This morning Greg, Jim, and I went out to breakfast at IHOP. I’m a huge fan of the International House of Pancakes for two major reasons:
1) Pancakes are perhaps my favorite breakfast item of all time. A heaping mound of pancakes can salvage even the shoddiest of breakfasts. Smothered in the proper balance of butter and syrup, I’d probably even eat cardboard, as long as it was cut into the visually friendly, traditional circular shape. Anyway, if you’re like me, you can’t go wrong with a place that has the word pancake in its title (or at least in one of the word constituents of the acronym).
2) No one can dispute the undeniable appeal of the universally known “Rooty, Tooty, Fresh, and Fruity” ad campaign. When I think of IHOP, I think of an ashamed, middle-aged man wearing Groucho Marx-style disguise glasses. In addition to the joy inherent in the absurdity of that image, there is also the reminder of childhood bliss that accompanied seeing that commercial. (Side note: I’ve never actually ordered the Rooty, Tooty, Fresh, and Fruity…its just comforting knowing that its there).
Well, there you have it. IHOP is great. So we went there and I experienced the usual peculiarities of dining out, as well as some new ones. The waitress came up to the table to take our drink orders. I didn’t really want anything except water (well, maybe orange juice, but how can you justify spending that much on a beverage that doesn’t offer unlimited free refills?) and yet my desire to not look like a cheap jerk compelled me to impulsively order a cup of coffee. My perceived need for beverage value of course implores me to drink like fifty cups until I’m so wired that I can’t even function. Also, each cup must be laden with creamer and sugar and that not only is inconvenient when you just want a drink, but it also doesn’t add to the whole healthiness factor.
So anyway, I was going to just order the three pancakes and three eggs, but Jim told me about this country omelet business that comes with three pancakes. It wasn’t much more than the three eggs, so I figured “what the heck”? The omelet turned out to be the size of my thigh, plated on all sides with inch-thick cheese and sour cream armor. The situation further complicated when I realize that I have a big omelet and a large stack of pancakes…both of which get cold ridiculously fast. So there I was, shoveling large amounts of food (half of which I didn’t intend to get) into my mouth, sucking down large amounts of unwanted coffee, and thinking, “What is this crap? How did I end up with all this?” But oh man, were those pancakes good!
I only ate half my omelet. I wanted to take the other half home for a tasty meal later, but when the waitress started walking away with my plate, I couldn’t muster the courage to ask her to return my cold, half-eaten egg-torpedo. It would just be so low class (forgetting of course that I’m in IHOP).
Then of course came the time to pay the bill. Jim got out his wallet to find that he only had two ones and a hundred dollar bill. “Can I get change for a hundred in IHOP?” he asked. I told him probably so if he goes up to the counter. We threw a glance over to the register and a burly, intimidating guy who looked like he hated his job was manning it. I wished Jim luck and we discussed the possibility of the guy handing back a dollar change and when confronted about it, ominously cracking his knuckles and denying the existence of the hundred-dollar bill. Jim went, got his change with no problems, and came back to the table. He told us the guy’s nametag said “Sarah.” Honest to goodness, I checked, and it did. I told him that maybe its pronounced “Suh-RAH.”
I love IHOP.