A real-world realization of the Dagwood sandwich concept
A Dagwood sandwich is a tall, multilayered sandwich made with a variety of meats, cheeses, and condiments. It was named after Dagwood Bumstead, a central character in the comic strip Blondie, who is frequently illustrated making enormous sandwiches. According to Blondie scripter Dean Young, his father, Chic Young, began drawing the huge sandwiches in the comic strip during 1936.
Though the exact contents of Chic Young's illustrated Dagwood sandwich remain obscure, it appears to contain large quantities and varieties of cold cuts, sliced cheese and vegetables separated by additional slices of bread. An olive pierced by a toothpick or wooden skewer usually crowns the edible structure. "Dagwood sandwich" has been included in Webster's New World Dictionary, and "Dagwood" (referring to the sandwich) has been included in the American Heritage Dictionary.
Products and restaurants
In 1951 businessmen Bob Weiler and Art Lang opened a Dagwood-themed restaurant in Toledo, Ohio with hopes of establishing a national chain. They had not licensed the Dagwood name and were ordered to stop using it by King Features.
Assorted lunch meats featuring Dagwood have been sold at grocery stores. In May 1999, a counter-service restaurant named Blondie's opened at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure, serving a traditional Dagwood-style sandwich. Blondie's bills itself as "Home of the Dagwood Sandwich." The exterior displays a 20-foot plastic Dagwood sandwich over the entrance.
Denny's in the early 2000s offered their breakfast dagwood; it was over a thousand calories worth of food. It was later removed from their menu.
Cincinnati-based chain Penn Station East Coast Subs refers to its "create-it-yourself" sub as a Dagwood. A customer may include up to five meats, and any combination of available condiments and vegetables.[when?]
Dagwoods are also a popular sandwich in South African takeaway (fast food) restaurants and roadhouses, both in small streetside stands and larger chains. A South African dagwood is usually made with three slices of toasted bread with a hamburger patty (or two), along with lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg. Other common accoutrements may be added and the beef patty may be replaced by savory mince reminiscent of an American sloppy joe, but it seems to be the fried egg and double-decker nature of the sandwich that characterizes a South African dagwood.
In 2008, Man v. Food host Adam Richman visited Columbus, Ohio and partook in The Ohio Deli & Restaurant's Dagwood Challenge. The challenge was to eat a 2 1⁄2-pound Dagwood Sandwich, plus a full pound of French fries, within 30 minutes. Richman successfully ate the sandwich and fries in 20 of the 30 minutes and was awarded with commemorative t-shirt.
A Blondie comic strip depicting a Dagwood sandwich