The steak bagel sandwich makes its official return to area menus starting Monday, May 8, when it will be sold at select South Florida restaurants as a soft product launch. On May 16, the sandwich will be available at all Monroe, Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade County restaurants.
McDonald's breakfast enthusiasts might remember the 1999 release of the bagel breakfast sandwich. The toasted bagel slathered with real butter that holds a juicy steak patty, a fluffy folded egg, and melty American cheese topped with savory grilled onions became an instant classic.
Fans of the fast-food restaurant chain's breakfast sandwich were disappointed when McDonald's temporarily stopped selling the bagel, along with the all-day breakfast service, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. They were even more upset when, in January 2022, McDonald's announced the permanent removal of the breakfast sandwich.
Since then, Miami's Burger Beast Sef Gonzalez has been dreaming about the return of one of his favorite fast food sandwiches.
"I love that sandwich," Gonzalez tells New Times. "It's my favorite of all time and only available for breakfast. Most people think it's slices of beef, but it's an actual piece of steak topped with grilled onions, melted American cheese, and a flavorful, buttery garlic sauce that makes it just perfect."
Nearly three years after they disappeared from menus nationwide, three breakfast bagel sandwiches have begun to reappear on McDonald's menus in select markets. They include steak, egg & cheese; bacon, egg & cheese; and sausage, egg & cheese.
The bagel sandwiches are currently available at participating McDonald's locations along the east coast, including cities like Chicago, Tampa, Orlando, Washington, D.C., New York City, and parts of New England.
And coming soon to South Florida, the bagel sandwiches are an addition partially attributed to Gonzalez and local McDonald's owner/operator Peter Menendez.
Gonzalez has been writing about the bagel sandwich since its disappearance, hoping that McDonald's would add it to the menu, along with his repeated requests to return their '90s-era fried apple pies.
So, when the beloved sandwich resurfaced in central Florida a few months ago, friends and fans reached out to Gonzalez with the news.
"A friend of mine was visiting Orlando and sent me a picture of the sandwich back in February. I was ready to make the drive just to get one," Gonzalez admits. "That's when I decided to take a stand and wrote about it once more."
A few weeks ago, McDonald's reached out to the Miami food blogger with a collaboration idea to relaunch the bagel sandwich in South Florida alongside the Burger Beast Burger Club.
"I thought it would be cool if we did a launch party for members of the club, and that's how we officially announced the news," says Gonzalez.
Recently, Burger Beast club members attended a private release party at Menendez's Doral McDonald's, where they were treated to a first taste of the iconic steak, egg & cheese bagel. The sandwiches were paired with hash browns, guava pies, and lemonade with a "Beast" twist with sweet tea. There was even a launch-only dessert: fried apple pies.
Since the launch party, Gonzalez says he's been getting requests for dozens of obscure McDonald's sandwiches, from the 1980s McBLT burger to the quarter-pounder topped with bacon, grilled onions, white cheddar, and special sauce.
"There are so many classic sandwiches that could make a return. I think there's a lot of people out there who have at least one favorite they remember," sums up Gonzalez. "Now, I have to harass them about those fried apple pies."