IHOP: The International House of (Just About Anything Else Besides) Pancakes. They do offer pancakes, but they keep trying to dress them up, dye them, disguise them as clowns or cupcakes, or drown them under layer after layer of overly-sweet toppings. Plain old pancakes are apparently valued so low that IHOP frequently runs all-you-can-eat specials and just gives these pancakes away free.
In IHOP’s seemingly continual quest to keep veering even farther out of its own lane, it recently trolled an entire nation with an egregious (if temporary) rebranding in an attempt to — what, become the next Red Robin? Needless to say, that didn’t work, but nor did its less-than-enthusiastic reception stop IHOP from pulling even sillier stunts (we’re looking at you, Pancizza).
You do realize, by eating there, that you’re just encouraging them, don’t you? It’s all on your head if they decide to change their name to International House of Avocado Toast (although IHAT does kind of have a ring to it). If you can’t do without your IHOP fix, though, just be careful out there, as some of the menu items can be a little… scary.
The Ultimate Steakburgers fail to live up to the hype
The main reason you shouldn’t order a burger is because you do not want IHOP thinking we’re all over that whole IHOB debacle. Nope, we’re with Wendy’s here, agreeing the name change thing was juvenile. Even IHOP themselves admitted it was just one big fake out, and seriously, who needs to be pranked by a pancake house? Even if you’re the forgiving type, you may still want to avoid the chain’s Ultimate Steakburgers because, despite the overblown name, they’re really not all that good. Not terrible, but for the most part, pretty underwhelming.
The Washington Post‘s reviewer was disappointed that IHOP policy mandates burgers be cooked to 158 degrees, which, while close to USDA recommendations, limits your options to well-done or… well-done. He also decried the fact that ketchup must be requested, and remarked upon IHOP’s lack of steakhouse ambience. The reviewer for Inc. noted that it’s impossible to order that classic burger accompaniment — a cold beer — as most IHOPs don’t serve alcohol. Although he found that his burger "wasn’t awful," he compared the accompanying fries to "a drunken inebriated uncle lying on the dance floor at a wedding," so we’re guessing he didn’t enjoy them. Observer‘s reviewer actually tried several steakburgers, declaring the Cowboy to be the biggest loser due to its overly-sweet sauce. When you consider that the burgers aren’t even all that cheap, with most hovering around $10, there’s no reason to take your burger business to IHOB/P.
The eggs might not be cooked enough
You’d think an egg would be just about one of the easiest things for a breakfast-centric restaurant to cook, right? One complaint made rather frequently by IHOP customers is that the eggs are often undercooked, which is nasty in and of itself since an egg that’s not cooked enough tends to be pretty gross and slimy. What’s worse, though, is that some IHOP customers have claimed that these less-than-well-done eggs have actually made them sick — and it turns out, they could be right about this. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that, in order to kill off any salmonella bacteria, all eggs should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. At this temperature, both yolks and whites should be firm and not runny.
When one New Jersey man felt his IHOP eggs weren’t cooked to his satisfaction, he didn’t settle for venting about it on Facebook or leaving a bad Yelp review. Instead, Julio Diazvaroas decided to live-tweet his experience minus the Twitter platform, shouting out his negative opinion to customers in the Hackettstown IHOP’s waiting area until he was removed by the police.