The first IHOP—the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin—opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the "International House of Pancakes." Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001. Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.
Food has always been important to the Knudson family. Kal Knudson built a career as a leader in the restaurant industry and, with the rest of the family, established a holiday tradition of serving meals to the homeless. When his son, Kevin Knudson, decided to open a restaurant of his own, he named it Greenfield’s both for the rolling pasture beyond the building’s big, covered patio and as a nod to a piece of scripture that reminded him of his dad. The menu and the ambiance also carry on the family tradition in their way, designed to appeal to families of all kinds and give even large groups enough options for everyone to go home full. Homestyle staples include roast beef, meatloaf, and pasta, but the chefs aren’t afraid to put their own twists on the classics: the grill turns out a euro burger topped with basil pesto and feta cheese along with a peanut-butter burger, voted 1 of the top 10 burgers in the state by the Nebraska Beef Council and the Nebraska Peanut Gallery.
Nature photographs by John Coffey line the dining-room walls, creating a rustic atmosphere with help from decorative grasses and wrought-iron pendant lamps. But Knudson and his team don’t confine their food to the handsome dining room—all these years later, they still follow in Kal’s footsteps by occasionally warming the bellies of the community with random doses of hot chocolate and chicken soup.