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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Breakfast Report: New IHOP at 1604 and Culebra...

My wife has been anxiously awaiting the opening of the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) at the 1604 and Culebra location, and when it opened last week, she was ready to go. But of course, I preferred to wait until the weekend so we could hit it for breakfast as opposed to something like early evening BLT's.So this morning, with little or no fanfare, we made our way in to no lines, no wait for a table, just in the door and ready for coffee. Since I don't do Denny's, my only good comparison is with the new Jim's that is located just up the road on the other side of 1604 in Alamo Ranch. We have been to that Jim's several times and have had to wait up to thirty minutes for a table, so honestly, walking right in to IHOP was totally unexpected.Something I wish Jim's would adopt is this idea of putting a carafe of coffee at your table. IHOP seems to recognize that when they serve coffee in a 6 ounce cup, you'll be wanting a refill, and you won't want to be looking around for some waitress when you could just as easily pour it yourself. Kudos.Speaking of waitresses, there was an army of waitstaff on duty. I kid you not, it was as if it was some sort of ride-along program for waiters. My wife noted at one table, they had two waitresses handing a customer a single plate of food and a third waitress delivering a straw for a cup of OJ. Thanks, but I hope y'all don't mind splitting the tip.

We both ordered up the Sampler platter. Not because we were so enormously hungry, but because when inspecting the menu, it was obvious that for the same price (I think it was a steep $7.99) you got about twice the meat product as if you just ordered pancakes, eggs and bacon.
With the Sampler package, they bring you some hash browns, eggs, bacon, sausage, ham or Canadian bacon - I'm not sure what it was, some sort of green leafy thing, and two fluffy pancakes.It is a lot of food to eat, but call me a complainer when I tell you that the pancakes should be bigger. They were very light and fluffy - I may have mentioned that already - and they were good but in my mind I was comparing them to what you get in the same size order at Jim's.

The rest of it was all good and our service was certainly fine. We also got about four or five people handing us our food when it was served, so we know they cared.
At the end of the day though, I have to tell you that given a choice, I'd prefer Jim's. My wife is more the fan of IHOP. I was just glad it opened so it could relieve some of the pressure off Jim's, easing the wait time for a table. But as we drove by, we noticed that in fact, Jim's was still packed. I guess not everyone fell for my little ploy.

Have you tried the new IHOP? Are you and Jim's person over IHOP or do you still put up with Denny's? Tell me about it, or leave a comment here. Need more pictures? See the Flickr Page.


KeithAlanK said...

We tried your Jim's on Sunday--split a basket of their skinny onion rings. Still haven't tried IHOP--ever. That sampler plate looks like what we would order, but again split between the two of us. Pancakes and bacon for her, everything else for me.

Anonymous said...

Eva Says:)

We Should have split it:) I was a real big fan of I-hop simply because I love their BLTS. Dave thinks I like all their food. I do prefer Jim's and would have been happy to go there for their Pecan Pancakes nothing else.I Don't like Jim's bacon. So now we get this straight. I Hop for lunch. Jim's any other time . I love their apple pie and coffee. Was not really impressed at all today with anything :) HMM must be the weather .

Anonymous said...

We tried the "new" IHOP on Culebra & 1604 for the first time at 11 p.m. last night. It was pretty dismal in terms of food quality and service was just plain bad although the waitress was as sweet as she could be. There was only one waitress on duty and there were 4 full tables. My husband and I were the smallest table at only two persons. She was very young and not experienced and was obviously overwhelmed. It took forever to get coffee as she had to make some because nobody in the kitchen was keeping up with making coffee. They were also completely out of any coffee but decaf. That's ridiculous for any restaurant, especially one that serves breakfast. I ordered a veggie omelet with ham....their version of the western omelet. It finally arrived (took forever) and there was NO cheese in it. The cook *forgot* to add cheese. The pancakes that accompanied the omelet were cold and the butter wouldn't melt. We assumed the food sat around too long before she delivered it because she had no help. They sprinkled cheese on teh top of my omelet and ran it under the broiler but it was not much help. My husband ordered plain pancakes and they were just OK according to him. Again....they were served cold. the waitress did try to make up for it by heating syrup for us but that took a long time to get too. The bacon was thin and had very little taste. The bill was $25. We won't go back. We like Jim's SO MUCH better all around. There is NO comparison on any level. I do agree that a carafe of coffe on the table would be a welcome addition at Jim's.

Dave said...

The cook *forgot* to add cheese.

How do you forget to add cheese to an omelet? Did the cook appear to be liquored-up?

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know I am a IHOP waiter at a new IHOP in Bryan, The reason for the extreme number of servers was because some of them were trainers to make sure that the food was delivered smoothly and efficiently. And also because more than likely most of the servers were new servers. I hope you will take this into account and give the store another chance to do a better job for you

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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