I Am Eating Everything on IHOP’s ‘Addams Family’ Menu
They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky. They’re all together ooky.
And apparently they’re really into breakfast food?
That is the only conclusion to be drawn from what is currently happening at the local House of Pancakes Internationale, where for a limited time you can eat an entire menu worth of food inspired by the new animated film version of The Addams Family. And by “you,“ I mean me. I can eat an entire menu worth of food. And by “can,” I mean shouldn’t, but will.
This is just something I do. It literally started as a joke with a former boss over four years ago, when I promised (in jest!) that if a press pass to San Diego Comic-Con that was causing problems didn’t get sorted out, I would eat everything on Denny’s Fantastic Four menu and write about it as penance. The pass got sorted out, but tragically I was forced to eat the Fantastic Four menu anyway. Four years later, I still occasionally wake in the middle of the night in cold sweat screaming “Thing Sauce! What is Thing Sauce!!! WHY is Thing Sauce?!?”
For reasons I’d rather not think too deeply about, people really enjoyed following along as I suffered through that meal — so much so that I did it again, and again, and again. Now it’s probably the most popular feature on ScreenCrush. What can I say? I have extremely loyal readers who appear to want me to die of six simultaneous heart attacks in a multinational pancake house.
Today I have returned to IHOP, who recently gourmandized the animated version of The Grinch into an extravaganza of colors, textures, and flavors. For The Grinch, IHOP’s food mavericks introduced green pancakes; for The Addams Family they’ve manufactured a purple whipped topping and slathered it all over iced flapjacks, a milkshake, and a hot chocolate. Plus, there’s an omelette that’s supposedly made “with a splash of Buttermilk and wheat pancake batter.” Why would you put pancake batter in an omelette? I guess I should just be happy they didn’t put purple whipped cream on it.
As an appetizer for the all together ooky feast that’s about to descend upon my lower digestive system, please enjoy this commercial for The Addams Family menu at IHOP, which will give you a good sense of what I’m in for:
As you’re reading this, I’ve arrived at my favorite IHOP in Brooklyn with my computer, phone, and appetite. So put a witch’s shawl on, and a broomstick you can crawl on. I’m gonna pay a call on The Addams Family menu. Based on the commercial, it looks like it’s going to be neat — and given the amount of whipped cream involved, it will definitely be sweet. But petite? Not after all this food...
This meal may call for a recalibration of what makes something “good” and “bad,” as far as movie food goes.
After all, this is the Addams Family we’re talking about. Eating weird food is a running gag in their movies! In the 1991 Barry Sonnenfeld Addams Family there are multiple jokes about their bizarre meals. When Lurch the Butler gives Wenesday and Puglsey their brown bag school lunches, the bags squirm as if there are living creatures inside trying to get out. Later, when the whole Addams clan gathers around the dinner table, Wednesday’s plate of mush squirms and makes weird noises. “Wednesday! Play with your food!” Morticia scolds.
It is in that spirit which IHOP’s Gomez Green Chile Omelette was created.
An omelette with pancake batter? Only a mind as sadistic as Gomez Addams’ could conceive of such a monstrous consumable. Here’s how it’s described on the menu:
Marinated pulled pork, Jack & Cheddar cheese, fire-roasted red and green peppers and onions and green chile verde sauce topped with sour cream. Served with 3 Buttermilk Pancakes or your choice of side. Made with a splash of Buttermilk and wheat pancake batter.
And here’s what it looked like in front of me:
If you held Gomez’s fencing sword to my throat, I could not have identified what meat adorns the inside and outside of this heaping mountain of eggs. Is it beef? Is it pork? Is it shredded Cousin It? If you had told me it was left over “who-roast beast” meat from IHOP’s Grinch menu, I would believe you. (It’s pork. Allegedly.)
Thankfully, I cannot taste the pancake batter in the omelette; whatever they add to the recipe is invisible to my taste buds — which, admittedly, have been dulled somewhat by years of abuse from movie theme menus. The eggs themselves taste like your standard issue diner omelette, but the green chiles are a nice addition, with just the right level of spice.
On the whole, this was better (if just as unsettling to look at) as the Grinch omelette IHOP offered. I’m not sure my photo really does full justice to just how ominous this mountain of ova was when it was plopped in front of me. It was so big! By any standard measure, this is horrifying food. But since the Addams family is into horrifying food, I guess job well done? At the very least, it was a sight worthy of the Addams family’s monstrous appetites.
But can my appetite handle “web-cakes”? We’re about to find out...
The only viruses I’m used to hearing about in conjunction with these movie-themed menus are the intestinal ones I deal with about 12 hours after one of these insane food binges. But the Addams Family IHOP menu went fully viral last weekend, thanks to this tweet about its central ingredient, the “violet whipped topping” (IHOP never calls it “whipped cream” which is only slightly less alarming than the color itself):
As I sit here contemplating the journey that led me to this place in my life, this tweet has over 14,000 retweets. So let’s eat three servings of this gunk — starting with the Wednesday Web-Cakes.
Here’s how it’s described on the menu:
Our fluffy, signature Buttermilk pancakes topped with cupcake icing, webbed with Hershey's Chocolate syrup and topped with violet whipped topping.
And here it is in the flesh (I’m assuming that there’s some kind of flesh in here, it’s what the Addams family would want):
After that disturbing tweet, it looks ... very close to the photo on the menu? The pancakes are nice and fluffy, the purple topping is perfectly swirled on top, and the feathered icing on top has the intended webbed effect. Several people on Twitter accused me of using a stock photo, or being in the pocket of Big Pancake. I’m not. This is real. The cooks at this IHOP nailed it.
But did the chefs who hatched the recipe? While the delicate chocolate webs and bizarre orchid hue are vaguely spooky, I am pretty sure Wednesday Addams would be absolutely infuriated by these pancakes. They may be the sweetest food I have ever put in my mouth. The violet topping is actually mild in flavor compared to the “cupcake icing” on the pancakes, which is sugary enough to melt tooth enamel. I am usually a big syrup on pancakes guy, and I put none on these web-cakes. I’m pretty sure if I had I would have gotten instantaneous diabetes.
In other words, the aesthetics might appeal to Wednesday, but the flavor would not. This seems like something the obnoxious campers from Addams Family Values would order while Wednesday sat nearby, seething and silently judging them — kind of like what my wife does when I explain my job. The Gomez omelette did a better job of threading the needle between a plate that meets the legal definition of food while still being visually terrifying.
Speaking of visually terrifying: I still have to have dessert.
Right at this point in the meal, the radio in this IHOP started playing “The Sign” by Ace of Base. Do you think God himself is trying to tell me something about my eating habits?
Nah, that’s ridiculous — but not quite as ridiculous as my current repast, which has arrived at “Morticia’s Haunted Hot Chocolate.” The menu describes it as...
Toasted marshmallow hot chocolate topped with violet whipped topping and drizzle of Hershey's chocolate syrup.
And here it is:
Once again, I’m not sure the photo fully captures the enormity of the portion here. This hot chocolate cup is at least three times the size of the regulation IHOP coffee cup I’ve been sipping throughout this breakfast, and it is filled to the absolute brim with chocolatey liquid and then covered with violet whipped topping (and then drizzled with chocolate syrup, just in case you have a few teeth left in your mouth that haven’t completely dissolved yet).
The mint hot chocolate IHOP served as part of their Grinch menu was my favorite part of that meal; I would have actually ordered it under non-movie-themed circumstances. The Addams Family hot chocolate is fine — and certainly you are getting your money’s worth with this boat disguised as a mug — but it’s doesn’t taste much different than the hot chocolate you’d get in any coffee shop anywhere in the world.
It does look different, of course, especially as you drink more and more of it. Although Morticia’s Haunted Hot Chocolate arrives at the table with a pleasant light purple color, as the heat from the chocolate interacts with the topping, it turns a more alarming and darker shade of indigo. By the bottom of the cup, you will not want to look inside. What you see there is ... troubling.
Are you sure you want to look? No, but are you sure? Once you gaze into this amethyst abyss, there is no coming back.
Okay, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I’ve never felt so sorry for my stomach before. Still, this does look like the sort of dread that might await you at the bottom of Morticia’s cauldron. So this is another success of Addams Family adaptation.
Whether it is a success of digestion remains to be seen. And I still have one more purple dessert to go.
The voices of the new Addams Family cartoon include Oscar Isaac, Finn Wolfhard, Snoop Dogg, and Charlize Theron. When was the last time Charlize Theron ate in an IHOP? Do you think she even knows they exist? I would love to know what she has to say about the culinary crimes being committed in the name of her Addams Family character.
Anyway, these are the thoughts one has when one has eaten approximately 6,000 calories in a single sitting, most of them derived from purple sugar. My sojourn to the darkest corners of the movie food world concludes with the “Uncle Fester Chocolate Ice Cream Shake.” The menu includes this tantalizing description:
Our haunted house-made Hershey's chocolate ice cream shake with violet whipped topping. So good it will make you shiver!
Oh, it’s the milkshake that’s making me shiver? That’s a relief; I thought I was in the early stages of anaphylactic shock. Anyway, here’s what I was served.
While it’s entirely possible that the three previous courses have obliterated my ability to taste food properly, and everything I’m about to say should be viewed with a skeptical eye, my shake seemed to have a bizarre tang. I don’t think it was the violet whipped topping; I’ve had two portions of it already, and neither one tasted like this. I can’t quite put my finger on the exact flavor, but if I had to guess, I’d say some kind of artificial chocolate? Whatever it is, it was chalky and unpleasant.
But, hey, maybe that’s Uncle Fester’s bag? The guy is definitely a prankster. In the Sonnenfeld Addams Family, he helps Wednesday and Pugsley turn their talent show performance into an explosion of fake blood and severed limbs. I could see him trying to poison my milkshake, or at least render it borderline inedible for kicks. On the plus side, the cold beverage didn’t turn the purple topping a putrid-looking burned color the way the hot chocolate did. So that’s a plus.
There were a fair number of minuses throughout the meal as well. The overall direction of the menu seemed torn between truly distressing items that the Addamses might conceive and serve to their own dinner guests, and foods that were winkingly “scary” in a way that probably match the tone of the new movie (which I have not seen yet) and is designed to appeal to small children (who eat free in the evenings as part of a promotion IHOP’s running in conjunction with this menu) but would make the Addams family scoff in disgust. While I cannot fault IHOP for their approach — which will sell more pancakes than a more conceptually pure version of Addams Family food — I prefer the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge style of themed gastronomy, where everything is delicious and also ever-so-slightly alien and weird.
That said, let’s give credit where credit is due. The cloying sweetness coating almost everything on the Addams Family menu is basically an edible version of what you’ll find in most entertainment marketed to children these days. Hollywood drowns kids in simplistic sweetness, whether they want it or not. Plus, the things happening to my colon right now are very mysterious and spooky. I imagine Gomez and Morticia would derive an inordinate amount of twisted pleasure from what’s about to happen to me next.
Gallery — The Dumbest Sequel Subtitles in History: