My daughter loves chocolate chip pancakes, so after an early morning doctor's appointment we decided to stop off at the IHOP on Gordon Drive here in Sioux City, IA. Now, we have eaten here just 3 times since moving to Sioux City (2 years ago). Out of those 3 times, there was only one good experience, but for chocolate chip pancakes- you just go. Well, when we arrived the parking lot was not very crowded. It was around 8:30am on a Monday, so I was hoping our service would be quick. When we went in I should have taken note to the first BIG red flag- not very crowded, but had to wait a few minutes for someone to even come over to seat us. The waitress that took us to our seat was not cordial at all. She just motioned and walked us to a table. Once at the table the menus were plopped down and the waitress was gone. I took notice to her seating 2 other ladies at a table where they had friends waiting. Then she was gone again. After a moment she came rushing by the table and said, "Oh, can I get you something to drink??"
I spoke quickly, since I didn't want her to disappear again. I tried to get out the words "we are ready to order", but as you might have guessed- poof she was gone. As we waited for our drinks I had time (lots of time) to look around the dining room that we were seated in. Most of the customers looked like they might be just taking a break from work to grab a bite to eat, but out of the 4 occupied tables not one of them had food on their tables. As the disappearing waitress reappeared from behind the wall, she greeted another family at the door, and then dropped off our drinks. Yep- she was poof, again.
Now, we had already been in the restaurant 10 minutes, just got our drinks, and still no order. I started to think maybe this waitress must be the only IHOP employee at work. After, another few minutes, the waitress came by our table and stopped (we are making progress, I thought). Now, here is the 2nd BIG red flag- she stopped and said "Oh, I forgot about you. Are you ready to order?" REALLY???? So, my daughter and I placed our order- nothing fancy- just the the chocolate chip pancakes and a BLT. How long could that take, right?? Well, off she went again- to where I could not say, maybe to Hy-Vee to grocery shop or maybe over to Perkins to borrow a cup of sugar.?? So, here we were just sitting, waiting, waiting, and waiting- oh, and watching other tables get their orders.
One interesting thing I noticed was a group of gentleman sitting in the back. I guess I noticed them, because they were so excited to see someone bring food to their table. They were all digging into their plates, like it had been a long time since they had eaten. Which I knew I was going to act like when we finally got our order. Now, one of the men had ordered steak and eggs. Something was not right with the plate, not sure what it was, but what happened next was strange. The waitress (not ours- she was still MIA) grabbed a plate from behind the wall and proceeded back to the gentleman's table. She raked off the food on his plate onto the plate she brought, the only thing she left was the steak. As she tossed the plate with food onto his crowded table (it almost slipped on the floor), she grabbed the plate with the steak and disappeared behind that wall.
That wall must have contained some secret passage to places far away, because that is where our waitress disappeared behind. I was giving Jenni the play by play of what I was watching, so to take our minds off our growling stomaches. It was not long and another lady brought the gentleman the steak back, it must have been the same one, because he was just shaking his head, while the other guys laughed. Maybe that was a 3rd BIG red flag.
Well, no food, rude wait staff, flat soda is all a good mix to make a grumpy momma. My daughter and I checked the time- we had been in IHOP an hour, but no food. About the time we were checking our watches the MIA waitress appeared long enough to literally slam down a slimy bottle of ketchup on our table. The slam was so hard our sodas and silverware bounced. No words were exchanged during this slam by, she just disappeared behind the wall again. Now, I know chocolate chip pancakes were the desire of my daughter and I love to give her the desires of her heart, but enough was enough. After the slam by, we had been there over an hour, guest that arrived after us were already eating and some were done and leaving. Patience was gone. I looked at my daughter and I told her there was no way pancakes were worth this wait. So we left. No chocolate chip pancakes. No BLT. No more IHOP! If our previous visits had been pleasant, then there would be a return visit. However, since that is not the case, there will be no more IHOP.
In my humble opinion, if you decide to eat at this IHOP, maybe you should bring some snacks to eat and maybe a tracking device to place on your waitress. With those 2 things, you will not get hungry and you will at least know where the waitress poofs to.
Since moving to Sioux City 2 years ago, I have looked for a good place to get fried chicken. I had passed the black and white building bearing the Sneaky's Fried Chicken sign several times, but never really thought it looked too inviting. However, after hearing that Sneaky's was going to be the main dish at my husband's office Christmas party, I thought I would check it out.
We arrived to Sneaky's just a little before 5pm on a Tuesday evening. The parking lot was not crowded, so parking was easy. However, I got a little confused on where to go in. There were two doors- one that lead to the take-out window and one that looked like a back door. Well, the one that looked like a back door, was the right choice. This door lead right into a simple decorated dining area. One thing that did catch my eye was the quotes that decorated the walls. At the time we arrived there was only one other table occupied, so seating was not an issue. As we stood in the doorway- looking like newbies, a very nice lady told us to sit anywhere we liked. We sat down and waited for the menu.
The menu was just a tad overwhelming, but the nice waitress was eager to give us the run-down. She told us that items marked with the little Sneaky guy were the signature items, so that seemed like a good place to start ordering. We ordered the fried gizzards to start this dining adventure.
Well, they were an adventure. The breading was yummy, but the actual gizzards not so much. The actual gizzards were quite chewy, not what we were use to at all. Some chew would be fine, but the chewing I did was like the P90X for the jaw (it was really not good). The waitress that started our dining experience left, so then our dinner was brought out by another waitress. She was also polite, however her attention was given to what seemed to be a regular customer. I assumed that the gentleman was a regular, since the waitress spent most of her time standing by him or sitting in the booth across from him. Now, the dinners we ordered were all the same, except one of us had a 3 piece dinner, while the others just had 2 pieces. The dinners came with the chicken, crinkle fries, and a roll. The breading on the chicken was not as good as the one on the gizzards, however, the chicken was pretty moist (even the breast). The crinkle fries were cooked well, but not seasoned. The roll- not so good. The roll was cold- it would have been so much better if they would have warmed it up a little. The butter that they gave us for the roll was warm, so warm it was runny.
So, in my humble opinion, if you want polite service- Sneaky's would be a good choice. Now, for anything else.....well, let's just say I am still looking for a good place to get fried chicken here in Sioux City.