Jul 11, 2016

Review: IHOP - Paradise Pancakes

IHOP's Paradise Pancakes come in three varieties: Strawberry Passion Fruit, Banana Macadamia Nut, and Pineapple Upside Down.

I tried all three courtesy of IHOP but they'd otherwise be $3.99 per short stack of two pancakes. I got the whipped topping on the side on the recommendation of my server who felt it would quickly melt from the heat of the pancakes. I ended up using the topping sparingly to add some cream and sweetness here and there.

The Strawberry Passion Fruit Pancakes feature cheesecake layered between two buttermilk pancakes, topped with strawberries, passion fruit drizzle, and whipped topping.

The pancakes were nice and fluffy. The strawberries were surprisingly cold but firm as a result rather than the usual mushiness. Their flavor was well accented by the citrusy sweetness of the passion fruit syrup. The cheesecake provided a nice creamy balance to the syrup. I refrigerated some leftovers and it tasted a lot like a strawberry and cream sponge cake the next day.

The Banana Macadamia Nut Pancakes consist of buttermilk pancakes filled with fresh sliced bananas, finished with a drizzle of butter rum sauce, toasted Macadamia nuts, and whipped topping.

These are ideal if you prefer lightly-sweet pancakes as the butter rum sauce provided the bulk of the sweetness but was curiously muted, although it was still good for a note of butterscotch. The bananas were fairly firm (although I'm sure the ripeness varies) and flavorful but not quite sugary. The Macadamia nuts makes for a good value as they deposited a decent handful on top (which is nice when the nuts are typically around $13 a pound).

The Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes feature pineapple grilled inside buttermilk pancakes, garnished with butter rum sauce, a maraschino cherry, and whipped topping.

The pineapples here retained a firm, crisp texture but didn't appear to have been grilled or caramelized. They didn't offer so much in the way of flavor and were particularly devoid of the expected tang and sweetness. The lack left the butter rum sauce to pick up the slack, which ended up making the dish feel a lot like the Banana Macadamia Nut Pancakes.

Overall, IHOP's Paradise Pancakes were a mixed bag for me. I really enjoyed the Strawberry Passion Fruit Pancakes all around but found the other two varieties a bit wanting in the flavor department. They might work for you if you prefer a light sweetness, however.

Nutritional Info - IHOP Strawberry Passion Fruit Pancakes - short stack
Calories - 540 (from Fat - 180)
Fat - 20g (Saturated Fat - 9g)
Sodium - 1000mg
Carbs - 80g (Sugar - 37g)
Protein - 11g

Nutritional Info - IHOP Banana Macadamia Pancakes - short stack
Calories - 540 (from Fat - 240)
Fat - 27g (Saturated Fat - 9g)
Sodium - 940mg
Carbs - 66g (Sugar - 26g)
Protein - 10g

Nutritional Info - IHOP Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes - short stack
Calories - 400 (from Fat - 130)
Fat - 14g (Saturated Fat - 7g)
Sodium - 940mg
Carbs - 59g (Sugar - 25g)
Protein - 10g

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