We can all agree that no menu at breakfast restaurants is complete without Eggs Benedict. This classic breakfast dish consisting of a toasted English muffin topped with ham, poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce has long been a standard of the American breakfast table. But do you know where it came from?
The true story of how Eggs Benedict became a staple of breakfast restaurants is unknown. One account says that it was created in 1894 by retired stock broker Lemuel Benedict who went to the Waldorf Hotel looking for a hangover cure. He ordered buttered toast with poached eggs, bacon and Hollandaise sauce. The famous maitre d’hotel at the time, Oscar Tschirky, decided to add it to the breakfast menu. He made the simple changes of an English muffin standing in for toast and ham instead of bacon.
Another story says that the dish was created by Chef Charles Ranhofer of Delmonico’s Restaurant. It was reportedly created in the 1860’s for customer Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, after she said she wanted something new to eat for lunch. Ranhofer’s recipe was published in his 1894 cookbook The Epicurean.
Yet another theory says the dish is based on the French recipe oeufs Benedictine made from fried bread that is spread with a salt cod and potato puree then topped with poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. It is believed that Chef Ranhofer of Delmonico’s may have been familiar with this recipe and created a version with ham that would be more appealing than salt cod.
When you want to enjoy this delicious fixture of breakfast restaurants you can come to The Original Pancake House. We offer two versions; the classic Eggs Benedict and a vegetarian version with spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes.