Our very special MCC extended interlude continues!
Ye olde, venerable International House of Pancakes may be a chain restaurant, but they’re not known for dullness or restraint. You can order pancakes as your primary meal, as befitting their moniker. If you’d rather have an omelet, you’re entitled to a side order of toast, biscuits, or the same pancakes. The strawberry banana pancakes in the above photo were given to me as the sidekick to my omelet. That would be great if I were someone likely to burn thousands of calories over the next few hours, such as an Olympic pentathlete or The Rock before his first three morning workouts.
I had assumed a “side order” would be appropriately scaled down — say, the size of a slice of toast. I didn’t expect two full-sized main dishes in one meal, let alone one served on a side-dish plate that was never meant to hold a lumberjack’s feast. Hopefully this instant-overflow design doesn’t catch on with other breakfast joints, because I’d hate to see “slop chic” become a new trend.
As my way of cutting calorie corners and minimizing physical damages, I requested sugar-free syrup, the less sticky alternative you see cascading over the edges and pooling on the table. I also freely admit I didn’t even try to finish the pancakes. The omelet was my primary objective and therefore received all due attention, after which I nibbled at my Second Breakfast until I’d had my fill. I refused to take the rest home because post-syrup pancakes make nasty leftovers. My sincere apologies to all caring individuals who weep at the sight of such sugary largesse served for naught.
That’s setting aside the whole issue of superdense baked goods as an ostensible “nutritious breakfast”, which many of you will recognize as an advertising label that once applied to kiddie breakfast cereals made of sugar, corn syrup, flour, more sugar, and advanced corn syrup. Pancakes this size and content could slay an ill-prepared diner. Such amateur gourmands might be better off settling for a more modest repast to start their morning:
This is a peanut butter brownie sundae from Bob Evans. Our culture considers this dessert. This ice cream treat contains fewer calories and fat grams than the IHOP Hulk-cakes. I’m not sure which one has more vitamins, though I’m sure there’s at least one vitamin somewhere in one of those photos. Finding it might be a sort of an expert-level “Where’s Waldo” exercise where Waldo in this case is an iota of healthful content invisible to the naked eye.
Granted, some waitstaff might glare at you if you order dessert for breakfast, but if they have any dessert on hand at 7 a.m. (as some of them indeed do), then it’s their fault for enabling you and they have no one to side-eye but themselves. On the upside, if they concede your argument and realize this could be the start of something big, they could easily change their name to International House of Pies without having to spend millions to replace all their signs. They receive an image boost, and you content yourself with the satisfaction of having altered the face of a major corporation for the marginally better.
So just think, kids: peanut butter brownie sundaes could be a part of your nutritious breakfast. All you have to do is ask, never take no for an answer, and maybe add six more hours to your daily training regimen so that “nutritious breakfast” isn’t also listed as your cause of death.