Downtown Digs In at Suburban Icon iHop

NOVEMBER 11, 2011

Conjuring memories of late-night indulgence and hometown pilgrimages, iHop opens up shop in downtown Manhattan.

Yes, the old International House of Pancakes of late-night post-revelry pig-outs with friends in much younger days, not a handy app or bouncy new Apple device. Though the time has long passed when a symbol of suburbia raises eyebrows in this town, New Yorkers aren’t an easy audience when it comes to fast food, especially downtown, so many were surprised at the chain restaurant’s arrival so close to Whole Foods, Garden of Eden, Trader Joe’s, Artichoke Basile and a host of ethnic eateries.

But there it is at 235 East 14th street in the East Village near Union Square, looking, smelling and tasting just like an iHop should. Fluorescent lighting that’s flattering to no one? Check. 24-hour service? Check. Amiable wait staff? Check. Rooty Tooty Fresh-N-Fruity®? Check. The menu offers plenty of late-night/early-morning indulgence possibilities like Strawberry Banana Danish Fruit Crepes, Bacon Temptation Omelettes, burgers galore and even Grilled Tilapia Hollandaise. There’s lighter fare for dieters, and you can get your carb overload to go (though they don’t offer delivery). The 14th street location is Manhattan’s second, and more expansion is in the works. The chain plans to open 24 new stores, including an outpost in the Limelight Marketplace.

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