A Journey Into the Yolk of Darkness to Find the Truth About This Diner's Enormous Plate of 10 Fried Eggs

The Discourse

Ten eggs is a gargantuan breakfast order. Who would order 10 eggs, fried, sunny-side up, with no other items save perhaps a small stack of toast? Well, according to this morning’s episode of Fox & Friends… multiple people would. OR WOULD THEY??

First, some context.

Fox & Friends, the president’s favorite TV show, was in rare form this morning, cranking out the hits to gloss over the fact that a New York Times investigation published last night found out that the president is not so good at business. Part of the programming was sending F&F reporter Todd Piro down to Johnny V’s Classic Cafe in West Allis, WI, to ask people there what they thought about the issues of the day, including Trump’s tax returns. During that segment, we saw The Eggs.

Vox’s designated Cable News Watcher Aaron Rupar—a man with a keen eye for eggs—was first to notice The Eggs. Ten of them, to be exact, arranged in what appear to be two groupings of five and on a plate with no other accoutrements beyond a small stack of toast, placed in front of Johnny, a retired truck driver.

Damn!! That’s a lot of eggs.

This clip immediately set off a feverish discussion in Splinter Slack about how many eggs is the right amount to eat, and how many eggs we could eat.

libby watson [9:26 AM]
i could not eat 10 eggs
Hamilton Nolan [9:39 AM]
ten is a lot of eggs
not impossible but not enjoyable
Jack Crosbie [9:39 AM]
you think you could do ten eggs hamilton?
Hamilton Nolan [9:39 AM]
but I wouldn’t be happy about it
Rafi Schwartz [9:40 AM]
yeah, it’s def in the realm of doable
but, just…why
what kind of enjoyable breakfast is that?
Jack Crosbie [9:40 AM]
probably hard to do ten eggs with any other things besides eggs
libby watson [9:40 AM]
feel like you’d need a hot sauce with it
Rafi Schwartz [9:40 AM]
Hamilton Nolan [9:40 AM]
a huge omelette
Rafi Schwartz [9:40 AM]
need some toast or biscuit to sop things up, too
libby watson [9:40 AM]
three eggs is my upper limit i believe
i think my mum can do four but she does atkins
Jack Crosbie [9:41 AM]
i like 3-4 eggs with an avocado
for a big breakfast
Hamilton Nolan [9:41 AM]
yeah 4 is pretty good number
5 is getting to be a lot
aleks chan [9:42 AM]
i feel so full just thinking about eating 10 eggs

When reached for follow up, as three eggs seemed a bit low, Libby Watson clarified: “I would point out that I think I could eat three eggs WITH other things, and if I was only eating eggs, I might be able to eat four. For example I think I could eat three eggs on toast.”

For some additional context, I reached out to Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky, who once made it through approximately 25 eggs as part of a Herculean attempt to eat 50 eggs.

“Ten eggs sunny-side up is probably the not the ideal way to consume 10 eggs, if one happens to be consuming 10 eggs,” Petchesky told Splinter. “The yolk seems like it’d be a problem, because liquid means density—just imagine drinking 10 yolks, forget the white stuff. But sunny-side up is still preferable to 10 hard-boiled bad boys.”

We have established that it is definitely possible, I think, for most adults to eat 10 eggs in one sitting. That said, it’s definitely not something I would personally choose to do at 6:48 a.m. CT at Johnny V’s in West Allis. The biggest curio for me here is: Why JUST eggs?

I know from experience that it’s easier to eat a lot of eggs if you’re only eating eggs, but…why would you do that? Which brings us to Rafi’s question, which is perhaps the most pressing: What kind of a breakfast is 10 eggs?

In this case, it turns out, it may not be a breakfast at all. It brings me no pleasure to report this but The Eggs were not Johnny the retired truck driver’s breakfast, and instead were a rotating plate of prop eggs cooked by diner staff for the Fox & Friends taping.

Here is how I know.

As I was finishing the first part of this blog, I started looking around for a higher-resolution version of the clip to take a screenshot from. That led me to this clip of Fox’s “Breakfast with Friends” segment, filmed one hour after the original clip with Johnny the retired truck driver, at 7:55 a.m. CT.

In the video, Fox host Todd Piro interviews a different group of diners at a table—and look: The Eggs.


And here, the original eggs on “Johnny’s” plate:

Piro notes that the woman with The Eggs, RyAnn, is married to the owner of Johnny V’s, John Vassallo (not to be confused with Johnny the retired truck driver who was first seen with The Eggs.)

After speaking to RyAnn, Piro moves to another table, at which point Johnny the truck driver is visible. In front of him? NO EGGS.

This gives us two possibilities:

First, that Johnny the truck driver ate his 10 eggs happily, and then an hour later RyAnn also ordered 10 fried eggs sunny-side up with no sides. This is entirely plausible but to me does not seem likely, especially as 10 fried eggs sunny-side up with no sides is NOT listed as a special or on-menu order on Johnny V’s website or online menu.

The second option is that the eggs are either fake, or are a spare order of fried eggs being used as a prop and moved to different diners’ tables in the event that they were interviewed but had not ordered food. I could go deeper into this and discuss how the placement of the yolks in the two pentagrams of fried eggs is very similar, but instead, I will enter this Piro tweet into evidence.

THERE ARE THE EGGS. And also—a plate of sausage and hash browns that looks very similar to the one that appears in front of another woman at RyAnn’s table (see photo above).

In fairness, Johnny V’s is very well reviewed on Facebook and seems like a perfectly fine place to eat breakfast. I love a good diner and it appears to be one by all accounts. I am not here to besmirch Johnny V’s.

So to get a definitive answer on The Eggs, I called Johnny V’s and spoke to Kathy Vassallo, one of the owners. Kathy said she wasn’t around for the Fox & Friends taping this morning, but that the staff “cooked up the food” and then let employees eat it after filming concluded. Kathy said that a 10-egg plate is an integral part of “The King” challenge at Johnny V’s, which is an eating challenge comprised of:

  • 10 eggs
  • 8 pancakes
  • 1 pound of hash browns
  • 3 sausages
  • 3 pieces of bacon
  • 1 piece of ham
  • Texas Toast (unspecified amount)

The King must be eaten in under an hour.

Kathy surmised that the diner staff was going to try and have someone attempt the King for the segment, but that there weren’t enough people there (Fox & Friends tapes pretty early and the diner opened at 5 a.m. to accommodate).

She was not able to confirm whose idea it was to shuffle The Eggs around between diners, which means that it may have been performed by the Fox & Friends producers. I reached out to Piro to inquire about the eggs, and I’ll update this post if I hear back.

So there you have it, yolks. Who eats 10 fried eggs for breakfast? No one (unless you are at Johnny V’s in West Allis, WI, and are taking part in The King challenge).

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