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.
Although visitors to Chattee's Cafe and Drive-thru have the option of remaining inside their cars, the eatery's menu bears little resemblance to that of a fast food restaurant. Cooks prepare each dish to order, griddling huckleberry waffles and layering breakfast sandwiches with fresh eggs, bacon, and hash browns. Later in the day, they grill burgers and dress teriyaki chicken sandwiches with ham and pineapple. The restaurant hosts Car Cruise on Friday nights, which consists of classic cars and their owners hanging out around picnic tables, and patrons can dine on an outdoor patio decorated with potted plants.
A curved rooftop and white-trimmed windows give The Otis Grill a quaint appearance, which aligns well with its menu of classic American comfort food. In the morning, the eatery's cooks griddle hot cakes and ladle gravy over fresh biscuits. Later in the day, they fry beer-battered shrimp, simmer chicken and dumplings, and grill thick, juicy burgers.
Every green booth at Palenque Mexican Restaurant is painted with a red, orange, and yellow sunset over the plains of Jalisco, Mexico. These paintings set the scene for the spicy yet hearty meals that chefs make using recipes from this culturally rich region. They fill different sized tortillas with a range of meats and fresh vegetables, and create spicy salsas that enhance flavors without having to use performance-enhancing peppers.
Rated the best Indian restaurant in the area by Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living, Top of India lives up to its name with tandoori staples culled from different regions of India. These include chicken tikka and lamb shish kebab. Beyond those meaty mainstays, the eatery cooks up more than 15 vegetarian options. Dishes like mushroom korma and chicken chili lend credence to the restaurant’s award-winning stature, and the full bar offers house specialities such as a hard mango lassi with a flare of coconut, a Royale Salute martini, and a margarita based on the classic Indian nimbu pani.
Though it’s not uncommon to hear lip smacking at Smacky’s on Broadway, that’s not how the eatery got its name. It was named after owner Mike’s childhood pet monkey. But despite its playful name, Smacky’s is serious about sandwich making. Its menu includes french dips, crispy paninis, and twice-baked hoagies. All of these handheld meals are made with fresh-baked bread, save for the selection of wraps, and top-choice black forest ham, roast beef, and slow-roasted turkey.
In 2009, Smacky’s moved into a roomy, newly renovated space with wood-paneled walls and an eclectic collection of furniture. Above a big fuzzy green sofa hang an assortment of frying pans, windowpanes, and a map of North America. These seemingly random decorations help create a casual atmosphere, not unlike when a corporation insists its employees wear footed pajamas to the office.