GULFPORT -- Many fast food breakfast fans are "lovin' it" as McDonald's restaurants across the nation on Tuesday officially began serving breakfast items throughout the day, eliminating a 10:30 a.m. cutoff that had been in place since the breakfast menu was introduced in 1977.
McDonald's made the extended breakfast announcement Sept.1 by replying to a Tweet from a Twitter account requesting a longer breakfast service.
While the new menu made its national debut Tuesday, several McDonald's on the Gulf Coast, including the Long Beach and Pascagoula stores, held a soft launch for the breakfast menu Sept. 23.
Ashley Rainey of Lucedale and Courtney Severs of St. Martin used the opportunity to have sausage and egg burritos for lunch Tuesday at the McDonald's at 9500 U.S. 49 in Gulfport.
"I'm glad you can get breakfast after 10:30," Rainey said. "I don't always want to eat a burger for lunch. It's nice to be able to get breakfast for lunch, if you want it. We love to have breakfast for dinner, so we now have another option for that."
Brian Wilemon of Waveland said that although he was not eating breakfast items today, he was glad to have the option.
"We have been waiting for this for a while," he said. "If people want to eat breakfast after 10:30 at McDonald's, then the company should allow them to do so. It gives us more dining options."
The late breakfast menu items available on the Gulf Coast include oatmeal, yogurt, hashbrowns, hotcakes and sausage and a variety of biscuits.
Noticeably absent from the late breakfast menu on the Coast, however, is the food chain's oldest breakfast item, the Egg McMuffin, which was created in 1973.
McDonald's Director of Media Operations Lisa McComb told the Sun Herald via email the breakfast menus vary by region.
"Approximately 80 percent of the McDonald's restaurants will serve McMuffin sandwiches and the other 20 percent will serve biscuit sandwiches," she said.
States serving biscuits include Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and parts of Arkansas.
"I'm not worried about the Egg McMuffin," Severs said. "I'm just glad to be able to get hash browns whenever I want them."