The ‘House’ Where Locals Love To EatCover Story Features
July 30, 2017
Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
When you open the door to enter International House of Pancakes (IHOP), the sweet fragrance of maple syrup greets you like a warm hug.
And that’s just the beginning of your delicious welcome to America’s favorite pancake eatery. At IHOP’s Pearl City location, new customers are greeted like friends, and regulars are beloved like family.
On Dining Out‘s recent Monday morning visit, the restaurant bustles with activity. The décor is cheerful, with walls in soft hues of orange and beige, and art prints of strawberries, mushrooms and onions. Booths and tables are filled with families happily finishing their breakfasts.
“Most of our customers are local,” says Khokon “Hawk” Haque, vice president of operations, “and we see a lot of big parties. That’s why we have a local menu, with Spam and Loco Moco. On the weekends, we get lots of parties of eight or 10 — all repeat customers!”
“Many of them come from church on Sunday,” adds general manager Chasity Brede. “We give good service and we’re very family-oriented.”
Originally from Maui, Brede transferred from the Kahului IHOP to the Pearl City location just a couple months after it opened, about 10 years ago. She was promoted from server to assistant manager, and is now GM. She’s enjoyed watching the extended Central Oahu neighborhood embrace IHOP as its own.
“We’re a community store,” she says. “Our regulars come back for the service, and the food.”
Some of the most popular bites include Big Steak Omelet ($16.99), stuffed with steak strips, hash browns, salsa, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheese, and topped with more salsa. “That’s a favorite! It’s our biggest seller,” says Haque.
“Our omelets also come with your choice of pancakes, hash browns, toast or a fresh fruit cup.”
Other savory delights include Chicken Florentine Crepes ($13.99), a pair of crepes stuffed with grilled chicken breast, mushrooms and onions, served with a white cheddar sauce on a bed of spinach and garnished with basil and tomatoes; and Garden Omelet ($15.49), featuring a fresh mix of broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheddar.
If your sweet tooth demands satisfaction, try Strawberry Banana French Toast ($12.69), featuring six triangles of toast with bananas, strawberries and whipped topping. And for the ultimate indulgence: Cupcake Pancakes ($12.79) presents a quartet of IHOP’s famous hot-cakes with rainbow sprinkles in the batter, topped with cupcake icing, whipped topping and more sprinkles — fun for birthdays, breakfast or anytime.
IHOP offers a 15 percent discount for active-duty and retired military and spouses, as well as firefighters and members of the police force. The restaurant’s Kids Eat Free promotion, intended to encourage families to eat dinner together, is offered from 4 p.m. to closing at 10 p.m. for keiki 12 and under who are accompanied by an adult.
And did you know that you’re welcome to bring your favorite beer or wine to IHOP? (There’s no corkage fee.) With such a diverse range of dining options, it’s no wonder patrons love to hop on over to this establishment for memorable mealtimes.
IHOP GIVES BACK
Since launching National Pancake Day in 2006, IHOP has raised $24 million for charities all over the world. Hawaii’s IHOP locations, in particular, have provided food, participated in events and helped raise funds for Make-A-Wish Hawaii, Special Olympics Hawaii and Kapiolani Hospital for Women and Children.
THE MORE, THE MERRIER
With six restaurants on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island, IHOP has become a part of the community in Hawaii, and it’s growing. A new IHOP is under construction near Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, on Paiea and Ualena streets near McDonald’s. Slated to open in November, the restaurant will offer convenient, tasty new dining options for hungry travelers and kamaaina alike.
98-1254 Kaahumanu St., B03, Pearl City (and two other locations in Waikiki)
Open Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m.–9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 7 a.m.–11 p.m.