Is there anything better than breakfast? I could eat breakfast for dinner, lunch, and well, breakfast. Eggs and bacon, pancakes and waffles, omelette and frittatas, you name the breakfast food and I will eat it. And, of course, I’m all about coffee…endless cups of coffee…bottomless pots of coffee. Yum!

I discovered eating out for breakfast or brunch when I first arrived in the U.S. as a college student. In England, I had never eaten breakfast at a restaurant unless I was staying at a hotel. Going to brunch with friends was a foreign, yet yummy concept. Once I had one breakfast at a restaurant I was hooked and wanted more. Only one question: Why is breakfast so early? Why indeed? I soon learned that I could find breakfast at any time of the day or night. Perfect for this late riser!

When I was dating my husband, we were always on the lookout for cheap, yet good places to eat. We were both college students, with limited cash, and living at home. Finding a reasonably priced restaurant was our version of the cheap date! One of our favorites was IHOP.

This past weekend we had a quick dinner at IHOP. We were on our way to do some last minute back-to-school shopping. Time was of the essence. It was a school night and we strive to have the kids in bed at a reasonable hour. So, on this particular evening we visited our local IHOP where we were seated immediately.

After a quick perusal of the menu, we weren’t all set on what to order so we ordered drinks. Hot chocolate with whipped cream for the kids and coffee for mom and dad. Our coffee wasn’t as hot as we would have liked, so we requested a fresh carafe. With piping hot coffee in hand, we were finally ready to order. So, what did we order?

IHOP has a brand new menu option. We chose from the Simple & Fit Menu. I deliberated between several different options before settling on:

- Super Fruit Oatmeal with Almonds and Walnuts — a bowl of freshly made Quaker oats, lightly sweetened with cinnamon sugar, and topped with almonds, walnuts, and a blend of five dried super fruits — blueberries, dark cherries, cranberries, raisins, and golden raisins.
- Whole Wheat Crepes — two whole wheat crepes filled with sweet cream cheese and topped with lightly sweetened blueberries and powdered sugar. You can add egg substitute and turkey bacon to this menu item.

My Simple & Fit menu choices were not only tasty, but healthy options. The Super Fruit Oatmeal with Almonds and Walnuts was 330 calories. The Whole Wheat Crepes were 380 calories. If you want eggs and bacon, you can order the Whole Wheat Crepes with Blueberry as a combination for 800 calories. I ordered the combination. I was pleasantly surprised by the turkey bacon. It was quite tasty.

My family are creatures of habit…so their selections were from other parts of the menu. My husband had one of the Breakfast Combos the Breakfast Sampler. My daughter had a ham and cheese omelette. My son had the Create-A-Face Pancake.

Our meal was delicious, and served quickly. Within an hour, we were on to our back-to-school shopping errand. A good meal was had by all.

Next time you are in the IHOP, you will find the Simple & Fit items on the menu. Just look for the Green Strawberry on the IHOP menu. The Simple & Fit items are under 600 calories.

IHOP wants to give you the freedom to choose what you want to eat. So you can hold the butter or whipped toppings, substitute turkey bacon, request sugar-free syrup, say no to the cheese, and many more options.

You can win an IHOP Gift Card for you and your family! I have one of these fun games for children for one lucky reader of this blog!

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*I was sent IHOP giftcards to facilitate my review. The views expressed in this post are my own. I follow the tenets of Blog With Integrity. This giveaway is open to residents in the Continental U.S. only. The giveaway ends September 27, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. EST. *

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