International House of Pancakes – visiting a legend
On the way back from a trip to Cali a long plane ride and a lack of medical sedatives made for me being in need of sleep and food. When I don’t eat I get painfully cranky so in order to avoid an incident at the border I decided that I need to eat right away and I really wanted breakfast food. So having landed in Burlington we asked around for information on where to get breakfast. I asked at the airport, the parking lot and even in a grocery store with no luck. Most people didn’t know of any place to eat breakfast on a weekday early in the morning and when one person suggested McDonalds I almost cried but I think the emotion was masked by disgust, which I think she saw on my face (sorry I’m cranky when I’m hungry). Then, as if a sign from above, someone suggested Ihop’s and pointed us in the right direction.
Now, I should ask to all those who did not know where to go for breakfast and you have a Ihops in town – what are you smoking ???? I mean come on, this is arguably one of the largest breakfast chains in North America and they have commercials on the TV and radio as well as in print. How do you not know you have an Ihop’s in town (1,402 locations in 50 states) and for that girl who suggested McDonalds, you’re lucky that Ihops was suggested 30 seconds later.(Don’t you ever pull that stunt again) Ok, now back to sanity land. I usually have a rule against reviewing chains and especially the giant ones, but I had my camera, I was hungry and I wasn’t going to lose a chance of reviewing the “biggie”. I mean, back in the day people would leave the club to drive down across the border and go to Ihop’s and wolf down a stack of pancakes while still drunk or hung over (not the driver though). I remember one time when we decided to sleep before going and went there sober and realized we drove all this time for just pancakes and that was the end of it – call it a sobering though or one of those morning after “OMG what was I thinking?” moments
At 1st glance
So as we drove up the Ihops it called forth like a beacon, after a long and hungry journey. Well actually, it’s in a weird spot in a mall but the sign is so big and bold, you can’t miss it. We walked in and saw a very nice clean and brightly lit place with nice booths and we immediately parked ourselves down into one of them.
If other larger menus are books than this is the bible of menus. It covers basically anything you would want for breakfast and if you ask them to change something off menu, they will do it. The prices are not only affordable but most dishes are cheap being priced well under $9 and the most expensive item is a $13 which is the T-bone steak. You’ve got French toast and waffles ($4.99-$6.99), pancakes ($4.99-$6.99), omelettes ($4.99-$6.99), soups, salads, sandwiches ($2.69-$8.99), the “For me” menu (health) ($4.29-$7.99) and that’s just a slight sampling of what they have. Moreover, they have a kids menu ($1.69-$3.49), healthy kids menu ($2.99-$4.99), and a seniors menu ($3.79-$6.99).Now, I hate to admit it but I lost one of my bills so I only know the price for one menu item and can kind of guess the other item but I do know what they taste like and that is the important part.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this was no exception. As I perused through this tome of a menu I came across one item with a photo that reminded me of a siren calling across a smoky dance floor, and her name was Butterscotch Rocks Pancakes ($5.99). I was all like “hey baby, nice name”… and as I chatted up this lovely 4 stack high buttermilk pancake, I gazed into her lovely brown butterscotch chip eyes and was floored by her ample offering of pecans and granola. And just as if it wasn’t perfect enough they topped it with a nice big dollop of whipped cream. Oh, and did I mention it was only $5.99. So, as per my overly loving description, I’m sure you can tell that I was very happy and enjoyed every bite of it. The pancakes were fluffy, and it was a nice shot of sweet and sugary goodness, which was much appreciated after my long trip.
My friend ended up ordering a fruit cup, poached egg and hash brown. I don’t recall the price but I seriously doubt it was more than $9.00. The egg was properly done, the hash browns were of good texture and the fruit was fresh.
As much as I enjoyed my plate, as well as enjoying the low price, I should highlight that I could not eat this every day or weekend. It was very sweet and I could feel my arteries clogging (in a good way). The menu has some very sweet items such as stuffed French toast which, unless you have a serious sweet tooth, can be a sugar overload.
Our waitress was unbelievable being very chipper, nice, helpful and was constantly refilling our coffee with a smile. She was very helpful in showing us all the options we could have. She also went in the back and got a special jam for us that they don’t always serve.
This menu has everything and vegetarian options are not an exception. They even have a healthy “for me” section. Choice is an understatement and they also offer salads so they technically cover some vegan options although the salads are more lunch than breakfast but it’s more than what other places offer.
Although I have a bias against large chains and I was famished at the time, I did put my bias aside and I thoroughly enjoyed my time at ihop’s. I can see why people like it with it’s friendly service, lots of choice and the fun and well-priced menu items. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very cookie cutter and all Ihops have the same menu which makes for what I don’t like about food chains. I still prefer independent places but if you find yourself in a spot where there might not be any local treasures but there is an Ihops around, just remember it’s a safe bet and you will be full while paying a very good price.
| 155 Dorset Street, Ste D6
SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT 05403-6265
Saturday – Thursday 7:30 a.m.- 10:00 p.m.
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|Bottomless Cup Of Coffee||YES|