A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 23, 2009
“Breakfast Anytime” (”…so I ordered French toast in the Renaissance")

The Waffle House and IHOP (International House of Pancakes) have been serving breakfast all day ("breakfast anytime") since the 1950s. Jack in the Box has served breakfast all day since the late 1980s; the all-day breakfast hours were featured in a 2007 advertising campaign. McDonald’s breakfast usually shuts down by 10:30 a.m.

“Breakfast served all day” is cited in print advertising by a Reno (NV) cafeteria in 1921 and a Reno coffee shop in 1939. By the 1940s, many restaurants in the United States began offering all-day breakfasts.

Comedian Steven Wright has told a joke about it since at least 1983: “I went into a restaurant. The menu said, ‘Breakfast anytime.’ So I ordered French toast during the Renaissance.”


Wikipedia: Steven Wright
Steven Alexander Wright (born December 6, 1955) is an Academy Award-winning American comedian, actor and writer. He is known for his distinctly lethargic voice and slow, deadpan delivery of ironic, witty, philosophical and sometimes confusing or nonsensical jokes and one-liners with intentionally overly-contrived situations.

13 June 1921, Nevada State Journal (Reno, NV), pg. 6, col. 5 ad:
BREAKFAST SERVED ALL DAY
(McWilliams Cafeteria—ed.)

8 April 1939, Reno (NV) Evening Gazette, pg. 7, col. 5 ad:
MARK’S COFFEE SHOP
Special Breakfast
Served Any Time

21 September 1939, Nevada State Journal (Reno, NV), pg. 6, col. 3:
Grand Re-Opening
MARK’S COFFEE SHOP
BREAKFAST SERVED ANY TIME

5 November 1940, Mansfield (OH) News Journal, pg. 12, col. 7 ad:
BREAKFAST ANYTIME
OPENS AT 5 A. M.
SATTERLEE’S RESTAURANT

20 February 1942, Long Beach (CA) Independent, pg. 12, col. 1 ad:
BREAKFAST SERVED ANY TIME
(Manhardt’s Cafe—ed.)

9 September 1946, Tucson (AZ) Daily Citizen, pg. 10, col. 5 ad:
PUEBLO HOUSE
OPEN 24 HOURS DAILY
BREAKFAST SERVED ANYTIME

4 May 1947, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section 1, pg. 15 ad:
Breakfast Served All Day
WAYSIDE JR. CAFE

20 June 1954, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Las Vegas Lives ‘Round the Clock,” part VI, pg. 7:
This is an around the clock city, weekdays and Sundays. The restaurants serve breakfast anytime from now to you-name-it, and about the only thing you can’t do at three in the morning is sunbathe.

9 December 1983, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, “Slow talk with a quick wit” (Steven Wright), pg. D7:
..."I ordered French toast during the Renaissance.”

15 February 1985, Philadelphia (PA) Daily News, features, pg. 52:
This weekend, The Comedy Works, 126 Chestnut St., comes up with a new off-the-wall funnyman named Steven Wright who cracks jokes like this: “I hate when my feet fall asleep during the day. That means they’ll be up all night.” And another of the one-liners he delivers on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight” show and in clubs goes like this: “The sign at the diner said ‘Breakfast Anytime,’ so I ordered French toast during the Renaissance.”

ParisLemon
January 29, 2007
Why Doesn’t McDonald’s Serve Breakfast All Day?
There have been many a mornings I’ve woken up craving some McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches only to realize it was 10 am, too late for breakfast in the McDonald’s world. I’ve often asked myself, ‘why doesn’t McDonald’s just offer their breakfast menu all day long’?

All McDonald’s clearly have the capacity to make the breakfasts all day, so why don’t they just fire up some extra fryers and cook what I want? I love how when you ask for a hash brown after 10 am they tell you they’ve already switched over to lunch as if they’re a war-time factory who has switched from making cars to making bombs for the Allies. They make the breakfast food all morning, I think they can manage to ’switch’ back to breakfast, or never leave that mode in the first place.

Reuters
Jack in the Box enters breakfast war with new ads
Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:20pm EDT
By Nichola Groom
LOS ANGELES, March 16 (Reuters) - After nearly 20 years of serving breakfast all day, hamburger chain Jack In The Box Inc. JBX.N is finally getting around to telling customers about it.

Glide Magaine
Steven Wright - I Still Have A Pony
By Joanne Schenker
October 23, 2007
We all knew Steven Wright was on to something with his 1985 Grammy-nominated CD, I Have a Pony…but did he?  It took 22 years to make another CD but not for lack of lackluster or deadpan-ability.  I Still Have A Pony, released on Comedy Central Records last month, proves that he’s still got it…Pony and all.

“I have one joke that I particularly like. It goes, I was in a restaurant and a menu said you could order breakfast anytime, and I ordered French toast in the Renaissance.”

New York (NY) Times
Television
A Strange Career Takes an Odd Turn

By PETER KEEPNEWS
Published: February 10, 2008
(...)
“I went into a restaurant. The menu said, ‘Breakfast anytime.’ So I ordered French toast during the Renaissance.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Monday, March 23, 2009 • Permalink