Perhaps Wendy’s should have explored IHOP / IHOB’s new menu before trash-tweeting its wanna-be hamburger competitor.
IHOP announced a new line of burgers and a (probably temporary) name change to IHOB on Monday, so we stopped by the San Jose location on North First Street to see how Day One had gone.
From a PR perspective, pretty good. The burger-eating customers we chatted with had heard about the changes, and the wait staff reported a fair number of people ordering burgers all day long.
But here’s the real foodie news, something that IHOP didn’t promote: These burgers come with a free side, and it’s not just fries like at Wendy’s, Chili’s, Burger King, A&W, Whataburger and the other shade-throwers.
You can have … yes, pancakes! All burgers come with your choice of a side of two flapjacks (call it dessert), or hash browns, or fries, or such healthy offerings as a side salad or a cup of soup.
The regular price for a Classic Steakburger with side will be $10.49, but there’s a limited-time offer designed to get customers to check out the new burgers made with USDA Choice Black Angus beef. For $6.99, you can try a Classic with unlimited fries and a free soft drink or iced tea, a savings of nearly 50 percent.
Small discounts are offered on the other burgers — the Jalapeño Kick, Patty Melt, Cowboy BBQ, Mushroom Swiss, the Big Brunch (with bacon and egg) and Mega Monster — which will go for $10.49 to $11.99 once the promotion ends.
So how was the burger? Pretty good for the price and for a restaurant setting with table service. The Classic comes with tomato, red onion, lettuce, pickles and IHOP’s “signature sauce,” a blend of ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise that gets its kick from the mustard. They grilled the onions for us and brought extra sauce. Our only quibble: The bun, a nice pillowy grilled one, might need to be even sturdier to stand up to the toppings.
Wall Street’s responding too. Shares in Dine Global Brand, the parent company, were up 2.7 percent Monday and an additional $2.24 by midday Tuesday.
IHOP’s burger: Would you like (free) pancakes with that?