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The Ultimate Collection of Maid-Rite Recipes

Many states lay claim to being the home to loose meat sandwiches, but Iowa is the state I most associate with the dish. Some call them Maid-Rite sandwiches, Tastee sandwiches, or taverns. Whatever you do, don’t call them sloppy joes. I’ve rounded up a great collection of loose meat sandwiches, starting with the traditional recipe and then several variations.

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What’s the difference between sloppy joes and loose meat sandwiches?

While both sloppy joes and loose meat sandwiches are technically sandwiches with typically beef stuffed between the buns, they vary greatly.

Loose meat sandwiches – Think of them as a hamburger without the beef packed into a patty. There is nothing saucy about loose meat sandwiches. They’re savory, have some onion mixed in there, and often are topped with pickles and mustard.

In Iowa, they go by the name taverns or Maid-Rite sandwiches. The sandwich I had Miles Inn in Sioux City called theirs a tavern, and it had ketchup on it.

Sloppy joes – These sandwiches tent to be more saucy. They get, um, sloppy, when you eat them. The sauce is typically on the sweet side and flavored with hints of tomato.

The Classic Maid-Rite Recipe and Variations

Related post: Explore recipe variations of another Midwest classic, the Runza

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Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

Monday 28th of March 2022

Such a classic sandwich found everywhere from restaurants, to ballgames, to home kitchens. I am going to have to check out the recipe that uses bacon fat in it!


Monday 28th of March 2022

Right? The bacon fat has to add something special to it.

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