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Old 08-07-2019, 12:20 PM
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When did grilled egg sandwiches become standard in your world (if ever)


I know McDonald's introduced the Egg McMuffin in the early 1970s, but I don't think I became aware of it as a breakfast option until the late '70s or early 1980s. And for a while after that, it seemed to be a McDonald's-only thing.

It was only a bit after that that McDonald's competitors started introducing grilled egg sandwich-type items for breakfast, like Crossandwiches, etc.

It wasn't until the late 1990s that it seemed to me that egg breakfast sandwiches--defined as cooked egg with cheese and meat (ham, sausage, bacon, etc.) inside bread (English muffins, toast, croissants, etc.) became standard at any cafeteria-style grill, and appeared in some form on almost any breakfast menu.

Does this timeline represent the advent of grilled egg breakfast sandwiches for anyone else? Or did they become a staple much earlier than I experienced?
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:46 PM
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If by grilled you mean fried, then they have been around since forever, although probably not on an English muffin or croissant. My grandmother, born in the nineteenth century, used to make them for me regularly.
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Old 08-07-2019, 01:07 PM
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Wikipedia says that the Egg McMuffin was based on Eggs Benedict, which has been around since the 19th century.

Fried egg rolls have been around in Britain for who knows how long; you can see a character eating one in the film Quadrophenia in 1979, set 15 years previously.
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Old 08-07-2019, 01:16 PM
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If by grilled you mean fried
Well, fried or scrambled. But my point was to distinguish it from things like egg salad. The bread and the eggs and other ingredients are usually cooked on a grill, although I guess they don't necessarily have to be.


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Originally Posted by The Stafford Cripps View Post
Wikipedia says that the Egg McMuffin was based on Eggs Benedict, which has been around since the 19th century.
Well, Eggs Benedict is clearly not a sandwich, and it's generally served in upper-scale restaurants, not in cafeterias and breakfast stands.

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Fried egg rolls have been around in Britain for who knows how long; you can see a character eating one in the film Quadrophenia in 1979, set 15 years previously.
I've never encountered that. Is it basically of the form that you would call a sandwich?
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Old 08-07-2019, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
I've never encountered that. Is it basically of the form that you would call a sandwich?
Yes, a roll is pretty much the same as what you put a hamburger in (we often call them hamburger rolls rather than 'buns'). Look up 'bacon roll' and imagine fried egg inside it instead.

Last edited by The Stafford Cripps; 08-07-2019 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 08-07-2019, 01:44 PM
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I know I ate many, many fried egg sandwiches starting in the 1950s. Usually at home. I guess I don't remember ordering them in a diner, but I certainly ordered fried eggs and toast and constructed them on an ad hoc basis.
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Old 08-07-2019, 01:50 PM
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If by grilled you mean fried, then they have been around since forever, although probably not on an English muffin or croissant. My grandmother, born in the nineteenth century, used to make them for me regularly.
This, right down to the grandmother. Fried egg sandwiches have been around since there have been eggs and bread.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:34 PM
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Another variation, popular in Chicago, is the pepper and egg sandwich. It's particularly a staple here during Lent, for Catholics who are abstaining from meat on Fridays.

I'm not sure how long ago the sandwich was invented, but it's been a thing here at least since the late '80s, when I moved to Chicago, and I suspect it's considerably older than that.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:35 PM
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I'm surprised, because before Egg McMuffins and its subsequent competitors became common, I had never encountered a breakfast egg sandwich, and certainly not a home made one.

Every home made breakfast I had seen before that had the eggs, toast, and breakfast meats served separately on a plate.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:37 PM
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probably since forever, since the Egg McMuffin (and competitors' versions) have been around longer than me.

however, the best breakfast sandwiches I've had came from the (now closed) greasy spoon next door to the garage I worked at in high school and college. it was just a fried egg (hard), strips of bacon, slice of american cheese, sprinkle of black pepper in two slices of buttered toast. but it was way better than any fast food thing.
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:32 PM
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Fried egg sandwiches (or fried egg butties) have been a staple of English breakfast times for as long as anyone can remember. You can eat them at any time but it's most common to have them at breakfast time. Cafes (not cafés, there's a difference) have always sold them. Don't diners do that in the US too?
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
Fried egg sandwiches (or fried egg butties) have been a staple of English breakfast times for as long as anyone can remember. You can eat them at any time but it's most common to have them at breakfast time. Cafes (not cafés, there's a difference) have always sold them. Don't diners do that in the US too?
They're pretty common now, but many places don't serve them afternoon.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:53 PM
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New York City has been putting two scrambled eggs on a roll along with bacon (or ham, sausage) and melted cheese for ages. Newbies who move from California’s eyes regularly bug out at this fairly obvious sandwich.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:03 PM
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Anecdotally, they do seem to be on slightly more menus in the last decade or so, but they have been a staple item at delis for forever.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:13 PM
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I grew up eating fried egg sandwiches with yellow mustard. I don't remember ham or bacon as an option.

Archie Goodwin in the Nero Wolfe books occasionally ordered fried egg sandwiches & milk when he didn't go home to eat Wolfe's gormet meals.

McDonald's was astute offering the Egg McMuffin. The ham & cheese makes it so much better

Last edited by aceplace57; 08-07-2019 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
New York City has been putting two scrambled eggs on a roll along with bacon (or ham, sausage) and melted cheese for ages. Newbies who move from California’s eyes regularly bug out at this fairly obvious sandwich.
TIL Egg McMuffins and Croissanwiches don’t exist in California as far as New Yorkers know.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:12 AM
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New York City has been putting two scrambled eggs on a roll along with bacon (or ham, sausage) and melted cheese for ages. {...}
Or Taylor ham across the river in Jersey.

CMC fnord!

Last edited by crowmanyclouds; 08-08-2019 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
New York City has been putting two scrambled eggs on a roll along with bacon (or ham, sausage) and melted cheese for ages. Newbies who move from California’s eyes regularly bug out at this fairly obvious sandwich.
Yes, when I first moved to NYC back in the '60s, I remember getting an "egg on a roll" for breakfast in a nearby deli... with or without ham & cheese.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:32 AM
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Do hard-boiled eggs count? Because a popular Israeli sandwich is called a "Sabich", and it consists of a pita stuffed with hard-boiled eggs, fried eggplants, a cucumber, onion and tomato salad, tahini and mango sauce.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:56 AM
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Fried egg sandwiches have been a 'thing' in the UK for as long as we've had bread and eggs, I suspect. Certainly my Victorian grandmother made them.

Served in all ways - sliced bread, bread rolls, with bacon, with sausage, on their own...

Last edited by SanVito; 08-08-2019 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:18 AM
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I have been enjoying scrambled egg sandwiches since the late 1950's.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:23 AM
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Do hard-boiled eggs count? Because a popular Israeli sandwich is called a "Sabich", and it consists of a pita stuffed with hard-boiled eggs, fried eggplants, a cucumber, onion and tomato salad, tahini and mango sauce.
No, hard-boiled eggs don’t count. That’s why I specified “grilled egg.”
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:32 AM
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Well, fried or scrambled. But my point was to distinguish it from things like egg salad. The bread and the eggs and other ingredients are usually cooked on a grill, although I guess they don't necessarily have to be.
When I see "grilled egg sandwich", I think of a two-slice version of this.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 08-08-2019 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:39 AM
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I make the bodega style of these for dinner sometimes. They've been around since way before the McMuffin.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
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My grandmother, born in the nineteenth century, used to make them for me regularly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
This, right down to the grandmother.
Similar with my dad, who was mistaken for my grandfather at times. Fried egg and ketchup on white toast and a mug of hot tea.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:58 AM
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When I see "grilled egg sandwich", I think of a two-slice version of this.
In my house, those are called elephant eyes, not toad-in-the-hole.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:00 AM
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I grew up with my folks cooking them for us on camping trips: fried egg on an English muffin with some bacon and cheddar on top.

But when I first experienced them as ubiquitously available and standard fare? New York City, 1984. Long lines of people at deli counters ordering them and receiving them in short order. On rolls, not English muffins, by the way.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:05 AM
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I'm pretty sure that McDonald's was the first fast food chain to offer breakfast foods, starting in 1972 with the Egg McMuffin (and Big Breakfast and Pancakes & Sausage). Totally revolutionized the concepts of "fast food." and "breakfast food."
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:14 AM
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I'm pretty sure that McDonald's was the first fast food chain to offer breakfast foods, starting in 1972 with the Egg McMuffin (and Big Breakfast and Pancakes & Sausage). Totally revolutionized the concepts of "fast food." and "breakfast food."
That’s what it was in my experience. The idea of a fried or scrambled egg in a sandwich for breakfast started with McDonald's and didn’t become ubiquitous until the 1990s.

But it seems that a lot of folks were eating these kinds of breakfast sandwiches at home, long before then.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:35 AM
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Yes, at home and in delis. But McDonald's started the fast food breakfast concept. Especially good for vegetarians, who can tell them to "hold the meat." (Say it with a straight face and watch the counter person try not to react.)
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:06 PM
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Maybe they started it in the US, but I promise you cafes had been selling fried egg sandwiches (sometimes for takeaway) for a very long time before that in the UK.
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:15 PM
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The point I'm trying to make is Mickey D's started the fast food breakfast concept. Before the Egg McMuffin, fast food places were only opened for lunch and dinner. No breakfast food.

Yes, there were food places that offered breakfast, but no fast food places.
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:18 PM
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The point I'm trying to make is Mickey D's started the fast food breakfast concept. Before the Egg McMuffin, fast food places were only opened for lunch and dinner. No breakfast food.

Yes, there were food places that offered breakfast, but no fast food places.
I'm not sure how delis and cafes selling fried egg sandwiches at breakfast doesn't count as fast food.
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:19 PM
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*SIGH* Fast Food franchise breakfast concept.
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:28 PM
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*SIGH* Fast Food franchise breakfast concept.
Sure, if you want to get that specific. But you said they revolutionised the idea of breakfast food.
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:31 PM
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I just wanted to say “thanks.”
I made myself two grilled egg sandwiches for breakfast this morning, because of this thread.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:53 PM
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Maybe they started it in the US, but I promise you cafes had been selling fried egg sandwiches (sometimes for takeaway) for a very long time before that in the UK.
See the first scene in Withnail and I (1986). Will put you off fried egg sandwiches FOREVER.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4ScgpaZBpTU
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:05 PM
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I bought an egg ring and steam cooked eggs for homemade egg muffins for years. Added cheese, bacon, ham or sausage.

Have given then up for egg quesadillas. A stirred egg, fried in a 9 inch pan, the slid onto a large corn or flour tortilla, covered in shredded cheese in an oiled pan. Add a strip of bacon, sliced jalapeńos or both and fold. Cook and flip until each side is crisp.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:07 PM
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Don't know why but this thread has given me a stronger food craving than any other Cafe thread before.
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Old 08-09-2019, 12:08 AM
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For me, never; in Spain we do get the occasional sandwich which has a fried egg or some chopped-up hard-boiled egg as one of its ingredients but they're multi-ingredient and not stuff you'd make at home. It's either some sort of "burger with fried egg in case you didn't have enough cholesterol" (often called Obelix; this bar offers it as "to share between four people", link in Spanish) or some variation on a club sandwich.

My "host mother" in Ireland (1983) couldn't cook worth shite; the lunches she could provide were hard-boiled egg sandwiches. That's white bread, cut-up boiled egg, white bread. Most of my classmates had host mothers with better cooking skills; the majority also got sandwiches but at least there was more than one thing in between the two slices of white bread and the contents varied from day to day.

Last edited by Nava; 08-09-2019 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:06 AM
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In my house, those are called elephant eyes, not toad-in-the-hole.
We called them, for some obscure reason, "Rocky Mountains" or "Rockies". And you had to flip them over and fry the other side as well, timing them perfectly to avoid overcooking the egg.

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Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
But when I first experienced them as ubiquitously available and standard fare? New York City, 1984. Long lines of people at deli counters ordering them and receiving them in short order. On rolls, not English muffins, by the way.
Make that 1964 for me.

Last edited by panache45; 08-09-2019 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:24 AM
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See the first scene in Withnail and I (1986). Will put you off fried egg sandwiches FOREVER.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4ScgpaZBpTU
I could have mentioned that as well as Quadrophenia. I saw Quadrophenia and Withnail and I in a cinema double bill once - I was looking for things they had in common, and one of them was a scene with someone eating a sandwich with very gooey yoke in a caff. That's why I remembered it for my post above. To correct myself, I think it might actually have been bread rather than a roll in Quadrophenia as well, but it still fits the OP's requirements.

As it happens, this is how I like my egg sandwiches.
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:34 AM
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See the first scene in Withnail and I (1986). Will put you off fried egg sandwiches FOREVER.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4ScgpaZBpTU
Great username and post combo for the following reason.

That type of egg sandwich was popular in the WWI trenches. Supposedly, the runny yolk caused the troops to hold the sandwich in one outstretched hand while they brushed the yolk / crumbs off their uniform with the other, making them look like they were playing an invisible stringed instrument. Hence they became known as an "egg banjo".
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Old 08-09-2019, 04:41 AM
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Actually the biscuit sandwiches McD's made in th mid 80s and bk's crossandwiches were more o f a revelation as grandma had been making faux egg mc muffins years before McD's did ... she seen them in a texas truck stop shed been to a few times and figured out how to make them herself ...
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Old 08-09-2019, 11:35 PM
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I'm pretty sure that McDonald's was the first fast food chain to offer breakfast foods, starting in 1972 with the Egg McMuffin (and Big Breakfast and Pancakes & Sausage).
FWIW, this site says Jack in the Box produced the first breakfast sandwich in 1969, but it doesn't say specifically it was the Breakfast Jack. I can't say I definitely ate them at that time, but I think I did.

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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
It wasn't until the late 1990s that it seemed to me that egg breakfast sandwiches--defined as cooked egg with cheese and meat (ham, sausage, bacon, etc.) inside bread (English muffins, toast, croissants, etc.) became standard at any cafeteria-style grill, and appeared in some form on almost any breakfast menu.

Does this timeline represent the advent of grilled egg breakfast sandwiches for anyone else? Or did they become a staple much earlier than I experienced?
I had the Breakfast Jack many times in the late 80s, and possibly earlier.
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Old 08-09-2019, 11:37 PM
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Forgot the link.

https://www.franchisechatter.com/201...d-by-calories/
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Old 08-10-2019, 12:16 AM
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I have been putting eggs between two pieces of buttered toast since I was a child.

Last edited by JohnT; 08-10-2019 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:00 AM
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The cafeteria at my father’s workplace in Karachi Pakistan was offering a toasted egg sandwich (egg over hard in toasted bread) in 1955/57 for the equivalent of 11 US cents. With cheese 13 cents. Cheese was a pretty exotic food in Pakistan in the 1950s. As was tuna fish and mayonnaise, another offering at the same cafeteria.
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