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Recently opened IHOP on 191 Deming Street, Manchester, CT.

Write-up & Photo by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com

Recently, a friend invited me to breakfast at the newly opened IHOP restaurant in Manchester, Connecticut. It replaced Applebee’s, which closed.

I came away from the experience with mixed reviews.

First the lighting here is very bright, I tend to prefer soft or low lighting. Secondly, even though there was plenty of space in the main dining room and none of the servers appeared to be overburdened in any section, the waitress went to seat us in the somewhat isolated section to the far left. When we said we would prefer the main dining area, the waitress was visibly perturbed. She seated us as close to that left section as possible which meant one of us – me – had a view of the restaurant while the other person was left to view the cash register and wall behind the stark looking waiting area. Meanwhile, customers arriving immediately after us were brought to better located booths in that main area.

Nonetheless, we decided to stay and give the new place a try.

We ordered French toast, one with a side of fruit, and the other was a combo that came with two slices of French toast (four triangles), two eggs, hash browns and either two bacon slices or two sausage links – all of which I believe would have been tasty enough, had the cooked food arrived hot. It did not. It was barely lukewarm.  In that our waitress was clearly not the accommodating type, and since all we really wanted was to relax and enjoy ourselves without a hassle to start our day, we opted not to say anything about the food temperature. We also opted to leave a 15 percent tip despite the less than satisfactory experience.

It came time to pay and we discovered a 30 cent overcharge on the fruit which was brought to the attention of the cashier, who responded by saying she knew the price charged was correct. She persisted in saying that is what would be charged even when upon looking at the menu the listed price was thirty cents less than what was on the bill. At that point, we asked to speak with the manager. After an approximate six minute wait,  when the manager finally came out front  he did promptly correct the bill – but no apology.

Although syrup is not served warm, one positive is that each table has jugs of syrup kept there – at ours were four flavors, original- which is maple, blueberry, strawberry and butter pecan.

Perhaps our experience was a fluke because so far, the Manchester IHOP which is part of a chain, is quite busy. It is located just off I-84 on 191 Deming Street. By the time we were leaving the waiting area inside was full, people were also waiting outside (they have a loud speaker to alert customers when a table is ready) and the expected wait time was 45 minutes.

This is a new place so I want to cut them some slack. I am not saying I would not go back,  but I would not rush back.