late at night and hungry we ate here again.

About IHOP

IHOP restaurants claim to “feature moderately priced, high-quality food and beverage items, and table service in an attractive and comfortable atmosphere. Although IHOP restaurants are best known for their award-winning pancakes, omelets and other breakfast specialties, IHOP restaurants are open throughout the day and evening hours and offer a broad array of lunch, dinner and snack items as well. More than 90% of IHOP restaurants are operated by franchisees, who are independent business people. Our management belief is that an equity involved franchisee will be more responsive to the needs of the guest. There are over 1,100 IHOP restaurants located in 48 states and Canada.“ A predominant number of restaurants are in the eastern United States, California and Texas

The location we went to was at 516 South Federal Highway in Deerfield Beach. They can be reached at (954) 725-6602. The IHOPs to which I have been have been set apart by themselves with their own large parking lot.

IHOP does not take reservations.

It has been a long time since I really enjoyed eating at IHOP. There are one or two items on the menu that I do like and will note them. My review will focus on the visit to the Deerfield Beach location although I have found the food to be consistent in all the restaurants.

Décor, Service and Food - the beginning:

The first thing I noticed as we walked in was a really bad smell. If we did not want to arrive at my mom’s hungry we would have left right then. But we were escorted by a bored hostess to a booth with lumpy seats.

All the back to back booths were separated by plastic windows. I then noticed a row of booths separated by an aisle and next to them a plastic divider. IHOP in Deerfield and the locations I know are one large room. Sometimes there are seats on the other side of the cash register.
On the table were a variety of condiments such as ketchup and a service with pancake syrup in it. An attempt at making this unattractive utilitarian restaurant attractive is done with plants and hanging lamps.

The waitress came right over and took our drink order. IHOP has always been known for the pot of coffee left on the table. On this night I was impressed that fresh decaf would be made for me. However once I tasted it I found it awful. I can’t blame the taste on the fact that it might have been the bottom of the barrel but I needed sweetener in order to drink it. It tasted bitter and burnt. It was only $1.50 so I didn’t say anything.

What Is Edible? My Opinion:

You can find the menu at the website www.ihop.com.
Some breakfast items are edible. In the future I would only order breakfast foods which are served all day rather than anything listed under lunch or dinner. That is if I ever go back.

The best items on the menu are the Harvest Grain ’N Nut Pancakes. These are good and though they probably are not healthy they ̴feel“ healthier than many of the other items. (“IHOP offers a wide variety of food that should allow most people to choose a meal that suits their dietary needs. We do not maintain nutritional data on our food.̴ From the website)

These pancakes are advertised as being made with whole grains, oats, almonds and nuts. You can get them with strawberries, warm fruit compote and whipped topping if you want. These are very tasty. The nuts are visible rather than crushed inside the batter. I would recommend them.

I would order dropped eggs over medium if I were going to eat at IHOP again. They seem to be able to get these cooked the way I like them. I don’t like the yolk hard but I like it just hard enough so that it isn’t runny.

Over the years I have eaten many different foods at IHOP. My eating habits have changed for the better so that may be why I could tolerate IHOP years ago but cannot anymore.

The blintzes and crepes are not bad but if you have had blintzes in a deli you will know the difference. The blintzes are rolled like they should be and have lots of filling inside. I usually get the blintzes with cottage cheese and I like them. I should have gotten them on this night but I was trying to eat something with fewer calories. You will get 3 of them served with sour cream, strawberries or fruit compote.

The crepes are thin but taste like they had been frozen and reheated.

They advertise that the restaurant is offering special crepes for a short time. These include the Stuffed Crepes Supreme which are stuffed with scrambled eggs, Jack and Cheddar cheeses, tender ham, pork sausage, and crisp bacon. I would not order these but you may want to. Based on my experiences with their crepes they will be alright.

What is Not Edible:

My husband got the 3 egg cheese omelet. This comes with 3 plain pancakes. You can upgrade the pancakes to my favorite for an additional cost. When I was eating these pancakes years ago I liked the fact that I received plenty of butter. I always found the plain pancakes a bit dry. ’ll pay around $7.00 for an omelet.

You can get any egg order made with egg beaters. I like egg beaters generally. However in IHOP I would rather eat the real thing and increase my cholesterol level. The omelets are huge. On top of them you’ll find grated cheddar cheese making the dish look really nice. The omelet does not taste bad. The reason I am putting it as not edible is because of what is in them. This fact that there are 3 eggs could not account for the puffiness of IHOP’s omelets. I have in the past (on Atkins) stayed away from corn starch. Atkins does not “allow“ cornstarch. On various message boards I learned that many breakfast chains like IHOP add corn starch to their omelets. I do not eat corn starch now either because I think it aggravates my autoimmune disorder.

At one IHOP I asked if corn starch was added and I was told that it was. Be aware of this. The addition of this ingredient may vary by franchise location. Corn starch will not in and of itself kill you and you may not care at all. Just be aware that if you are on a diet that doesn’t allow cornstarch it could be in that omelet that you think is all protein.

I ordered the Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad. We are told that this is “Tender grilled chicken served on crisp romaine lettuce with Parmesan cheese and croutons, tossed in our classic Caesar dressing.“ It is served with garlic cheese bread. I gave my husband the bread which he did not eat. I cannot remember having chicken this bad. There was fat on the ends of the chicken strips that I had to cut off. I can“t believe I actually ate most of this dish. The lettuce was wilted. I could count the number of Parmesan cheese pieces there were; perhaps 10 and the croutons were huge and tasteless. I love Caesar dressing and even this did not taste like authentic Caesar. The salad was really tasteless in general. Truthfully I thought I might get sick from eating this dish but I didn’t. The cost of this meal was about $7.95.

Other items:

If you can continue reading I will tell you a few other items IHOP serves. You can find appetizers, sandwiches, dinner entrees, burgers, a senior and children’s menu.

The dinner entrees (except pasta) are served with a roll and corn bread cakes, soup or salad, vegetable and your choice of baked potato (after 4:00 p.m.), red potatoes, mashed potatoes, French fries, hash browns or onion rings. You can choose items such as Dixie Fried Chicken Strips or Old Fashioned Pot Roast. These will run you in the $10.00 range.

You can try their French Toast. You’ll get 6 slices dusted with powdered sugar. These aren’t too bad but if you have had great French toast that is light rather than lead-like you will taste the difference.

I used to love the Silver Dollar Pancakes. These are little ones. You can get 10 of them for around $5.00. I find these a bit better than the large pancakes perhaps because they seem thinner and are obviously smaller. Perhaps it is just an illusion that they are lighter and go down without drinking a glass of water.

The average price of meals at IHOP was around $6.00-$7.00.

Our bill for the omelet, salad, juice and one coffee came to $18.62 without a tip.

The only time our waitress came over was to give us the bill. She never asked if our food was alright or if we needed anything.

You can buy mugs, hats and t-shirts at IHOP’s website if it so moves you.

Jo’s Final Thoughts:

Would I go back? I said no once and I’ll say no again however I suppose I have learned never to say never. I might find myself in similar circumstances. I would only order breakfast items. I do not feel this is the place to order any kind of meat but again this is just my opinion.

IHOP is a great place to take children although it was not one of our stomping grounds when my children were growing up. It was an occasional breakfast or lunch stop. I don’t think I was ever impressed with IHOP. There really are few redeeming qualities. Although I like the one type of pancake it is not enough for me to seek out IHOP. The service, décor, and food are below average.

Please feel free to leave me a comment or question.

If you are heading to southern Florida you might want to read the reviews below.

Canton Garden ~ Rascal House ~ On The Border Mexican Grill and Cantina ~ The Holocaust Memorial in Miami ~ Fiesta Key -70 miles from Key West ~ The Everglades ~ John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park ~ Windley Key Fossil Reef State Geological Site

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