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Horseshoe sandwich

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateSpringfield, Illinois
Associated cuisineUnited States
Main ingredientsToasted bread, hamburger patty, French fries, cheese sauce
VariationsBreakfast horseshoe, pony shoe

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 or other choice of meat, French fries, and cheese sauce.

While hamburger has become the most common meat on a horseshoe, the original meat was ham.[4] The "horseshoe" name has been variously attributed to the horseshoe-like shape of a slice of bone-in ham, or to the horseshoe-like arrangement of potato wedges around the ham.[5]

It is not uncommon to substitute other meat for the hamburger, such as chicken or ham, or use more than one type of meat. The fries may also be substituted with tater tots, waffle fries, or other forms of fried potatoes.

Although cheese sauces vary by chef, it is generally derived from Welsh rarebit. Common ingredients include eggs, stale beer, butter, sharp cheddar cheese, Worcestershire sauce, flour, dry mustard, paprika, salt and pepper, and a dash of cayenne 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. The hamburger and french fries are replaced with sausage or bacon, eggs, and hash browns. The cheese sauce can also be substituted with milk gravy.[6]

Ross' Restaurant in Bettendorf, Iowa, was known for a similar dish called the Magic Mountain before closing permanently in February 2023. 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.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Henderson, Pam; Mathew, Jan (2006). You Know You're in Illinois When... p. 43. ISBN 9780762739172.
  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. ^ Harmon & Leone 2019, p. 17.
  5. ^ Harmon & Leone 2019, pp. 17–18.
  6. ^ Morris, Natalie (October 2, 2015). "Charlie Parker's Breakfast Horseshoe Still Alive in National Food Competition". The State Journal-Register. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  7. ^ 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.

Works cited[edit]

  • Harmon, Carolyn; Leone, Tony (2019). Springfield's Celebrated Horseshoe Sandwich. The History Press. ISBN 9781467139885.