Maid-Rites (Loose Meat Sandwiches from the Midwest)

A few years ago, when we were living in Tennessee, my father came to visit and while out to eat he asked the waitress if they had anything on the menu like a 'loose meat sandwich'. I was pretty mortified because that sounds... well, gross. What played out was almost like a shtick of "Who's On First?".

I knew what he meant. She didn't.

He continued, "You know... ahhh, a loose meat sandwich, a Maid-Rite sandwich."

"Made right?"

"Yeah... Maid-Rite. You know... loose meat on a bun."

"You mean bbq beef?"

"No... more like a sloppy joe without the sauce."

"Sloppy Joe?"

He gave up. I think he ordered a burger. LOL.

In the state of Iowa (and maybe a couple more sprinkled in the surrounding states) you'll find a 'loose meat' sandwich called a Maid-Rite. It's a restaurant with a red and white classic sign and having personally met the ower and his wife through my previous position when I was still a career woman, I can tell you that he would look as perfect in a 1950's style white shirt and bow tie as his classic signs do. Right out of the 50's but with a taste that never gets old to those that love it.

Served with mustard and pickles on the side (and ketchup for those who must have it) it's a ground beef sandwich without any tomato products, bbq sauce or other heavy binders. It's a taste a lot of people love and many people try to create.


1 lb. ground beef
salt and pepper
2 t instant beef bouillon granules
instant dried minced onion or finely minced fresh

In a large skillet sauté beef until redness is gone. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle two teaspoons of instant beef bouillon over the meat and add a little onion just to taste and enough water to barely reach the top of the meat and let simmer until the water has cooked away. Serve on warm buns.Print Friendly and PDF