IHOP, or International House of Pancakes, has finally reached our shores! It had its grand opening on Valentine's Day, and news was that the crowds flocked over like there was no tomorrow. It was hard but I purposely waited for a week before going there in the hopes that the crowds have already disintegrated. I WAS WRONG. Well at least, it was wrong to go on a weekend during lunchtime. Can you blame me? I had a dermatologist appointment at St. Luke's Global City and not going to IHOP would simply be impossible. When we got there at 12 noon, we were told that our number's 99 and they were serving #19 at the moment. WHATTT??? Yup. Crowds were THAT crazy. There were people wherever you turn. Inside, outside, people, people, people. So Mom and I decided to go for takeout because there was no way on earth that we were going to have lunch at maybe...4pm? Takeout it is. Ordering was smooth. The server took our orders and went ahead to process it while Mom and I waited outside. When our orders didn't arrive 30 minutes later, we got anxious so I went in and asked. It appears that the order is already there, it's just that no one called us (BOOBOO #1). Since it's already there, we got our takeouts and just waited for the bill, which came 15 minutes later (BOOBOO #2). When we checked, they billed us service charge for the takeout. I asked why and the server said that it was the packaging charge. Huh? A hundred something for styro packaging? Maybe I should bring my own box next time I order takeout (BOOBOO #3). After checking, we handed the server my mom's senior citizen card for processing. She took it and we had to wait another 15 minutes, with constant follow-ups that were answered with "Wait lang po, Ma'am" (BOOBOO #4). She came back after that and when we checked again, the order she deducted the senior discount was my order of omelette (Php290) (BOOBOO #5). I told the server that my mom's order is the sirloin tips (Php500+) and not the omelette, thus, they should have discounted the sirloin tips. She replied by saying that it's their standard operating procedure that the highest amount in the receipt would be the one to avail the senior discount. HUH? Php 290 is higher than Php 500+? (BOOBOO #6) So I asked her to just redo our receipt so that we can already go. Guess what? Another 15 or so minutes came and went (BOOBOO #7). My Mom was already a bit irritated at that time so she went in to find out what the fuss is all about. She came back out a few minutes later, receipt in hand and gave it to me. When I checked it for the nth time, it appears that NOTHING was changed and it's the exact same bill given to us a while ago. I asked the server again as to why and she said "Ma'am if we do the changes, the total is still going to come up the same" (BOOBOO #8). HUH?!? My patience was already running very thin and I simply told her that my order of omelette, if discounted, will only get a Php50+ discount while my Mom's order of sirloin tips, if discounted, will amount to around Php100+ discount. So how on earth is that the same? And so she went back again, this time with my Mom following her and asking for the manager. 5 minutes later, she came out and was done with the transaction. Whew!! Oh before I forget, my order of omelette came with 2 pieces of buttermilk pancakes and I had the option to upgrade the pancakes so I went for the New York Cheesecake pancake. Upon checking, they gave us buttermilk pancakes (BOOBOO #9). Good thing I went through every box before leaving. And yes, they still billed us service charge on the final bill. Oh well.
So anyway, after all those booboos, we (together with our hungry tummies) came back home with these babies:
Here's Mom's order of the Sirloin Tips with mashed potatoes and shredded corn.
...and here's my Steak Omelette with New York Cheesecake Pancakes.
And the verdict? The omelette was ok, nothing to rave about since the steak was barely noticeable, with a lot shredded potatoes taking its place. And the mashed potatoes were the pre-mixed powdered ones. But the stars of the meal would be the sirloin tips itself and what else? The pancakes. I was surprised that even after 2 hours, the beef remained soft and very, very flavorful. The New York Cheesecake Pancakes, on the other hand, were also soft and fluffy. You can even taste the cheesecake bits inside. Sadly, as with the previous comment I've read from a food blogger, the strawberries that came with the pancakes are the frozen mushy kind. But the pancakes itself more than make up for it.
Overall, I'd give IHOP a 4 out of 5 stars for food. The service, however, will get a negative 5, if there's such a thing. I really hope they'll improve their training for their servers. After all, good food and great service go hand in hand. It's such a letdown to see a restaurant serve amazing food but pisses off their customers with the kind of service they give. They really have to do something about that. That being said, I'm not closing my doors on IHOP. I mean, I love the food! Will definitely be back as soon as I save enough patience to deal with the crappy service again.