Review: Pumpkin Spice Pancakes from IHOP
It’s been a pumpkin themed fall for me, and based on my most recent eats, there’s no sign of me laying off the sweet seasonal treats. This past week, being the proverbial ninth week of the semester (in which they say we students all start to hit the wall), I was feeling kinda down, so I thought what better way to lift my spirit than with a plate of piping hot pancakes?
I realize nothing beats your favorite neighborhood diner and their “secret” pancake recipe, but I wanted to see how IHOP’s Pumpkin Pancakes would stack up (haha, get it? stackup? eh, nevermind) against the competition. IHOP offers their pumpkin pancakes in a platter priced at $4.99, as well as in a combo. You can also sub them for buttermilk pancakes in any of IHOP’s breakfast plates that include pancakes, which is exactly what I did.
The pancakes themselves came out warm enough. They weren’t gargantuan in size, and were topped by a single dollop of whipped topping as well as powdered sugar. The pancakes weren’t super dense, but they weren’t light and airy either, as I’m sure the addition of pumpkin to the batter killed some of their rise. Likewise, they had a decent level of moisture, and weren’t burnt on the outside. I made sure to take my first couple of bites sans syrup, and found the pancakes to be pretty much what I expected. Obviously, anytime you’re talking pancakes, there is going to be a certain amount of “yum” associated with the combination of eggs and butter (hey, fat is flavor). The pancakes themselves had slightly more sweetness than what you’d expect from standard buttermilk pancakes, but they weren’t particularly sweet, and the cinnamon taste wasn’t the strongest. This being the case, the pumpkin flavor seemed only moderate, and wasn’t particularly memorable. It seemed pretty obvious that the batter was just using ground cinnamon that had been sitting around, and failed to offer much pungency. That being said, they were anything but repulsive, and given their nice balance of moisture and a liberal helping of maple flavor syrup, they went down fairly easy.
A quick word on the sides. I got the pancakes in IHOP’s new “Simple and Fit” combo, which comes with turkey bacon and “scrambled egg substitute.” The turkey bacon wasn’t that bad, and the two strips had enough rendered fat still clinging to make them savory enough. The scrambled “egg substitute,” however, wasn’t for me. They oozed of clarified butter and lacked any kind of flavor, and probably are not actually as “fit” as IHOP claims. As for the pancakes? They’re good, but not great. I liked the subtle sweetness and the balanced texture, but in terms of their ability to capture a hearty pumpkin and spice flavor, they weren’t outstanding. A nice seasonal alternative should you find yourself at IHOP, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to seek them out.
Pros: Not too dense despite the pumpkin. Can do no wrong with pancakes and powdered sugar. Good moisture content allows for syrup to seep into pancake.
Cons: Moderate size (who are we kidding, half the fun of pancakes should be their massive surface area). Not the most pronounced pumpkin flavor. Spice is mundane and somewhat boring. Eating at IHOP.
Price: 4.99 (For four pancakes)
Overall GrubGrade: 6.50 (Average)