Dear Former Home of My Favorite Place for Pancakes:
I have tried to be patient with you. I want to keep liking you. But you've made it just on this side of impossible. I realize that not EVERYTHING is your fault, but quite enough of it is to make me say Goodbye, IHOP, Hello, Denny's (or Sergio's or bless the Heavens Eat n' Park when I'm up north).
You like to tease me and show me delicious food that I have no business eating but it's the weekend and I can splurge a little, no? YES! You were doing so well for a while. You had some Spanish Omlette concoction with mushrooms and cheese and salsa and bacon(!) and sour cream and it was delicious. But then you took it away. Sadness. I could forgive you this transgression, however, because there were so many other yummy things to be had.
You lured me in with your Tour de French Toast. I don't even really like French Toast, but you made it look so good that I simply had to try it. You worked me into a frenzy by taking some of my favorites, bananas and caramel, and melding them into a gooey breakfast goodness. I was prepared. I was starving. I skipped your usually delicious coffee to leave room for French Toast. But what happened? I arrive to the restaurant for my waitress to inform me, in no uncertain terms that, oops, we're out of that particular stuffed French Toast. THE HORROR! I was left with strawberries, which on a day I wasn't expecting bananas and caramel would have been fine, but that day, it was just a great disappointment.
Look, I realize that you're IHOP and you're always busy. But you need to realize that I've been in the food service industry in every position front of the house and back, so I know what it takes to run a restaurant smoothly. Obviously, IHOP, you do not. For when there is no wait at the front door, there is NO reason that it should take my waiter 10 to 15 minutes to come over to say hello. There is certainly no reason that it should take over 30 minutes to make two orders of eggs and bacon. And worst of all, there is no reason that my eggs ordered over easy should squirt clear goo at me when I put my fork in them. Yellow goo, yes, I expect that and look forward to dipping my toast in it. White goo means you just didn't cook my eggs long enough. Are you trying to kill me IHOP? You've made me second guess myself. Do I not really know what over easy means? I always thought it meant fully cooked whites and goopy yellows. I googled it. I am correct. FIX MY EGGS!
I am. A sucker. Because they show me things that look so good that I must try them. You show me a Louisiana Bananas Foster stack of ooey goodness. Of course I must try this. How could I not want a fluffy stack of pancakes drizzled in a brown sugar sauce and topped with sliced bananas and vanilla ice cream for breakfast? I waited patiently for this little bit of goodness to arrive only to get the waitress asking in broken English if chocolate ice cream is okay. What?!?! You ran out of freaking vanilla ice cream?!?! God you suck, but I'll take the chocolate. Well, by the time the food rolled around to the table, I was just disappointed again. First, let's talk presentation. Hows about we put the pancakes on the right size plate so the sauce isn't dripping off onto the waitress' hands and my table? Don't get me wrong, I love some chocolate ice cream and I understand the concept of cold ice cream sitting on hot pancakes equals meltage, but it was pretty much just a puddle of brown. Leave my food under the heat lamps much? Oh, and by the way, bananas foster should have more than 4 slices of friggin bananas on it. I can only assume that you were well on your way to running out of those too. Oh how I wish that you would get your act together, but it is far too late for that now. AND TEACH YOUR COOKS TO MAKE EGGS OVER EASY!! Yeah, they had clear goo again. Thanks for a completely ruined breakfast.
But, on the lighter side, you did provide me with entertainment. You see, IHOP, you placed your restaurant in the worst possible place with the least amount of parking in the tri-county area. As such, people park wherever they can whether it's a parking space or not. Whilst Lovey went to park the car, Kiddo and I got out to put our name on the wait list. Prior to Lovey's return, we watch some complete moron try to park in a spot that is clearly not parking. She gets out of her car and looks at me and asks, "Do you think I should pull up more?" Well, since she asked my opinion, I gave her the most smart-ass look possible and said "Mmmhmmm". Seriously, there is barely room for one car to get through and she left her ass end all jutted out. Just so happens that some people chose to come out to smoke where Kiddo and I were standing so we moved over to the other side. The stupid lady tracked us down. To talk. It went something like this:
SL: So, ladies, what's your job here?
Kiddo: <looks at me confused>
MS: <looks at SL with an "are you serious" look>
SL: <looks at MS with an "I'm waiting for an answer" look>
MS: <annoyed that this lady is dumb, and dripping with sarcasm> Having BREAKFAST?!?!
SL: <realizing that she's stupid> Ohhhh, I'm so sorry. I thought you worked here directing traffic.
At this point Lovey walks up and SL slinks away. Because Kiddo was there, I spared SL any number of scathing comments, berating her stupidity and asking her why she assumed that I worked at IHOP directing traffic. AS IF IHOP WOULD BOTHER WITH SOMETHING LIKE THAT. <sigh> Let's go inside.
The entertainment continues! At the table that is behind Kiddo but directly in my line of sight, sits a family. I am only guessing that it was husband, wife, and grown daughter based on the ages they seemed to be and their interactions and seating arrangement. I am not watching them but I was looking at Kiddo which made them background. As Kyle's mom would say, "Wha, wha, whaaaaaaaat?!?!" I'm sorry, did I just see the grown daughter do a shot? OF CREAMER?!?! I don't know whether to laugh or cry or be sick at this one. IHOP does have milk. If you want a glass, you have but to ask. Lovey happened to catch it too and asked me if I saw that. Yes, unfortunately, I did. Blecch.
Completing the trifecta of IHOP is dead to me was the table to our right. Again, I wasn't watching them but Lovey was on my right and to look at him, this table was in the background. I have no clue as to the relationship of the people at this table. One woman, three men (although one may have been a teenager, hard to tell these days), all heavyset. Because I dig fitness and such, I sometimes wonder if folks have glandular problems or just bad eating habits or lack of exercise or any combo of the sort. While it could have been any of those, I want to lean towards bad eating habits for this crew. Why would I make such an assumption, you might ask? Well, first, it's IHOP and it isn't like there's anything healthy, per se, on their menu. Second, and here's the kicker, I saw one of the people in this party open one of the little jelly containers on the table and eat it. Sucked it back like a jello shot and then proceeded to lick it clean. Seriously, if you want to do that at home, whatever, but have a little restraint out in public, huh? Ugh.
So, IHOP, I know that you have nothing to do with who frequents your store. You do, however, have control over ordering stock, hiring competent employees, and getting food to my table in a timely manner and prepared in the way I asked. FAIL. FAIL. FAIL. I will never return to IHOP. Three strikes and you're out. It's better for my entire day, not to mention my waistline if we just part ways. Maybe one day, you'll get your act together, but I'm not holding my breath. Goodbye IHOP. We three will never return.
Used to be yours truly,
Miamishyner, Lovey and Kiddo
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