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Beyond the Griddle

IHOP's new After Breakfast menu attempts to entice the lunch and dinner crowd.

May 29, 1999|RODNEY BOSCH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Chocolate-chip pancakes and three-egg omelets are mainstays at IHOP restaurants. Sourdough bacon burger melts and chicken penne pasta are not. Not yet, anyway.

The Glendale-based corporation--a long-standing leader in the business of breakfast--is making a push to expand its industry niche.

The 800-plus restaurant chain--with outlets in Simi Valley, Newbury Park, Camarillo, Fillmore, Oxnard and Ventura--has rolled out an After Breakfast menu to entice the lunch and dinner crowds.

Ventura County is one of the first markets in the United States where the new menu is being introduced. Roll-out nationwide is scheduled to be completed by the fall.

"We have made our menu more contemporary without sacrificing the comfort foods that made IHOP so popular," said Dennis Leifheit, IHOP's chief operating officer.

Translation: While IHOP will try to attract lunch and dinner patrons--who make up 89% of the nation's overall restaurant business--its breakfast griddle will remain a core focus.

"We still offer IHOP's signature pancakes and breakfast items throughout the day, but at the same time, we have expanded the menu to appeal to new audiences," Leifheit said.

Besides the bacon burger melt and penne pasta, the After Breakfast fare includes an appetizer sampler, Southwestern chicken fajita salad, golden ranch chicken sandwich and herb-roasted chicken, which is served with a side of seasoned red potatoes.

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DETAILS

IHOP has restaurants in the following cities:

Simi Valley (2525 Erringer Road)

Newbury Park (2315 Michael Drive)

Camarillo (1350 Ventura Blvd.)

Fillmore (718 Ventura St.)

Oxnard (1931 N. Oxnard Blvd. and 1051 E. Channel Islands Blvd.)

Ventura (1771 S. Victoria Ave.)

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Where's a cop when you need one? You'll find a team of law enforcement officers in servitude to diners Tuesday at Wood Ranch Barbecue & Grill in Camarillo.

It's an installment of the annual "Tip-a-Cop" fund-raiser, which benefits Ventura County Special Olympics.

Sheriff Bob Brooks and his posse, including Undersheriff Richard Bryce and Port Hueneme Police Chief Steve Campbell, will be at patrons' beck and call.

The cops-cum-celebrity waiters will earn tips, all of which will be donated to support area Special Olympics athletes and coaches attending the 1999 Summer Games at Cal State Long Beach and the World Games in North Carolina.

"Everyone always has a lot of fun being a part of this," spokesman Richard Newsham said.

"Instead of getting the kind of ticket from a cop that means something bad, the diners are getting a ticket they don't mind paying."

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DETAILS

The "Tip-a-Cop" Special Olympics fund-raiser will be held 5-9 p.m. Tuesday at Wood Ranch Barbecue & Grill, 1101 Daily Drive, Camarillo. Call 482-1201.

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Fillmore & Western Railway will begin "Saturday Summer Sunset Barbecue" train excursions this weekend.

Participants will board a vintage train in downtown Fillmore for a westerly jaunt to a nearby picnic area.

Patrons will disembark at the grassy site, where a full barbecue dinner will be prepared and served. You have a choice of chicken or tri-tip.

Post-dinner activities will include live music and dancing, and after the fun, it's all aboard for the return to Fillmore.

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DETAILS

Fillmore & Western Railway's "Saturday Summer Sunset Barbecue" train ride departs at 6:30 p.m. from Central Park and Santa Clara Avenue and returns about 9:45. Cost: $48.50 general; $42 senior citizens; $37.50 children ages 8-12; under 8, $15. Reservations are required. The barbecue train excursions will be held on alternating Saturdays, through Oct. 23. Call (800) 773-TRAIN or (805) 524-2546.

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