IHOP Holiday Extravaganza 2009

Today, I went on a mission with one of my best friends, Vonnegut. Our mission? To eat every one of the Holiday Hotcakes and review them, here, with snark and pretension and awesome.

And we did it. Oh, we did it.

The results, ladies and germs.

We went to the IHOP, which I always want to spell like the iPod, iHop, but keep forgetting that it’s spelled like the egregious teenage girls would spell it “OMG IHOP,” if they were that excited about an international house of pancakes. Regardless, we went, and ordered all four of the Holiday Hotcakes with chocolate milks for the both of us.

This was the official popping of my IHOP cherry for me, and I was surprised to find that it was a lot like a diner than more of a chain-style restaurant. I don’t know what I was expecting, but the smell, that quintessential greasy spoon was a pleasant surprise. We ordered our hotcakes and let the fun begin.
The confusion started when we ate our pancakes. Really, it was all the waiter’s fault when he set them down and told us what they were. And when we started to eat, we started with what we thought were the eggnog pancakes. And as we ate, we were really upset, because we wouldn’t have thought they were eggnog. There was a nice spice, a nutmeg flavor, a real fluffiness and bounce to the pancakes. A good crust on the outside, but nothing that we’ve had thought was eggnog if we hadn’t been told.

And then we realized.

Those were the pumpkin pancakes. And once we had figured out that a) we were obviously retarded, and b) they weren’t eggnog, they were really good. So for eggnog pancakes, they sucked, but for pumpkin pancakes, they were delicious. Easily a high bar to set. Good flavor and with syrup, really tasty.The next pancakes we moved onto were the eggnog pancakes- the real eggnog ones. We’d both been most excited to try these, but we were a little disappointed. The eggnog flavor in the pancake was supposed to translate well, with the spices and the creaminess contrasting the buttery and the crisp pancake, and that eggnog cream shit was supposed to be to die for, but we got more of a gelatinous mess, like what it might look like if you cut open Jabba the Hutt. It was interesting.
A little boozy flavored. Okay, a lot boozy. Heavy on the spices, too. But not awful. It didn’t go well with syrup. It got too heavy and spongy and gooey and just…viscous. Better left untouched.

After that, we had the best pancake of the entire night, the one that we didn’t think would be completely amazing and was, completely amazing. That was the pecan pie pancake, which gets props for tasting least like an actual pecan pie, but most like what a pecan pie would taste like if nobody baked for you and you had Christmas alone and instead of shooting yourself or leaving the group home, you ate pecan pie filling out of the can with a plastic spoon from KFC. Or went to an IHOP and had these pancakes. A much better alternative.
They were really, really good. Really buttery. The pecans on top provided a nice difference in texture, and the pancake was also crispy, as Vonnegut told me the people on the Food Network would vastly appreciate, and the topping was syrupy enough to eliminate the need for extra syrup. Very festive and very tasty.
The last pancakes we had were the gingerbread pancakes, with red and green Christmas tree sprinkles on top. The flavor was interesting, but something must happen when you add gingerbread flavoring to pancake batter, because the result gets mushy and soft and too spicy in some spots and not flavorful enough in others, and results in a very inconsistent pancake. Vonnegut and I did not like this.
The sprinkles, although festive, were another concern. They got in the damned way. They were crunchy and gave that heroin hit of sugar that nobody really likes but simultaneously adores because they’re freaking sprinkles and if you decline them, you are Satan. So we were at a stalemate. They were just a lukewarm mess of a pancake and we liked them the least of the bunch.And that was that! We left with a ton of leftovers, out $32, but extremely pleased and having completed our glorious mission. IHOP is amazing. ‘Nuff said.

So, from Vonnegut and me to you, readers, happy holidays. We ate and conquered so you don’t have to. Enjoy!

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