I first heard of IHOP when I watched the movie I Am Sam starring Sean Penn and Dakota Fanning. Ever since, I have thought of the restaurant (which stands for International House of Pancakes) as a place where one can get comforting breakfast any time of the day (or get food and decrease the alcohol in your system after a night of drinking) with warm mother-figure-ish staff serving your plate of caloric goodness. My analogy is that IHOP is to Americans what Jollibee is to FIlipinos.
When I heard that a franchise would be opening in the country, I was excited to try their world-famous buttermilk pancakes though I was a bit hesitant when I learned that the first branch would be situated in Bonifacio Global City because (1) It’s far from where I live and (2) that place is kind of high-end so the price might not be as average Joe-friendly as I hoped.
Two months after their opening, the queue is still long though we only had to wait for 45 minutes to get a table on a Sunday afternoon compared with other people who experienced waiting for an hour and a half just to be seated. When we arrived we were number 16 on the list and there were more hungry and curious customers after we left.
The place was unlike what I had imagined. Contrary to being warm and modest, IHOP Philippine’s interior was upscale and it doesn’t seem like a place you can go to straight from your bed wearing pajamas. I didn’t take a picture of the place because you can find thousands in Google. Besides, all tables were occupied and I might distract the diners with the clicking of my camera. Also, the servers were young and fit, far from the middle aged, mostly-overweight staff I expected to see (Where are these people found? In carinderias that’s why I love eating in one).
On the table were three different kinds of syrup: Old fashioned, Butter Pecan and Strawberry. Blueberry was not available but it’s okay, I’m not a fan of the fruit any way.
The obligatory pre-meal pictures. This is what Instagram has reduced us into. haha. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people who take photos of food before consumption (I’m guilty) and I am actually not particularly fond of others who bash the “ritual”. I just find it funny, that’s all (though taking a hundred shots of two strips of bacon is too much).
Ysa and Abi both ordered the Create your own Viva La French Toast Combo which included four pieces of French Toast, two eggs, hash browns and a choice of two bacon strips or two pork sausage links. Of course they chose bacon and all three of us had scrambled eggs.
Since the only variety of hash browns we’ve had in our lives is McDonald’s (and the one sold at supermarkets which comes close), we needed a little getting used to with IHOP’s version. It’s not crunchy, almost soggy, in fact ,and instead of being cubed, the potatoes were shredded. Ysa didn’t like it, Abi was ambivalent while I appreciated the taste after a couple of mouthfuls (but I still go for Mickey D’s version).
I had Split Decision Breakfast because IHOP is famous for their pancakes and French toast and this combination had both. It included “two triangles of French toast and two buttermilk pancakes served with a hearty combination of two eggs, two crispy bacon strips and two pork sausage links“.
Bacon is ALWAYS good. The pork sausage links were too salty even for me. I could feel the unhealthy additives in every bite. I like my bread warm and chewy and the French toast was neither. It tasted like it has been seating for a long time before it was served. Having a clue on how hard running a food business is, I can understand how chaotic the kitchen can become when there’s an influx of customers but still, when you charge hundreds of bucks, you better give the customers the value for their moolah. Lastly, I refuse to believe that this wanting amount of protein is two eggs. Looks like one piece of scrambled egg to me.
To improve my mood and because I am so excited for the last half of the last season of Breaking Bad *tears*, I copied what Walter did to his bacon in the first episode. Grabe, the whole series’ timeline is just two years! Who was he going to kill with his sniper? Where were Skyler and his kids? What happened to Hank? Those are questions I need to wait ’til August for answers. The longing would be painful but I’m sure the wait would be worth it. :]
The famous buttermilk pancakes. Yep, they’re fluffier than your average fast food pancakes. Plus, they’re almost perfect with the Butter Pecan syrup (the best among the bunch, followed by Old fashioned and then the Strawberry which had a hint of sourness). Almost because they’re cold, too cold the butter didn’t melt even after I spread it on the pancakes. I would like to say I’d return for the Butter Pecan alone but I have a low tolerance for anything sweet so I’d be lying.
Overall, it was a pleasant brunch. The food was delicious mostly because the saltiness of the bacon and sausage links evens out the sweetness of the pancakes and french toast though personally, I don’t think they’re worth 400 bucks. If their branch was somewhere in the Manila-Makati area, I would surely be back to try other items but Taguig is such a hassle for me so the omelette and fried chicken would have to wait. haha. Go try it for the sake of trying IHOP.
We waited in line for 45 minutes, ate for less than 30 minutes and loitered in the place for more than an hour (sorry for the waiting customers outside but we needed to get the value for our money in having a place to sit comfortably, at least).
I came straight from night duty and was scheduled for another night shift so I was having some sort of headache but these two ladies kept me good company. I missed you dudes, it was nice catching up with you!