IHOP - more like ICRAP

The title of this blog was inspired by Marvin from Big Brother 5. At one point during the show, one of the cocky guy contestants said people always mistook him for Brad Pitt. In a diary room moment, Marvin exclaimed, "Brad Pitt????? More like a arm pit!" That stuck with me and sums up my feelings of this trip to IHOP.

So why did we go? Well, we're trying to be more budget-conscious as of late and I decided to clip some coupons for a change. There was a coupon for Free Breakfast/Dinner with purchase of one entree for IHOP - so why not? That's about $7 free - so let's go!

We hit the Ridge location in Oakley (near Target). I guess that was mistake #1. (Note the 5 votes on this locations Urban Spoon rating - 0% like it.)

Here sits a nice pot of fresh coffee on our table - right? No - it's not fresh. And when we decided - because it wasn't fresh - we didn't want coffee - they left it there - the whole meal.

Also - it took at least 15 minutes for our server to come and take our drink order. (We contemplated leaving twice.) Then another 10 minutes to take our meal order. Then another 5 minutes to get our drinks on the table. Don't even ask about refills.

I ordered the Pancake Combo which is 2 pancakes, 2 eggs, hash browns and 2 sausage or 2 bacon. I got scrambled, bacon and cheese on the hashbrowns. And let me say - the food tasted as pitiful as it looks. The hashbrowns were undercooked, the bacon was overcooked and the eggs were cold.
For pancakes you can choose from: Original, Strawberry, Strawberry Banana, NY Cheesecake, Double Blueberry, Cinnamon Apple, Chocolate Chip or Harvest Grain 'n Nut. All of these come with crap on top and then whipped cream. I guess I'm a purist - I like mine with butter & syrup - that's it. Anybody?

I got double blueberry and they were good - definitely the best thing about the meal. They were a little cold, they came 5 minutes after the platter of crap shown above and my table had 2 jars of the Butter Pecan syrup and none of the Old Fashioned. (wtf eats butter pecan syrup?)

This is the Double BLT - it had a lot of bacon and the fries were good - not really hot - but tasty.

But you see - he ordered onion rings - not fries. So 20 minutes later, the onion rings came. They were fine - he liked them but I thought they tasted like old grease.

Our server didn't write down the order and then proceeded to come out 3X and ask us questions. What kind of toast for his blt, I wanted blueberry - right? and ironically - she came back and asked if he wanted fries or onion rings - and yet - it was still wrong.

You don't even want to know how long it took for the check to come...we just left cash and got out at that point. Who cares about an extra buck when the football game is coming on?!

I understand a lot of people hate chains - but to me - it's inevitable that I'm going to go to one every now and again. This was just a really crappy experience. If we decide to try and IHOP again - it won't be the one on Ridge!

IHOP on Urbanspoon


  1. This is the easily the most poorly managed restaurant I've ever been to. I went one afternoon, when it wasn't particularly busy, to get some blueberry pancakes for my sick girlfriend. It took 40 minutes to get the food, but they rang the order incorrectly and it took another 20 minutes to get the correct food.

    It is better to spend 45 minutes waiting for a table at First Watch on a Saturday morning, than to go to this IHOP location, ever.

  2. I've never been to that one... I only go to the one in Florence because it's closest to where I live in Covington.

    I've never had a bad experience with the food at the Florence one. Service is sometimes hit or miss.

    Also... I eat the butter pecan syrup! It was good when they had the sweet cornbread-like pancakes. Not sure if those are around still or not.

  3. ugh, sounds awful. we went to the one in Deerfield Twp and i would say it was ok. Service I remember being pretty good. Food was not bad.

  4. Try the one in Kenwood next time. I've not had a problem with the food at that one and the service there is always pretty good...no matter how busy they are. I've had a hit or miss experience with the Deerfield Twp. one, as well as the Milford location.

  5. your hash brown and bacon look really bleak. i've eaten at ihop before and i don't remember it being that bad, but i suspect (if memory serves) it was late night and i was probably drunk.

  6. That has got to be the worst IHOP in Cincinnati. I ended up at the one on Beechmont a few weeks ago and I couldn't believe how much better it was, both food- and service-wise. It might as well have been a different restaurant.

  7. I agree Lauren - after all the posts here and on Facebook - I'm convinced - this is the worst IHOP in the city.

    I'm totally sending the blog to IHOP - maybe they'll do something about it!

    Heck - let me be manager for a day! Seriously - I would do some damage!

  8. Filled out form on their site - got email back saying manager would be in touch. Got call from new manager today. He's been there 10 days - the seniors agreed it needed work. He said he couldn't blog to save his life so he has no idea what I'm referencing and that at 50 he's "too old to learn" (that's encouraging).

    Asked me to give him some time to fix it and then come back and try it again.

    But - honestly - he gave me no incentive to do it - so why bother?! I'll just go to Echo, Bluebird or PRC where I know it's good.


  9. I second Lauren on the Beechmont location, never have problems there. Even at night you get excellent service and that location is still 24x7.

    Usually have decent service at Kenwood and Deerfield Township as well. You couldn't pay me to go to Milford, they are just terrible.

    With this much variation in locations it's obviously the local management.

  10. The Ridge location is horrible! About 2 years ago, I promised myself I would never go their again, instead I opt to drive the extra miles and go to the Kenwood one, it's much better!

    In other Ihop news, the best Ihop I've ever been to was in Atlanta. It must have been because I was in the South and Southerners know their breakfast! It was amazing and radically different from the Ihops up here!

  11. i'll stick with echo, bluebird & sugar and spice...same distance and much better food

  12. Been to this one, against my better judgment, at least 5 times (because it's so close). Terrible, terrible service. Seen many people walk out, and the food isn't ever fresh or good or non-burned or whatever when it comes out. Now, if I really want breakfast, and I don't want to wait at Echo, Sugar and Spice, etc., I would rather eat cereal at home than go to this terrible place. Your experience was way typical.

  13. If this is the worst one in the city then I'm probably NOT going to that one. The Florence location is a 15 minute walk/5 minute drive from my house. And the Colerain one is close to where a friend of mine lives and is also pretty decent.

  14. That food looks nasty!

  15. IHOP seems to do everything possible to provide the worst dining experiences possible. The only issue for me is which location wins worst prize. I went first to Deerfield location and waited 30 minutes after being seated for a server to take my order, while others were seated, had ordered and were served while I waited. The key is that I was alone and passed over in favor of parties of three or more seated around me. when she finally arrived, the server was friendly-acting in an automated, well-rehearsed routine sort of way. I finally left when another 30 minutes had passed with no food on my table and left a $1.00 tip for non service. On my way out, the manager had the nerve to ask me if I wanted my order to go, adding it would take only a few minutes to package up.

    Next off, I tried the Deerfield location. The greeter led me to a booth with a child from the adjacent booth climbing on the seat, so I had to ask to be seated elsewhere. The server was prompt, friendly and professional. I had to ask for clean flatware when I found egg residue on the fork when I unwrapped ti from the napkin. The breakfast I ordered tasted satisfactory, except for the selection of pancake syrups. The “traditional” has a mild vaguely maple flavor, the butter pecan is viscous and also has little flavor. The strawberry was horrible, but maybe little kids might enjoy its not so subtle flavor. All of the servers were doing several jobs: taking orders, delivering orders, delivering checks, receiving payments, bussing tables and cleaning the floors. One server was crawling on her knees pick up something stuck to the carpet. Yuck! There went my appetite.

    Finally, I braved the Highland Ave. location. The server was prompt, friendly and professional. The food was ok, just like at Deerfield. I had to ask for a clean cup because the original had lipstick residue.

    Overall, IHOP is hit or miss depending on location, manager and server. The food is consistently just ok. The big problem for me is consistent lack of cleanliness: dirty flatware, dirty cups, dirty hands serving food after exposure to dirty carpets. For a pancake chain, they are disappointing by having one kind of batter, which they “diversify” by slathering on toppings.

    Next time I will hop over IHOP to Original House of Pancakes in Montgomery. It is a thousand times better.

  16. Correction to my report, the one comparing three IHOP locations. The first was Deerfield. The second was Deer Park/Madeira. The third was Oakley/Pleasant Ridge. I’m guessing that IHOP trains its managers only on how to turn a profit, but not how to otherwise manage a restaurant well.

  17. Your review is too kind. This has to be the worst restaurant ever.

    When my breakfast with waffle arrived, half of the waffle (which had the texture of a frozen toaster waffle) was missing. It seems that “waffle” on IHOP’s menu actually means “half a waffle”. I had to ask; they accomplish by “throwing the other half away”. Amazing!