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The History of the Most Famous Breakfast in Denver

The exact origins of the Denver omelette may be a little scrambled, but the dish has made its way onto menus everywhere.

breakfast in Denver

If you go out for breakfast in Denver, or just about anywhere else in the country, you’re bound to find a Denver omelette on the menu.  This simple but tasty combination of eggs, bell peppers, onions, ham and cheddar cheese has long been a morning favorite.  But do you know exactly how this dish came to be?

You might be surprised to learn that the Denver omelette started its life as a sandwich.  It was essentially the same thing, except served between two slices of toast. Some historians say it was created by Chinese cooks to serve to the workers on the transcontinental railroad.  The Denver sandwich is also believed to have been very popular with cowboys on long cattle drives.  Both stories make sense as a breakfast sandwich is convenient and portable.  However, Denver restaurateurs Albert A. McVittie and M.D. Looney both claimed they invented it separately in 1907.  And to further complicate the history of the dish, a plaque located on California Street in downtown Denver states that the omelette was created in order to mask the taste of stale eggs that had been shipped by wagon.

Regardless of who the true innovator of the dish was, by the 1950’s the sandwich was popular all over the country, not just for breakfast in Denver.  But by the 1970’s it was all but extinct from menus, having given way to the Denver omelette inexplicably.  We’re carrying on the long tradition of the dish at The Original Pancake House.  Celebrate history with us next time you join us for breakfast!

 

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