Maid Rite is the brand name for a franchised group of restaurants that sell what is generically referred to as “loose meat sandwiches.” Created by a butcher in Muscatine, Iowa, there are plus/minus a hundred outlets in the Upper Midwest selling Maid Rite type sandwiches, whether they are paying to use the name, or not.
If you are not from, or have traveled through the Upper Midwest, you still may have heard to this specialty via telecoms: Roseanne used to refer to them, and her and (then ) husband started a restaurant to sell them in his home town of Ottuma, Iowa, which was also the fictional home town of Cpl Radar O’Reilly on MASH.
So what the heck are they? Crumbled ground beef, cooked on a steam table with a bit of mustard and finely diced onions stirred on. A scoop is placed on a lightly steamed hamburger bun, and there you are. Ketchup and mustard on the tables.
I stopped into one of the first ones, in Springfield, IL, on the old Route 66; the Springfield outlet is also credited with having the first fast food drive through in America. It’s on the National Historic Register, in fact.
Their menu is simple: Maid rites, Cheese maid rites, hot dogs, fries, soft drinks including a house-brew root beer. Lunch is gonna cost you about $7.00. I actually think it’s kinda spendy for what it is. BTW? Be sure you pay attention to the “rules,” when dining in house (below).
Maid Rite Review