IHOP's new French toast is more like dessert than breakfast

By: Ken Hoffman King Features Syndicate
May 20, 2013 Updated: May 20, 2013 at 6:50 am

IHOP has introduced three Brioche French Toast dishes. In addition to Bananas Foster, you can order Berry Berry and Peaches and Cream. We picked Bananas Foster because, in keeping with brioche (a bread created in France) and French toast (which has the word "French" in it), Bananas Foster was created at Brennan's Restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Here's the Bananas Foster Brioche blueprint: three thick, round slices of brioche bread soaked in lightly sweetened vanilla batter and grilled till crispy, then covered with sliced bananas caramelized in a buttery brown-sugar glaze, powdered sugar and whipped cream.

Yeah, like anything in this blueprint is "lightly" sweetened. When I was a kid, I brought home shopping bags full of Halloween candy that didn't pack the sugar wallop the Bananas Foster Brioche French Toast does. Gee, dessert for breakfast. When did IHOP hire children in product development?

Forty-eight fat grams and 980 calories is only the start. I haven't drizzled on IHOP's signature maple-flavored syrup yet. And I haven't upgraded to the Brioche French Toast combo breakfast, with eggs, bacon or sausage, and hash browns for $7.99.

I won't run a total on the combo breakfast because this is a breakfast review, not a murder mystery. Let's just say that you're more than halfway home on the recommended daily allowance of calories and fat.

Actual Bananas Foster, as served in New Orleans, is laced with rum and banana liqueur. IHOP's version is clean and sober.

In case you're unfamiliar with the bread counter at Panera restaurants, brioche is made with more butter and eggs than everyday white or whole-wheat sandwich loaves. So, brioche is very rich - the perfect bread (tied with challah) for French toast.

IHOP's Bananas Foster Brioche French Toast keeps its promise. It's purely delicious and just as advertised - it'll have you rockin' and reelin' till lunch on a sugar rush.

One thing about IHOP that's guaranteed: This underrated nationwide chain puts down a lot of good, dependable food for a decent price.

Berry Berry Brioche French Toast is topped with sweetened blueberries and strawberries, plus powdered sugar and whipped topping. Peaches and Cream Brioche French Toast has sweetened sliced peaches, roasted pecans, vanilla-cream drizzle and whipped topping.

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