It's a must, a place every food website or blog should cover, a signature breakfast known all around the world, it's called IHOP, or the International House of Pancakes. We are in Chicago, it was a 20 minute walk from the hotel, so we came for a fully fledged extravaganza. I was so happy to be here.
Inside this individual house with a blue roof is IHOP, a typical American diner with individual tables separated one from the other by wooden partitions. A low ceiling and lanterns hanging from above, leather sofas and light wood tables with an open kitchen sending pleasant aromas to the dining room.
A large menu displaying a huge selection of choices. Ten choices of pancake, griddle faves, combos, omelets, egg specialties, sandwiches, salads, apps, entrees and main for kids.
Beautiful pictures, a pleasant service, a well lit space, tasty coffee, while we waited to be served. On the table was the coffee jug and four choices of sauces for your pancakes or waffles: strawberry, butter pecan, boysenberry, blueberry and maple.
We ordered a bit of everything:
- Raspberry and peach pancakes: Four buttermilk pancakes with sweet peaches and a raspberry topping. Exactly like pancakes should be, not too big and not too small, not too thick and not too thin, not too fluffy and not too chewy. Four of those pancakes topped with peach compote and raspberry sauce while a whipped cream crown decorates them. Loved them!
- Banana forester brioche French toast: Three slices of bread topped with a classic New Orleans forester's sauce with sliced bananas caramelized in a buttery brown sugar glaze. It's way too heavy, but mouthwatering and delicious. Full bodied, heavy, fresh bread topped with banana slices and caramel. That's breakfast for a week, but it's good.
- Classic breakfast crepes: Two crepes filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, ham and white cheddar cheese, topped with a cheddar cheese sauce. They're delicious! A thin crepe filled with juicy ham and scrambled eggs, sprinkled with bacon and topped with a molten cheese sauce. They're even better than many crepes I've had in Paris.
- Country omelette: Ham, cheddar cheese, onions and hash browns, topped with sour cream. A juicy and generous omelet served like a cylinder, with slices and chunks of ham, cheese and the sour cream which makes all the difference. The onions are too prominent for this plate and I would order it without them next time.
It looks commercial, but offers some decent stuff to eat. I loved this breakfast and would enjoy repeating the experience again. Everything is well prepared, beautifully decorated and generously presented. IHOP it is, I'm hoping they open in Lebanon.