International House of Pancakes (more affectionately known as IHOP) is a slice of true Americana. The beloved chain made its way to Edmonton quite a while ago now, but until recently, I had never been. To me, it seemed like an overglorified Denny's, slinging out breakfast classics and simple comfort food.
That it is, only with a longer line to get in.
IHOP has two locations in Edmonton, one in the north and one in the south. The northside location is located in a newer strip mall extension in the Oxford neighbourhood. We went on a lazy Sunday, right after the Santa's Little Helpers Market, mid-afternoon between 3-4. There was no wait for us, but believe me when I say there would've been one if you had arrived a few hours earlier.
The dining room is large and clean, with an even mix of booths and tables. Despite the awkward dining time, there was still quite a number of customers also having "breakfast for dinner."
The menu is expansive, mostly focusing on a variety of breakfast classics and combos. Pancakes, waffles, french toast, you name it. Breakfast is served all day, with some lunch and dinner options to round it out. During the holidays, they're also featuring a seasonal menu with the likes of turkey dinner and pumpkin spice waffles.
My sister had a craving for mozzarella sticks ($7.99) so we got an order to share. Served with a side of marinara sauce for dipping, the mozzarella sticks were most likely frozen and from a package, but they did the trick anyhow.
Despite being in the international house of pancakes, I'm really not a huge fan of them (shock, horror!). I'm team waffle all the way.
As such, KN and I both decided to get one of their limited edition offerings, the chicken and pumpkin spice waffles ($13.99). The waffle is apparently made with real pumpkin, and it comes topped with pumpkin spice sugar, whipped cream, and candied pecans. The pumpkin batter gave the waffle a warm orange hue, but it didn't contribute much to the taste. It was more like a regular waffle with a hint of cinnamon if anything. The waffle also had a slight crisp to the outside, and a fluffy middle.
My plate was given two smaller portions of crispy chicken (as seen above), while KN's plate had one larger piece. The chicken was boneless white meat, and encased in a thick batter before being deep fried. Served with a container of honey mustard, the chicken was very crunchy since it was more batter than meat. Overall a hearty (and very beige...) meal.
KN also added on a side of hashbrowns ($2.99). The potato was shredded and then grilled on a flat-top until it was slightly browned. KN ate them up, but said she prefers hashbrowns of the cubed variety.
LT was apparently really hungry and decided on the breakfast sampler ($12.99), which came with two eggs (over easy), two bacon strips, two pork sausages, two pieces of ham, hashbrowns, and two buttermilk pancakes. It's a good option if you wanted to try everything on offer. No complaints here.
Overall, IHOP is IHOP. The food is average, prices are okay, and service is friendly enough. Just don't expect too much, and you won't leave too disappointed.