Pricey pancakes and other reasons to share at IHOP

photo to flickr user StarsApart

When I review restaurants, I typically try to do those that are unique, locally run, or part of the tourist experience.  I’m deviating this time and talking about IHOP.  My spin is unexpected, though.

Last week I decided to take my two children there after a morning class.  We hit the 501 location in Myrtle Beach, across from the Tanger Outlets.  It’s roomy, bright, big, and reliable.

On this particular morning I got hot tea and the corned beef hash omelette that comes with three pancakes.  One child got the chocolate chip pancake, chocolate milk, and a side of bacon.  The other got a kid-sized cheese omelette, chocolate milk, and a side of bacon.  When our meal arrived, I was astounded by the size of the portions – except for the bacon. 

We ate, and ate, and ate.  I only made it through half, at most, of my omelette and half of one pancake.  One child ate the bacon, but only made a dent  in her pancake.  The other ate the bacon and a few bites of the egg.  I remarked to the waitress (who was exceptionally nice and attentive.  I wish I knew her name because I would publicly thank her for her kindness) that my meal could have fed all three of us.

When the bill came, I was more astounded than when the food was served.  Our total was $29 before the tip and $35 after.  Whoa!  For breakfast?  I started scrolling down the receipt.  A side of bacon, which was two strips, cost $1.99.  For the two sides I got, we could have bought a pound. 

I’m sure there are coupons floating around.  Trust me, I wish I had done my research on this one.  Next time I’m going to do what dawned on me as we finished our meal.  Splitsies!  Next time I’m getting something the three of us will eat, divide it up, save money, and tip my server really well. 

I bring this up because I feel like IHOP is typically viewed as an inexpensive place to eat.  I feel a little suckered, when in reality being able to split a meal speaks to the generous size of their portions.  I felt obligated to throw this out to the other frugal parents.  There are times when what I want to eat is miles away from the pizza/chicken fingers/grilled cheese my kids want so there would be no way we’d share.  In the case of a cheese omelette and pancakes though, Mommy will gladly pass her plate.

To find your closest IHOP restaurant, check out their IHOP locator.  And if you just can’t get enough information about international pancakes, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

While I’ve never used this site (yet), IHOPcoupons.org seems to have the scoop on all discounted pancake purchases.  Check them out!

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