I had my second very pleasant visit to the IHOP in Manhattan, Kansas yesterday. My first was breakfast for my birthday a few months ago. That morning I had a hearty breakfast with scrambled eggs, toast bacon and pancakes on the side. My fiancé had one of the omelettes and the rich hollandaise sauce made a lasting impression. We had a feast for only $20 and ‘took no prisoners’! haha From the glance I had of the menu that morning I knew that I would be back a few more times.
The IHOP (for me) resembles a little of the Wimpy restaurants found in South Africa, except Wimpy’s coffee is still tops! Their menu consists of a wide variety of meals from breakfast to sandwiches and burgers, appetizers to fresh salads, crepes, soup of the day and some dinner options including meals with steak, chicken and shrimp. Fish is not an item easily found on any menu that I’ve laid eyes on so far. Buttermilk pancakes are certainly a signature item for IHOP. If you’re not a fan you might very well find it growing on you in time. Pancakes at IHOP are like coffee at Wimpy – it keeps you going back for more! :-)
For my second visit – a bit of a midnight snack – I had the Belgium waffle with vanilla ice cream. The waffle is not usually served with ice cream, but I was pleased when the waitress found a way to fill my order instead of making excuses for it not being on the menu that way. It made me feel more at home for sure. Cravings can be tough when it is for something across the ocean instead of up the road.
I am pleasantly impressed with the layout of the restaurant (also clean and neat), the amount of windows that lets the morning sun flood in – I love natural light - the reasonable prices and the good food, as well as the friendly, efficient service!
I am rather health conscious and try to eat well even when I am not cooking myself. For beverages I try to stay away from dehydrating drinks such as coffee and carbonated drinks, i.e. Dr Pepper or Pepsi, and would usually prefer fresh juice. This has proofed to be a very difficult choice to fill in Kansas. At most restaurants your options range from limited to non-existent as your only choice seems to be orange and/or apple juice; if you’re lucky you find cranberry juice. Personally orange juice is too acidic, which often leaves me disappointingly having to be satisfied with water. Hopeful though, in winter (when I’m sure I’m going to need it) decaf coffee is on tap :-)
A definite plus for me with IHOP is their association with MyPyramide.gov which aim to encourage and assist people in making good food choices for healthy living. Their user friendly website include a tip of the day, access to obtaining a personalized eating plan, and applications for healthy eating kids amongst endless other tools and ideas. They are also listed on the Healthy Dining Finder website. I like the logo: “from fast food to fine dining... treat yourself well wherever you are” - Certainly a good philosophy to live by if you ask me.
In my opinion IHOP is a good choice for a delicious and healthy breakfast or light lunch - an all around good experience that makes me reach for my wallet with a smile, and one I gladly recommend.
* I smile to myself as I discover - right before posting this - that IHOP is an abbreviation for The International House of Pancakes - now it makes sense :-)