Eggs Benedict is a breakfast and brunch classic whose origins are hotly debated in some epicurean circles. There are several credible stories about how Eggs Benedict origins, and published references to this dish dating back over 100 years. Back in 1942, a retired New York stockbroker named Lemuel Benedict gave an interview to The New Yorker magazine in which he claimed he walked into the Waldorf Hotel 48 years earlier in 1894 looking for a cure for his morning hangover and reportedly ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon and a hooker of hollandaise.” According to this version of the story, the maître d’hôtel Oscar Tschirky was so impressed with the dish that he put it on the breakfast and luncheon menus, but substituted ham and a toasted English muffin for the bacon and toast.


Another version of Eggs Benedict origin published in a column in The New York Times magazine in September 1967, a man named Craig Claiborne wrote about a letter he received from Edward P. Montgomery, an American living in France. In the letter Montgomery supposedly related that Eggs Benedict was created by Commodore E.C. Benedict, a banker and yachtsman, who died in 1920. Montgomery included a recipe for the breakfast dish, stating that he received it from his mother, who had received it from her brother, who was a friend of the Commodore.


Yet another version that was put forth in November of that same year (1967) by Mabel C. Butler of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts refutes Claiborne’s version in a letter printed in The New York Times Magazine, and gives credit to Delmonico’s, another famous New York institution, for the delicious recipe. Butler claimed that the “true story, well known to the relations of Mrs. LeGrand Benedict”, went like this:


“Mr. and Mrs. Benedict, when they lived in New York around the turn of the century, dined every Saturday at Delmonico’s. One day Mrs. Benedict said to the maitre d’hotel, “Haven’t you anything new or different to suggest?” On his reply that he would like to hear something from her, she suggested poached eggs on toasted English muffins with a thin slice of ham, hollandaise sauce and a truffle on top.” [4]


Regardless of its true origins, Eggs Benedict continues to inspire new breakfast creations even today. In 2005, food historian Mary Gunderson created Eggs Benedict XVI in honor of Pope Benedict XVI, who was born in Germany. This variation uses traditional German ingredients with the English muffin replaced by rye bread, and bacon is replaced with either sausage or sauerbraten.


At the Original Pancake House, we realize that there may never be total clarity on which of these interesting stories regarding Eggs Benedict origin is true, but that’s okay. We love this dish, so much so that we serve four variations! When you visit us, you’ll have your choice of Traditional Eggs Benedict, Mary’s Eggs Benedict, Pork Green Chile Eggs Benedict, or Veggie Eggs Benedict. We think you’ll love it, no matter which version you try, and you can partake of this breakfast and brunch staple any day of the year – you don’t have to wait for National Eggs Benedict Day celebrated on April 16! And don’t worry, the infamous Benedict Arnold had nothing to do with creating this dish, although he may have enjoyed it for breakfast.


The Original Pancake House still holds fast to our founding principles of quality, service, and friendliness. Our top quality food made from scratch daily and our superior customer service keep families returning to our restaurant year after year. We work hard to create a warm, friendly, family atmosphere where everyone is welcome, and any time is the right time for a delicious breakfast – whether you order Eggs Benedict or something equally satisfying. Come by today at our Denver Tech Center or Cherry Hills location, and experience America’s finest pancake house, where friendly service and breakfast, brunch or lunch can be enjoyed from 6:00 am to 2:00 pm.