Like any food-loving American, the prospect of free pancakes on National Pancake Day filled me with joy. So much so that I got up at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 27 to drive across the North Carolina Triangle with a colleague for a special National Pancake Day celebration in honor of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in Cary. A celebrity from the IHOP Kid Culinary Team, Elise Bromund, was there, as was Suzie Pancake, and Brad Haley, IHOP’s chief marketing officer.
It was a great time. Bromund gave an adorable speech and taught some Duke cheerleaders a cheer, and we all dined on delicious breakfast food. Here’s what’s going on with IHOP’s menu right now.
According to IHOP’s market research, people are really excited about not having to choose between an omelette and pancakes. IHOP has responded by promoting the Omelettes+ deal, where a short stack of pancakes can serve as the omelette’s side.
I’m not an omelette person—I will choose pancakes every time, no problem—but, while I was expectantly unimpressed with the Big Steak Omelette and Cheeseburger Omelette, I did surprisingly enjoy the new Spicy Poblano Omelette, which has quickly become one of the best selling omelettes on the menu, according to Haley.
Instead of the ground beef or small steak strips present in the other two omelettes, the Spicy Poblano features shredded beef combined with Poblano peppers, Serrano peppers, onions, cheese, avocado, and poblano cream. It was fresh, spicy, and texturally pleasing.
The International House of Pancakes did not disappoint on its trademark item. We tried Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes—what you would expect from chocolate on chocolate, delicious!—Cupcake Pancakes—a little crunchy for my taste, but I’m not a sprinkles gal—and the Cinnamon Roll Pancakes. The latter was my favorite, and Haley let us know that there might be more cinnamon-sugar goodness in IHOP’s future pancake menu, if all goes well in testing.
Reading through the winners online, I was most excited about Bromund’s pancake creation: Chocolate Cat Pancakes. Inspired by her cats, which have since passed, Bromund stacks two chocolate pancakes filled with a raspberry custard layer, then draws a cat face with whipped cream, chocolate chips, and chocolate ice cream on top. I’m sad to say we didn’t get to taste such a delightful-sounding stack, but Bromund—who suffers from Jacobsen Syndrome—was a real joy to be around that morning. IHOP is doing good work with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Duke Children’s hospital.
One stack we might get to try, however, is winner Starla Chapman’s Oatmeal Raisin stack, which Haley said actually tastes like oatmeal cookies. In fact, it’s so good, he said, IHOP is considering including it on the menu.