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In a word: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single crepe.

The specs: #0518  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; official web site, IHOP on Urbanspoon

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Emily ate the International Crepe Passport, Swedish style with lingonberries, with a lemonade.
JM ate the stuffed French Toast with hash browns and a lemonade.
Nichole ate the International Crepe Passport, blueberry style, with a coffee.
The bill was about $30, or $10/person, plus tip.
Emily gave IHOP a C+; JM gave IHOP a C; Nichole gave IHOP a C- (see our grading rubric).

Yes. We had to go to IHOP. We HAD to, OK? Thankfully we had great company, good sport Emily of Lost Albatross and much more, on Valentine's Day of all days. The three of us were seated haphazardly in front of an emergency exit among other diners who we guessed, based on the number of out-of-state plates in the parking lot, had chosen exit 135B for a break on a very long drive. We do kind of hope nobody took their sweetheart to IHOP. Pancakes and romance go well together, but why ever do it on mauve vinyl booths?

Surfeit of dishesEmily and Nichole both got the International Crepe Passport, a crepe, egg, and meat combo. The crepes were edible enough, though the portion was small. Emily observed that the eggs seemed to have been cooked in a good deal of butter, which added a sweetness but also a not-insignificant amount of lactose, which she had to watch out for. Who wants to worry about eggs tipping the lactose meter?

Nichole opted for the turkey bacon out of curiosity. It was a molded bit of salty meat and a mathematical mystery: touted as half the calories of regular bacon, we wondered if that was calculated per strip or per serving, since JM's platter came with 2 strips and Nichole's came with 4. Why should a turkey have to die for such a thing?

JM's bacon had scientifically had its flavor removed by a process called "overcooking-the-crap-out-of-it"ification. How do you screw up bacon?

You can't really go to IHOP and not have the pancakes. JM got a short stack to top off a rather small portion of French toast. It was OK (much better than Perkins) except that it took forever and a day for regular syrup to get to the table. Seriously. How hard should it be to get syrup at an IHOP?

Short stack

We realize our cranky rhetorical questions are moot because this location is not here for us, but rather travelers who haven't reached the land of the Waffle House. IHOP may as well stand for Institutionalized Hospitality for Out-of-town Patrons, but it's no destination in and of itself.


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As stated by Mr. Lewis Black the only reason to go to IHOP is to feel better about yourself. No matter how bad off you are there is always someone much worse off at IHOP.

I really don't know how IHOP stays in business.

Believe it or not, I have eaten at an IHOP I would characterize as "good". It was a brand new location in Parker, Colorado. I *was* on vacation, though, so perhaps the quality level jumps for those Out-of-town Patrons.

I can't help it, I love their pancakes. They know how to do pancakes. Not sure why the warm syrup took so long, I've never had a problem with it. Still haven't found a place that makes a comparable pancake. I like mine light, fluffy, not burned--which is harder to find than one would think.

My wife and I have had good luck at the IHOP in Janesville. When I used to work a nite shift IHOP was a good place to go for a late meal. And I always like anybody who has 24 hour breakfast.

"Yes. We had to go to IHOP. We HAD to, OK?"

Sounds like you went in completely unbiased.

Went to the IHOP in Janesville once. All the syrup flavors seemed to have a chemical flavor, like they over did the artificial flavor, but other than that I would say it was a bit higher quality / presentation than Perkins, but also more expensive. Personally I think Perkins is fine, but nothing special, especially late at night / traveling. [Don't really have any other breakfast options down here that are open LATE at night anyway.] Now if I lived in Madison, I probably would go to one of the other places, but since I don't, make do with what you have I guess.

IHOP is one of those places that just lures you in every now and again, usually when hungover, or yes, on vacation. There's no fighting it and no questioning it.

I miss the downtown Madison IHOP. The food was overpriced and unremarkable. However, you didn't go for the food. The customers were generally stoned and/or drunk. They provided so much entertainment.

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