the better breakfast? Local Angie's or international
By Melanie Nelson
December 15, 2006 | Some people wonder what makes the
difference between certain national food chains and
local restaurants. I have often wondered this myself
and decided to evaluate two restaurants specializing
in their breakfast menu. I scheduled two different days
to go sample food from International House of Pancakes,
otherwise known as IHOP., and Logan's Angie's. I
had heard good things about both eating establishments,
but decided to see for myself.
Nov. 27 was my IHOP visit. The overall service
was average. I asked my roommate, Lacey Hale, to keep
me company and eat, as well she could serve a second
opinion. The only time we were able to go was at 7 p.m.
due to having classes during the day. We pulled into
a parking spot on the front row, as there were very
few cars in the parking lot. Lacy and I experienced
prompt service as we were seated right away. The host
who escorted us to our table was also our server, Peter
Johnson. Johnson was very kind and personable; however,
he might as well have sat down and eaten with us. Too
much service can be bad service. I did ask him what
his favorite breakfast dish was and what he recommended.
"I love the new corn bread pancakes," he said. "They're
fluffy and have a great flavor. Our seasonal pumpkin
pancakes are amazing too." His response and verbal communication
did not stop there. He checked on us every five minutes
whether we were eating or not. Eventually, I avoided
eye contact all together and would immediately tell
him we were fine. He would stay at the table, fumble
for more words, and ask at least two more reassuring
I ordered the international passport for my meal,
along with chocolate milk. The passport includes: your
choice of three different kinds of crepes, your choice
of eggs, and your choice of bacon or sausage. I chose
the Swedish crepes with lingonberries and lingonberry
butter on top of them. I got half bacon, half sausage
and over-easy eggs. When the food arrived, my chocolate
milk was gone and our server asked if I would like another
one. The chocolate milk was solely milk with Hershey's
syrup stirred in. This was not what I was expecting
and asked if I could just get something else instead,
such as a juice or soda; both lower in price than the
Johnson explained I did not have that option and brought
me another chocolate milk. I was very surprised.
Such a simple way to boost a tip and earn customer
service points was so easily rejected. On the other
hand, the food was delicious. I had never heard of,
or eaten, lingonberries. They were delectable. The crepes
were warm, my eggs were cooked perfectly, and the meat
portion of my dish was very satisfying.
Our server asked both of us what we thought of our
food. I nodded my head in favor of my meal without saying
anything, hoping that would encourage Johnson not to
hang around too long.
Lacey said, "You guys have the best pancakes. I don't
even try any special kinds of pancakes here, because
I just love the originals."
Angie's won our lucky day of Thursday, Dec. 7. I have
never eaten at two restaurants in the same genre that
were so easily compared and contrasted. I asked my friend
Leslie Catmull to accompany me to breakfast. She happily
agreed to come, as it was her first time at Angie's
The service at Angie's was much less personal than
IHOP, unless you were a regular. However, I found
it to be just about right. A man who seemed like a manager
directed us to a booth very quickly, didn't say anything,
and just put the two menus in a stack on the table.
Our server, Emily, came over when we looked like we
were ready to order. I ordered a French toast breakfast
with orange juice, over easy eggs, and half bacon, half
I tested the accommodating skills of the service and
asked if I could have the berries and whipped cream
over my French toast. This was absolutely no problem,
and Emily simply asked me what kind of berries I preferred.
I then asked her if I could have two out of the three.
I wanted both blueberries and strawberries. Again, this
was no problem.
Leslie slightly modified her meal as well. She asked
if she could have hash browns instead of the bacon or
Our server did not even think twice to quickly write
down the order.
Many other people found the service to be about the
same, and rated this restaurant as a whole at this Web
Leslie and I went to breakfast at Angie's at 8 a.m.
This made quite the difference from IHOP as it was
actually very busy for breakfast. With the large amount
of people, our food came out in a very timely manner.
The tastes were not as pleasing as the service, or
the small-town atmosphere. My French toast was very
thick and a little dry. I asked Leslie hour her food
was and what she thought.
"Um, these pancakes are huge, and kind of have a grainy
texture," she said. "They're not very fluffy."
The pancakes were about eight inches in diameter and
she only ate half of one.
My overall experience at both restaurants would place
IHOP above Angie's. Service doesn't mean much if
the food isn't good. The food quality is the motivation
of eating out. If you don't have that, you don't have
much. It's also good to try new things. This is much
easier when you have a large variety to choose from.
The International House of Pancakes has a much bigger
breakfast menu than Angie's does. They also have seasonal
specials and fun, user friendly menus, which you can
find on their Web site,
along with all of the locations.
Angie's menus had about one page of breakfast choices
and no pictures, where you can find at this Web