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.
Earthy aromas from fresh-brewed beverages greet guests at the door of Le Peep, hinting at the espresso-based creations that await inside?Colombian house coffee, specialty blends, or the flavor of the day. Beyond coffee, the staff also sweetens cups with fruit smoothies. These handcrafted drinks accompany a menu of breakfast and lunch fare dominated by omelets and sandwiches. Whipped eggs arrive studded with fresh veggies or chorizo sausage, and half-pound burgers come layered with Cajun bacon, weighing down tables so that they don't have to be anchored in place by linens made of iron.
Cafe Augusta's chefs prepare hungry humans for spontaneous sprints around the world by filling their bellies with culinarily diverse edibles, including Mediterranean, Caribbean, and German cuisines. For dinner, chefs massage a grouper fillet with bahamian spice rub, then toss the taste-infused fish on a grill to exfoliate before daubing it with a tangy mango sauce ($22). Diners can also let their mouths drift in the direction of caribbean jerk steak ($24) or mediterranean garbanzo cakes ($15) smothered in skhug, artichoke bottoms, and red peppers. Small plates ($7 each) encourage tabletop bonding as diners swap with their entourage, trading a crab-and-corn cake for a flaky coconut shrimp dipped in chili jam, then bartering away titles of nobility for a piece of peanut-sauce-smothered beef satay. Lunch woos hard-to-get stomachs with sandwiches such as the smoked turkey and brie ($9.25), whose contents snuggle contentedly atop a downy ciabatta roll with pear chutney.