IHOP serves up gluten free waffles and a deliciously decadent kids' pancake

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Funny Face Pancake Combo (Courtesy photos)

ROCHESTER - Friday was the first time I've gone out to eat breakfast and ordered Belgian waffles in about 40 years.

And they were outstanding.

Coincidentally it was the first time I'd ever visited IHOP at Rochester Crossing off Washington Street.

Being gluten free, I've been happy for years now that breakfast restaurants even offered gluten free English muffins or toast, but never dreamed I would see homemade waffles or pancakes unless I made them at home.

Belgian Waffle Combo

The waffle was substantive, with plenty of body and flavor, so much so that after having a couple of bites I rushed to find our waitress to make sure she hadn't made a mistake.

She hadn't, and I rushed back to our table to gobble the rest up.

The Belgian Waffle Combo ($11.69) comes with two eggs and bacon or sausage, too, plenty to satisfy both Martha and I's brunch-time appetite.

Sitting there in IHOP's large dining room with its oversized booths and airy and open ambiance, I couldn't help but think to myself, "This is the new Friendly's!"

This is a great place to take kids, however I was disappointed for my two-year old granddaughter Rylee, who had no crayons and paper to doodle on while waiting for her order during these COVID times.

But not having crayon and paper was of no consequence once her Funny-Face Pancake Combo ($5.49) made it to the table.

As Martha would say, "Ay Dios mio" (Oh Lord).

This decadent (gotta brush your teeth immediately after) dish included a chocolate chip pancake topped with whipped topping and chocolate chip smile with maraschino cherry eyes with a scrambled egg.

Once she broke the crust of the inner pancake, chocolate fudge oozed out to her delight.

Needless to say every bite was first dabbed in the yummy whipped cream.

The only downside to this most pleasurable experience was the coffee, which was "Barney Miller" awful. We asked the waitress for a better batch, which was better but still subpar for a breakfast place.

Food ★★★★

Service ★★★

Atmosphere ★★★

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