Green Knight finds its home at Handy’s Lunch


The chalkboard at Handy’s Lunch displaying the Green Knight special.(Photo/LoganForcier)

Logan Forcier, Staff Writer

Rice students have been regularly eating at Handy’s Lunch for 30 years. It all started when the current owner, Earl Handy, attended Rice in the early 90s and brought his teammates to have breakfast. However, Rice’s connection to Handy’s Lunch is deeper than that because Handy’s father was a part of the class of 1950 at Cathedral High School. More recently, Nate DeGraff-Murphy, a current senior at Rice, has had the opportunity to create Rice’s own special, The Green Knight.

The Green Knight consists of six pieces of French toast, five eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, burger, corn beef, and steak.

“Technically there are ten eggs in it,” Handy said, “because you need five eggs just to make the French toast and then you have five eggs inside the sandwich. It’s about 4500 calories.”

The outside of Handy’s Lunch in downtown Burlington. (Photo/Logan Forcier)

It was officially added to the menu and put on the chalkboard on March 7, 2023.

“It felt right,” Handy said. “It continued the tradition of Rice supporting Handy’s and Handy’s supporting Rice.”

Handy’s has been supporting Rice in many ways since Earl Handy graduated in ‘93. They get involved through fundraisers and provide sandwiches for Rice events. Not only that, but the tradition of sports teams eating at Handy’s Lunch continues to this day. 

“I love going to Handy’s because the atmosphere is awesome,” said Owen Messino, a junior at Rice. “Earl is a great guy and loves talking to the team before the game. He makes great food, too. It’s one of my favorite Rice traditions.” 

Earl Handy is not the only person that works at Handy’s with a connection to Rice.

From left to right Jillian Gelter, class of ‘21; Earl Handy, class of ‘93; and Emily Pijanowski, class of ‘09. (Photo/Logan Forcier)

“I started [working] at Handy’s when I was a student at Rice during my senior year,” Emily Pijanowski said. “It’ll be fifteen years now.”

Rice news is often heard around the counter at Handy’s Lunch.

“People are always talking about the sports events that are happening, and what teams are winning. What’s happening, like the gossip,” said Jillian Getler. “It’s just nice to connect with everyone and know that I have a big connection to the Rice community even here, at my job.”

“[Nate] created it because the Chuck Norris, which had been on Man v. Food and stuff like that, just wasn’t enough,” said Handy. “He needed another; he needed a little bit more when he came in. And so we added the steak that was used for our Philly cheeses.”

Before the Green Knight, the largest sandwich at Handy’s was the Chuck Norris, a 3.5 pound breakfast sandwich that was featured on season 6 episode 2 of Travel Channel’s Man v. Food.

“I didn’t know that the Green Knight was going to make the menu. I didn’t find out until I was back in there and Mr. Handy told me to look at the specials board,” said DeGraff-Murphy. “He then talked about getting it permanently on the menu when they reprint them.”

Nate DeGraff-Murphy and the Green Knight. (Photo/Earl Handy)

“The reason I continue to support Rice after I graduated was because Rice was one of the greatest experiences for me. I loved it. My parents went there. I went there, my sisters went there, but more importantly, I’ve always had a connection with it,” said Handy. “I loved my experience playing baseball there, playing sports there, doing Stunt Nite there, that’s just who I am. I always wanted to be part of it. And now I get to be part of it again as a dad with Genevieve and Nicholas becoming the class of 27.”