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Loose Meat Sandwiches in Iowa

jwagnerdsm Aug 19, 2006 05:45 PM

Besides Charley Boy's at Miles Tap in Sioux City and Canteens in Ottumwa, anyone know of any lunch counters or bars in Iowa known for their loose meats. (Of course, I already know about Maid Rite so no use telling me about those

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  1. The Engineer RE: jwagnerdsm Aug 19, 2006 05:49 PM

    what is loose meat?

    1. j
      jwagnerdsm RE: jwagnerdsm Aug 19, 2006 05:58 PM

      ground beef fried on a griddle so that it is crumbly. It's like a sloppy joe but without the sauce. An Iowa thing, I think.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jwagnerdsm
        bobzemuda RE: jwagnerdsm Aug 28, 2006 08:14 PM

        this is not what a maid rite is. It's steamed in a perf pan in a steam table. it's the steaming that gives it that mushiness that helps hold it together on the bun.

      2. b
        Bobfrmia RE: jwagnerdsm Aug 20, 2006 11:39 PM

        In Des Moines George the Chili King serves a good one. They, and many others, refer to it as a beefburger. It's just ground beef spiced in whatever way an establishment wants. George uses a little of their chili in it. They serve Cincinnati style chili.
        I had never heard of them refered to as "loose meat sandwiches"
        until all the fuss about Tom Arnold and Roseanne Barr opening a place that specialized in them.

        1. c
          Cathy RE: jwagnerdsm Aug 21, 2006 02:57 AM

          At Coney Islands in Detroit you either get a hot dog or a "loose"- loose meat hamburger in a hot dog bun, typically topped with chili, mustard and onions.

          1. l
            lyn RE: jwagnerdsm Aug 21, 2006 03:01 AM

            Yeah I think everyine calls them "maid rites" regardless of where they come from. I had never had them until I married in to an "I" stater. I have had a few when visiting Illinois/Iowa-they seem to have in common: ground crumbled beef on a hamburger bun with kethup, mustard, pickle.some with raw onion. actually sounds good now.

            3 Replies
            1. re: lyn
              navygirl7 RE: lyn Aug 21, 2006 06:34 PM

              Never heard of it called that before. We always said "loose meat" and I'm from Ohio.

              1. re: navygirl7
                soozycue520 RE: navygirl7 Aug 30, 2006 07:10 PM

                In Greenville, Ohio, they have a Maid-Rite. It is not part of the "newer" chain. They are an independent store, with a different recipe. There is a bar down the street that serves what they call a "made wrong meat" sandwich, which, of course, is loose meat.

              2. re: lyn
                DrWine RE: lyn Feb 27, 2007 06:42 AM

                A Maid Rite does not include catsup. Mustard, pickle and onion. Having grown up near the original store in Muscatine, IA, we always heard stories about the secret ingredient. After hearing all of these, the closest I can come to recreating the Maid Rite taste is to add Coca-Cola during the steaming process. It seems to add a slight sweetness to the meat. Who knows if there was a secret ingredient. For anyone following this try to find an owner store rather that a franchise store. The meat for the franchise store is prepared off site and reheated (I think) which for me gives it a different taste. Enjoy an Iowa tradition!

                PS: If you end up at George the Chili King in Des Moines try the breaded tenderloin.

              3. l
                LikestoEatout RE: jwagnerdsm Aug 22, 2006 12:49 PM

                40 years ago I was in college in Iowa, Maid Rite (loose meat) was a staple of our diets.


                1 Reply
                1. re: LikestoEatout
                  breehum RE: LikestoEatout Feb 26, 2007 06:07 PM

                  Was this the MaidRite on Iowa Ave. in Iowa City?
                  I used to work there in high school.30 some years ago
                  College students studying all night on a ten cent cup of coffee with free refills.
                  Worst tippers in the world.
                  We made ours with beer instead of chicken broth.
                  Can't say that I miss that job

                2. bobzemuda RE: jwagnerdsm Feb 27, 2007 11:22 AM

                  One of the secret ingredients is vinegar which accounts from some of the tanginess. Also, even at actual Maid-Rites (Mason City for sure) every time I've had them they were served up with ketchup, mustard and pickles. I've never had them any other way.

                  1. j
                    jaycooke RE: jwagnerdsm Feb 27, 2007 11:50 AM

                    There's Ross's in Bettendorf, IA, at the foot of the I-74 Bridge. They serve loose meat sandwiches and also incorporate the loose meat into the Magic Mountain.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: jaycooke
                      jwagnerdsm RE: jaycooke Feb 28, 2007 03:31 PM

                      What is the Magic Mountain, Ross?

                      1. re: jwagnerdsm
                        jaycooke RE: jwagnerdsm Mar 1, 2007 07:52 AM

                        Ross' is a truck stop in Bettendorf, Iowa. In addition to loosemeat sandwich's, they serve a Magic Mountain: Texas Toast, covered in french fries (or hashbrowns), ground beef (the same as in their sandwiches), and cheese sauce. Add chili to the top for a Volcano.

                        1. re: jaycooke
                          jwagnerdsm RE: jaycooke Mar 1, 2007 05:45 PM

                          that sounds so good

                          1. re: jaycooke
                            dl72 RE: jaycooke Mar 7, 2007 11:36 AM

                            Man, I remember Ross's! Fond Augie college memoires. I haven't thought of that place in years. 11 to be exact!

                      2. j
                        jackiecat RE: jwagnerdsm Feb 27, 2007 02:13 PM

                        Maid-Rite in Marshalltown Iowa server the original at least up to a few years ago.

                        1. g
                          gotdebt RE: jwagnerdsm Mar 7, 2007 06:50 AM

                          It has to be served with a spoon too. So you can scoop up the "loose meat" that fell

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