IHOP: Beyond Breakfast

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As terribly clichéd as it may sound, the pancakes in IHOP at the Fort have been selling like the proverbial pancakes as it serves up order after order of the quintessential breakfast item.

Located smack at the middle of the hustle and bustle of Fort Bonifacio, IHOP serves up warm comfort food and all day breakfasts to the busy yuppies and professionals looking for a hearty meal before or after a day of hard work.

Since it opened February this year, the two story restaurant has always been jampacked with diners who line up to taste IHOP’s signature buttermilk pancakes. Leah Amagsila, the restaurant’s Senior Operations Director attributes the restaurant’s popularity to their commitment to providing an “all American breakfast experience.” “From the moment they enter, they can already smell the coffee brewing and the smell of our signature pancake syrups, and it adds to the experience.”

IHOP is a cozy, two-storey restaurant which stands beside other famous restaurants, Gyu-Kaku and PF Chang’s. Upon entering, one immediately feels welcome with the bright lights and the homey ambiance. Despite, the restaurant’s breakfastcentric menu, the restaurant particularly the second floor is usually full.

What makes IHOP stand out from other pancake houses out there is the US style buttermilk that they serve. Filipinos are accustomed to having their pancakes sweet and fluffy. IHOP serves practically the same pancakes with the exception that rather than being sweet their pancakes have a salty creamy taste. Also, rather than just the traditional maple syrup, IHOP introduces other options such as butterpecan, strawberry, and blueberry syrup. People with special dietary needs can also choose sugar free syrup that tastes exactly like maple syrup.

Another must try is the Cinn-a-stack (Php235), which consists of two buttermilk pancakes layered with cinnamon roll filling and topped with cream cheese icing and whipped topping. The Cinn-a-stack is quite filling on its own and with the cinnamon filling, it promises a sweetness overload guaranteed to satisfy sugar junkies. For those who want a fruitier pancake, they can try the double blueberry pancake (Php275) which has authentic blueberries in two buttermilk pancakes, topped with warm blueberry compote.

But more than just pancakes, IHOP also serves other breakfast items such as French toast, waffles, quesadillas, and breakfast platters. “We don’t just sell buttermilk pancakes” says Amagsila adding that people come to the restaurant initially to try the pancake but end up coming back again after they try the other items in the menu.

A key point that Amagsila stresses is that they try to keep everything in the menu authentic to the US IHOP as part of their efforts to ensure an authentic American breakfast experience. To ensure this the restaurant imports almost all its ingredients from the United States according to Chef Paulo Gutierrez IHOP’s house chef.

Gutierrez who worked as a sous chef in Makati Shangrila says that prior to IHOP’s opening he went to the United States to undergo training. He adds that having grown up in the United States he was already familiar with IHOP adding that the restaurant primarily reminds him of his childhood.

One of the item’s Chef Paulo considers must try is the restaurants Breakfast Sampler (Php395). The breakfast sampler is a meal in itself and consists of eggs, hash browns, bacon strips, pork sausage links, and pieces of ham. It also comes with sides of fluffy buttermilk pancakes. The dish is the restaurant’s bestselling dish and is very popular with runners who participate in the many marathons happening in the area. It is popular since its a complete meal, offering both carbohydrates and protein.

To accompany their pancakes, diners can also choose from a wide range of beverage offerings ranging from hot to cold beverages. For those who need their cup of joe, IHOP offers the International House Roast Coffee Never Empty Coffee Pot (Php125). With a fragrant aroma guaranteed to wake you up the coffee comes in regular and decaf versions and, best of all, it’s unlimited so one can have all the coffee they want. For those who want their coffee to come with a twist they can try flavored coffee (Php145) that comes in French Vanilla and Swiss mocha flavors.

Another must try is the Splashers (Php175) line of iced beverage which is the company’s signature cold drinks. One shouldn’t miss the Splashberry a delicious drink made from a blend of juicy strawberries, lemon-lime soda and premium orange juice. Apart from being refreshing the drink also has a tart flavor that makes it a perfect match for some of the restaurant’s savory dishes.

Whether you are looking to load up for a long day of work or just want to relax with some comfort food IHOP has something for everyone that will get you coming back for more.

Breakfast Sampler

For those who like to eat their breakfast like kings, pancakes and waffles simply wouldn’t do, which is why IHOP has heavy breakfast dishes that will satisfy any craving. An example of this is the Breakfast Sampler (395php) which boasts a winning combination of bacon, ham, and pork sausages, rounding out this hearty dish are eggs, hash browns and buttermilk pancakes. The meal itself is not for the weak of heart as the serving size is large enough for sharing.

The bacon is superb with a crispy texture and smoky flavor which goes well with the mild taste of the ham. The sausages are tender and have just the right amount of spiciness without being overwhelming. The eggs can be served either sunny side or scrambled, I chose to have them sunny side and they were perfectly cooked. The hash browns were also delicious especially after soaking in the juices of the sirloin tips.

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