The horseshoe is an open-faced sandwich originating in Springfield, Illinois, United States.[1][2][3] It consists of thick-sliced toasted bread (often Texas toast), a hamburger patty, French fries, and a "secret" cheese sauce. Sometimes ham or some other meat is substituted for the hamburger, and sometimes more than one type of meat is used. The French fries can also be substituted with tater tots, or other forms of fried potatoes.

Though cheese sauces vary by chef, it is generally derived from Welsh rarebit. Common ingredients include eggs, beer, butter, cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper.[1]

A smaller portion, with one slice of bread and one serving of meat, is called a pony shoe.[1]

A breakfast horseshoe is also available, replacing the hamburger and French fries with sausage or bacon and hash browns The cheese sauce can also be substituted with milk gravy.[4]

Ross' Restaurant in Bettendorf, Iowa is known for a similar dish called the Magic Mountain. Instead of a hamburger patty, the sandwich contains steamed loose-meat. It has been enjoyed by politicians and celebrities including Barack Obama and Bette Midler.[5]

The sandwich was created in the late 1920s by chef Joe Schweska at the Leland Hotel in Springfield, Illinois located on the corner of Sixth and Capitol (now an office building). The Leland Hotel, the leading hotel of Springfield, was built in 1867, and has housed hundreds of prominent Americans. The structure is five stories high and contained 235 rooms.[6]

In the 2015 Thomas' Breakfast Battle, hosted by Thomas' Breads, Mike Murphy won a $25,000 prize for his breakfast horseshoe. The contest featured chefs from throughout the country combining local flavor with Thomas' English muffins. Murphy's winning horseshoe included eggs, bacon, cheese sauce, sausage gravy and hash browns on top of the English muffin. He prepared the dish on an episode of Fox & Friends to promote the contest. [7]

See also


  1. ^ a b c You Know You're in Illinois When..., By Pam Henderson, Jan Mathew, pg.43
  2. ^ Selvam, Ashok (June 13, 2017). "The Horseshoe: Where to Find the Illinois Capital's Favorite Sandwich". Eater Chicago. Retrieved June 14, 2017. 
  3. ^ Glatz, Julianne (February 2, 2012). "What Happened to Horseshoes?". Illinois Times. Retrieved August 29, 2017. 
  4. ^ Morris, Natalie (October 2, 2015). "Charlie Parker's Breakfast Horseshoe Still Alive in National Food Competition". The State Journal-Register. Retrieved August 29, 2017. 
  5. ^ Stapleton, Susan (November 25, 2015). "Meet the Most Iconic Dish in the Quad Cities – the Magic Mountain". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved August 29, 2017. 
  6. ^ https://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Sandwiches/HorseshoeSandwich.htm
  7. ^ http://www.sj-r.com/article/20151026/NEWS/151029685