The International House of Pancakes restaurants is one of America's best-known, family restaurant chains. IHOP restaurants are open throughout the day and evening hours, and offer a broad array of lunch, dinner and snack items as well as their award-winning … see full wiki
Cons: have to ask for water, pancakes were overdone
The Bottom Line: The service was quick with a tasty omelette for breakfast mid morning. A good spot for families during lazy summer days.
The nearest IHOP to me has a small parking lot and is located around the corner from where I once worked. I have not been there in years and kept planning on visiting, but never got around to it.
During the summer my kids attend an autism day camp, so I stay in the same area as the camp in case of an emergency and to save thirty miles.
Earlier in the week I took my Minivan to a Jiffy Lube in Alhamra, California. Afterwards I walked around a Party City store and Toys R Us that were located next to one another. As I waited for the light out of the parking lot I opted to go across the street to the IHOP. The parking spaces closest to the entrance were taken, but there was ample spaces farther away.
It was just about eleven am on a weekday morning when I entered IHOP, located on Fremont Avenue. The cash register is easy to spot as you walk inside. There is a line of booths to the left with the telephone and restrooms located off to the right side of this area. There are two stalls for ladies room, it is a tight squeeze to get inside one of the doors. There are two sinks and the towel dispenser was in working order.
In just a few seconds I was seated to a table after entering. Many of the booths were taken at the right section of this IHOP. The middle area are tables that are round and serve five or square seating four. This was crowded for mid morning on a summer day. From observing the tables as I sat at my booth it was apparent that most were having breakfast. I did observe one person with soup.
Since earlier in the week I had a Monte Cristo sandwich at Shaker's on Fair Oaks in South Pasadena, I knew I would be having breakfast, so barely looked at the lunch and dinner offerings on the menu.
The color scheme is blue with the waitresses wearing Hawaiian colors. The only bus person I noted was male and I saw two waitresses for my section. My waitress worked simultaneously with two other tables that had four customers each. She did not seem overly busy with these and other tables and none of the customers were rushed through their meals.
As I sat at the table I moved the plastic blue carafe for coffee. The table contained salt and pepper shakes plus ample supply of sugar and sweet n low packets. Against the wall was the blue tray that housed the four syrups. These were old fashioned pancake syrup, blueberry, boysenberry and strawberry. I lucked out that the old fashioned was closest to me since this is the only flavor I like.
The waitress asked me first for my drink order and quickly returned with a regular sized orange juice ($2.29). I am not really a big orange juice drinker, but this was very good with no pulp or pieces floating around.
The menu is several pages with various offerings for lunch, dinner and breakfast. There are items noted with a star that are favorites. Some of the menu listings are featured in color photos on the side. This was the case with my chosen breakfast item. It had a star and the photo was somewhat deceiving, but was delicious nonetheless.
The Country Omelette contains ham, cheese, onions and hashbrowns with a topping of sour cream. I asked specifically for no topping and received just as I requested, because I would have sent it back with sour cream on top. I had contemplated asking about the hash browns, but I noted the photo and it looked like they were draped over the omelette, so I thought that would taste good.
Well the photo was actually shredded cheese on top and the hash browns were inside the omelette. This is something I never had before, but quite tasty and not overdone. The omelette was very fluffy and lined the plate fully at an angle. It was topped with melted and grated cheddar cheese. The ham was finely chopped to small dices and loads in every bite. I hardly noticed the onions and would have liked a bit more. I did have to salt my omelette a few times to taste.
I also ordered a chocolate milk since I am not a coffee drinker. This arrived before my meal and while I was still drinking my orange juice. I would have rather it arrived with my meal, but did like the bonus of whipped cream. I saw at another table a girl having hot cocoa with whipped cream as well.
Due to the high temperature here in Southern California I did not see anyone drinking the coffee and not sure if you get a carafe for free or a fixed price. Another table did order glasses of water, which I should have done, but skipped. The chocolate milk was creamy and I could have had another if they included a refill, but one regular size cost $1.69. I did specifically order a regular size as noted in the menu, but the orange juice just arrived that size and was not explained there was more than one when ordered.
Each breakfast order comes with three buttermilk pancakes with butter on top. These were dark in color, tasted okay, but the plate was the size of the pancakes, making it difficult to cut and pour the syrup without it running off the plate. I only had a few bites and ate most of my omelette.
The syrup easily poured from the container and it was filled almost high. I did not see the bus person cleaning the containers on other tables and did note how he wiped around the condiments and did not move them. He was quick to assist with a customer who dumped a glass of water on the table, in fact he was running with his gray cart on wheels to the table.
The windows had shades that were half way drawn, but you could still see outside on the street and the traffic. I was sitting high up and far away so that it was not uncomfortable having people sitting at a light watching you eat and read the newspaper.
No one ever came to take my plate of pancakes. The waitress did inquire as to the food and then another round she handed out checks to her tables. After I finished and was resuming with the paper a fly wisked past me. This was a bit disturbing and I was glad I had finished my meal.
When the waitress brought my omelette and pancakes she had three napkins. I had planned on asking for more since I had to use one to place my spoon down after consuming the whipped cream. The ham, cheese, onions and hash browns was a nice blend for an omelette and I will be returning for another one this summer.
Outside the front doors is a rack of Los Angeles Times, Daily News and Pasadena Star News. At the end of the walkway music can be heard and an enclosed patio area with green tables and chairs. There were no customers there so not sure if it was open for business or not.
The omelette was $7.29 with my total for one breakfast being under twelve dollars. I believe the omelettes have three eggs. There are options to add ham, bacon or sausage for an additional price, but I had ham with my omelette so this was not necessary. I would have rather had the choice of toast versus the pancakes.
The other offerings on the breakfast section of the menu included pigs in a blanket, french toast, waffles, steak and eggs and cheese blintzes. The lunch menu includes burgers, salads and sandwiches. The only dinner item that appealed to me was the pot roast. After four you can get a baked potato, but the other options include seasoned red potatoes and onion rings, plus the usual that other dining establishments offer. There is also the corn bread cakes, soup, salad and vegetable.
Also on the menu is chicken, shrimp, patty melt, cheese steak, turkey sandwich, blt and country fried steak. The price range for most of the meals start in the $7.00 range.
I used to frequent Carrows last summer when kids were at camp, but I liked the relaxed atmosphere and quick service better at IHOP and will return soon.
Please note that the Epinions spell check system has highlighted omelette as a misspelled word. I checked dictionary as my notes were written as such, and the IHOP website uses this spelling as well.