Maid-Rites are a upper Midwestern version of sloppy joes, with great longevity. Started in Iowa in the 20s, the “loose meat” sandwiches, immortalized in pop culture via references in the television show “Roseanne” (her husband at the time, Tom Arnold, was from Ottumwa, Iowa, also the fictional home of Mash’s Radar O’Reilly).
Now scattered around the Midwest, franchisees serve up Maid-Rite sandwiches by the thousands, daily. The ground beef is steamed with onions, mustard, and some ‘secret ingredient’ (some say sugar, some say Pepsi), and plopped on a soft hamburger roll.
My recipe, developed over years of research, is very close to the original, although I eschew the sweet ingredient.
1 # ground beef, any grade
1/2 c diced onion
2 t seasoned salt
1 c garlic, minced
2 T yellow mustard
4 T dill pickle juice
Put all in steamer top of double boiler, cook until crumbly stage. Place ice cream scoop size of meat and place on soft hamburger bun, garnish with two dill pickle chips.
Below is a map of the Maid-Rites in Des Moines. Locate ones closer to you at their website: Locator. Also below, pic of finished product at home, and Maid-Rite menu.