Tuesday, August 28, 2012

IHOP?...yes, IHOP

Yesterday while R was house sitting in way northwest ATX I was presented with the opportunity to get some laundry done while visiting and checking out her photos of a recent trip to Scotland. As often happens in the brunchy hours, the hungry game happened, and we tried to decide what would quell the beast in a satisfactory yet cost-conscious manner. I didn't have a clue, as I seldom roam in those parts, but after a while, we settled on a Whataburger fix.

After suffering thorugh the horrendous post-church traffic on 620 (or "The 620" as Californians tend to say), congested further by a covey of rent-a-cops directing traffic from some religious side street, we got close enough to spy the distinctive orange and white stripes that scream "burger". Unfortunately R got sidetracked at the last minute as we were passing an IHOP. It must have been some deep reaction from within; she quickly asked me how I felt about IHOP. I replied that I hadn't been into an IHOP since some mind-altered, late-night visit back in the late 70's, so I wasn't much of a judge (although I can't imagine it had changed very much in the passing decades, unless it had gotten worse). We lurched off the road into the IHOP parking lot, and sauntered inside. Whataburger was so near, yet so far. She was paying, so I easily deferred.

Naturally we got seated right at the shift change, so we ended up sitting for a while before getting acknowledged by a server. It gave us time to peruse the 8-page menu and the 4-page specials menu. R settled on a three and three: three sunny-side up eggs and three buttermilk pancakes. I was very tempted by the Swedish "crepes" as they called them, briefly flashing on the amazing Swedish pancakes that my school chum Paul Quinby's mom used to make back in elementary school, but somehow I knew they could never approach that lofty comparison. I opted for the "Breakfast Special", or what I referred to as The Number One. With a menu that complicated, they should just number the entries and make it easier on everyone involved. It came with a couple of eggs (over-medium), bacon, ham, sausage links, hash browns, and two buttermilk pancakes. 

R seemed to like her plate, wolfing it down with dainty gusto. I was perhaps a bit more critical, finding the eggs properly cooked, the frozen hash browns undercooked, the bacon sub-par and too salty, the ham water-injected, and the sausage links pedestrian. The pancakes were fluffy and fine, but the scoop of butter was almost frozen, so almost impossible to spread without ripping the pancake to shreds.

Would I have rather gone to Whataburger?...uh, yes. Was I glad I didn't have to drive and didn't have to pay?...most definitely! Did I win the hungry game? ...certainly. Did I enjoy the company....of course.

Mick Vann ©

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