IHOP becomes totally IHOB with the new Big Pancake Burger


This week I contacted a new Big IHOP Pancake Burger America’s largest breakfast bar, IHOP, with 1,500 restaurants in all 50 states, plus a bunch more around the world. Remember last year when IHOP, for For television commercial purposes only, changed its name to IHOB to remind customers that it also returns burgers?

Well it worked. Stupid is also stupid. IHOP’s burger sales have quadrupled during the insane promotion, and burger sales are still double what they used to be.

Now, IHOP is doubling down on burgers with a new push, with three new burgers on its menu: the Big IHOP Pancake Burger, the Garlic Butter Burger, and the Loaded Philly Cheesesteak Burger. The Pancake Burger is the funniest, so let’s go:

Here is the breakdown of the Big IHOP Pancake Burger: a buttermilk pancake wedged between two premium steak burger patties, each topped with a slice of American cheese, 3 slices of hickory-smoked bacon and an IHOP sauce on a toast. Served with your choice of sides.

Because this is a new article, IHOP is not listing its nutritional numbers, but let’s just add a pancake to the good old IHOP Double Meat Mega Burger, and we’ll be pretty darn close. Total calories: 1210. Grams of fat: 86. Sodium: 2560 mg. Carbohydrates: 61 g. Dietary fiber: 4. Protein: 59 g. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price: $ 10.99, served with unlimited fries.

I’ve been to IHOP my whole life, but until the IHOB publicity stunt last year, I never ordered a burger there. In the immortal words of military hero Gomer Pyle, “Surprise, surprise,” IHOP’s burgers are damn good. The patties are thick and grilled to order, so they’re served hot and fatty… just the right amount. And the meat is USDA Choice Black Angus Beef, so the quality is there.

The most popular IHOB Part II article is clearly the Pancake Burger, probably because the mainstream press considers it revolutionary sandwich technology. Guess my colleagues at the Fourth Estate haven’t been through a McDonald’s drive-thru lately and noticed something called the McGriddle?

It’s a typical sausage and egg breakfast sandwich, except instead of an English McMuffin, the Arches use waffles for bread.

The problem with IHOP’s Pancake Burger is that IHOP didn’t brainstorm McGriddle through to the end. McGriddle’s waffles are infused with the aroma of maple syrup. The pancake in the middle of an IHOP Pancake Burger is just a simple buttermilk pancake.

Sure, we all love IHOP’s iconic buttermilk flapjacks, but we’re smothering these cakes with butter and syrup. A pancake itself is like a fry without salt or ketchup: dull and practically tasteless.

If IHOP had added a glass of maple syrup to the middle pancake, it would be on something really different and worth shouting from the top of the mountain. As of now, it just conjures up a Big Mac, with an unnecessary extra slice of carbs separating the good stuff.

IHOP’s other two new entrees, the Garlic Butter Burger, made with authentic Gilroy garlic butter, and the Loaded Philly Burger, are more interesting, tastier and cheaper.

Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food article every Wednesday. Have a drive-thru suggestion or favorite? Tell Ken about Twitter.

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