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Home Updated: 12/08/02 List Entry

International House of Pancakes

Date: added - 9/8/02
Location: War Memorial Drive, Peoria IL.
Reason: I should probably start off by mentioning that IHOP has been historically one of my favorite places to eat. I still remember today how special it was for me when my mother would take me there for a special treat before dropping me off for school. You can also verify with my wife, that I try go to at least one of them on every vacation. That is probably due to the fact that Peoria never had one of their own. This all changed several months ago when a new one opened up in the area.

You can imagin my excitement and needless to say made a special point of going there for dinner (yes, I like pancakes for dinner) about two months after it opened. First off, the only place we could sit was in the smoking section. I find it odd that a smoking section even existed in a new restaurant, but we decided it was better than waiting around for another seat. We got seated at an incredibly dirty table, but due to the number of customers, we figured that the busboy hadn't go to the table yet. After watching the waitress pass us buy numerous time, we finally stopped her and asked her if we could get the table cleaned off. Once the table was cleaned, we put in our order. It turns out that the waitress pointed out that our additional options were actually part of another combination option that was cheaper. Credits should go to the waitress for noticing this. All of a sudden, another customer spilt here soda all over the booth she and her family were sitting at. Luckily for the customer they were on their way out, so they simply apologized to their waitress and left. Rather than cleaning the mess up right away, they left it for over 10 minutes allowing it to run off both edges of the table and onto the seats - from there the floor. Fascinated by this, we decided to keep an eye on that table to see what they did with it. Get this, they started cleaning it up when they were told that another family needed to be seated there. Rather than explain the situation, they quickly brushed the soda from the booth onto the floor and tried to kick the ice under the booth. Although there was no way that it could have been cleaned properly, they seated the family there anyway.

After 45 minutes, our food finally arrived. Yes, that is 45 minutes to make pancakes - their specialty. First off, one of the pancakes had a green splotch on it which we were never able to identify. The other ones looked okay, so I figured I would start with those. I then went for the hashbrowns which I discovered contained two Frito chips. Once I dug into the eggs, I noticed there were tomatoes in there as well. There is a point when a situation becomes so unbelievable, that it becomes comical. We were laughing hysterically if that gives you any indication on how things were going.

Just when we thought we had seen enough, two guys in the booth next to us finally caught the attention of their waitress (after at least 4 attempts to flag her down). One of the guys pointed to the glass above the top of his booth and asked her to identify something on it. She proceeded to explain that the etching on the glass was suppose to represent the international aspects of IHOP. After patiently waiting for the explanation to complete he restated his question "no, what is THAT!" and pointed to a specific portion of the glass. Turns out he was trying to figure out what was smeared on the glass - was obviously somewhat concerned about it. She managed to get a wet towel and clean it up to the individuals satisfaction.

Topping it all off, we were waiting for our check when the busboy came by and started cleaning up a table next to us. As he turned away from the table, he accidently threw a bunch of food and utensils on the floor that were stacked above the sides of his container. Rather than correct the situation, he simply moved to the next table and started piling on more plates. I am not sure if this was ever cleaned up since it was still there when we finally got our check and left. All in all, this has to be one of worst experiences we have ever had eating out. It will be interesting to see just how long this place stays around - and no, we will never go there again.

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