Restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving

ILLUSTRATION: ThanksgivingWithout further adieu, I offer you the 2013 list of restaurants open and serving on Thanksgiving Day.

Most are buffets, and there are new additions to the list. Siena Tuscan Steakhouse is joining in this year, and Newport Grill, which did plated meals last Thanksgiving, also has a buffet this year.

Also open: Many of the chain diners that rarely close, including IHOP, Denny’s and Villlage Inn.

Some of the Thanksgiving restaurants take reservations. Others don’t. Peruse the list and make your plans.

Get your free pancakes on Tuesday

It’s time again for the best publicized fundraiser in breakfast history.

Tuesday is National Pancake Day, and IHOP restaurants are giving away pancakes to celebrate. The event, a fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, offers patrons a free stack of buttermilk pancakes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Diners are encouraged to make a donation during the event. The chain hopes to raise $3 million nationwide. To date, IHOP has raised more than $10 million for the cause. Wichita’s IHOPS are at 11855 E. Kellogg Drive, 3505 N. Rock Road and 515 S. Ridge Circle.

I think I’ve recieved about 123 e-mails and press releases about this event, plus there’s a poster about it in the elevator here at the Eagle. Apparently, it’s gonna be good.

The Irish-est, eating-ist holiday ever

If only my favorite Patrick was old enough to have an ID...

The interesting St. Paddy’s Day dining deals just keep rolling in this week. Just in the past couple of days, I’ve learned that IHOP is making a green spinach/egg concoction on Saturday, another zillion or so bars are cooking corned beef and cabbage, and Burger King is giving away free fries with green ketchup.

And I learned about this one today, which I love: From noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, anyone named Pat, Patrick, Patricia or Patty will qualify for a free appetizer at Newport Grill, 1900 N. Rock Road. That’s a good deal because Newport Grill has some great appetizers, including rock shrimp cigars. (A co-worker is crying name discrimination, but it’s all in good fun.) The Pats must show their IDs to participate.

Sadly, the only people I know who qualify are my favorite 4-year-old, Patrick, who doesn’t have an ID yet, and a lawyer I once hired, whose services I no longer need. Wait! There’s a nice lady in the advertising department. Maybe I’ll get her to take me. Or perhaps I can lure Patrick Dempsey into town.

It’s National Pancake Day

It feels good to help people. It feels even better when you get to eat pancakes in the process.

Kansas IHOP restaurants are supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals with a pancake giveaway until 10 p.m. tonight. Customers who visit can get a free short stack of three buttermilk pancakes, (though it’s suggested that diners donate the cost of the meal to the cause.) Last year’s event raised $5,000. Participating Wichita IHOPs include the ones at 11855 E. Kellogg Drive, 3505 N. Rock Road and 515 S. Ridge Circle.

The fundraiser is being put on all over the country, and IHOP hopes to raise $2.7 million this year.

Flavors of fall keep keep coming

Several local chains are putting fall-friendly foods on their menus, and I, for one, approve.

Some of the dishes are new. Others are old favorites that the hungry masses wait for every year.

IHOP's Scary Face pancake is too cute to be scary, if you ask me.

I already told you about the glorious return of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks.

IHOP will return its fabulous pumpkin pancakes to the menu on Monday and serve them until Halloween. During that time, the breakfast chain also is offering all-you-can-eat buttermilk pancakes, and for children 12 and under, “Scary Face” pancakes made with whipped cream mouths, strawberry noses and Oreos and candy corn for decorating. On Oct. 28,  children can get a free Scary Face pancakes, and parents even can sign up on for a wake-up call on October 28 from Count Spatula reminding them about the free scary pancake day. Bwahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa.

Panera also has added several fall items to its menu, including a roasted turkey artichoke panini, a chocolate pecan babka pastry, a cherry vanilla bagel, steak chili with cornbread, pumpkin cookies and pumpkin spiced lattes.

Know of any others?

Funnel cakes when there’s no festival

This is not Don. This is James Bradley Price II, a past winner of the Wichita River Festival funnel cake eating contest.

A reader who hails from Rhode Island recently discovered a culinary obsession at the Kansas State Fair, and now he can’t think straight.

His name is Don, and he WANTS A FUNNEL CAKE. NOW.

Although the Kansas State Fair is approaching, Don will be happy to know he doesn’t have to wait.

He sampled the funnel cakes that are the featured special at IHOP through the end of August, but he wasn’t impressed.

One other restaurant in town keeps funnel cakes on the menu: The Burger Barn at 3302 W. Central. The restaurant serves the deep fried delights with powdered sugar or with other decadent toppings such as apple, cherry, strawberry, caramel and cream cheese. For more information, call 316-425-0443.

Please eat the pancakes

I’m pretty sure I’ve never been forwarded a restaurant-related  e-mail as many times as I was forwarded the e-mail about IHOP’s big pancake giveaway tomorrow morning. A modest estimate is that at least a dozen of my friends and co-workers if not more sent me the news in an FYI sorta way.

This is a big deal, people.

Tuesday is National Pancake Day at IHOP, which means that from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., IHOP will give away free short stacks of its buttermilk pancakes and is suggesting that diners leave a donation to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Via Christi Health.

Wichita’s IHOP restaurants are at 11855 E. Kellogg Drive, 3505 N. Rock Road and 515 S. Ridge Circle.

Please! Eat the pancakes!

Never too soon for pumpkin pancakes

pumpkinpancakesThis glorious, fall-like morning has me thinking about one of my favorite fall-like treats: PUMPKIN PANCAKES at IHOP.

I’m not normally huge on IHOP, but those once-a-year-pancakes make the eternal lines and other I-indignities worth it. Don’t they?

The pancakes won’t be available till October, which is still an excruciating one month and one week away, but the IHOP publicity department was kind enough to send out tips for making the pancakes at home.

They won’t share the secret recipe, mind you, but using the following guide, you can create a suitable imitation to get you through the wait.


  • The batter – Start with your favorite pancake batter recipe and simply add canned pumpkin pie mix.
  • Water temperature – When preparing dry pancake mix, it is essential that the water is chilled to less than 50 degrees.  Use ice to bring the temperature of the water down.
  • Lumps are good – Do not over mix the pancake batter.  Small lumps of flour are what make pancakes tall and fluffy.
  • Grill temperature – Use a 350-degree grill and make sure there are no hot or cold spots that can affect cooking time.
  • Cook time – The appearance is how you judge when a pancake is ready. When dropping the pancake batter, watch for bubbles to form and for the batter to have a dull appearance.  This takes approximately 2.5 minutes.  After flipping, cook approximately 2 minutes.
  • Topping IHOP tops its pumpkin pancakes with creamy whipped topping.