Maid Rite sandwiches, also known as ‘tavern sandwiches,‘ consist of loose ground beef, similar to a sloppy joe (minus the sauce), and a mixture of sweet onions and tangy yellow mustard. Once you’ve tasted a Maid Rite for the first time, you’ll certainly be left craving more.
I grew up eating these sandwiches whenever we visited my grandparents in my mom’s hometown of Greenville, Ohio. The building was (and still is – to my knowledge) absolutely covered in chewed bubblegum. I’m not sure if they remove the gum or if the building is built entirely from bubblegum itself (jk). Either way, it’s an interesting local attraction, despite the health issues associated with leaving chewed gum on the walls of a building. It certainly adds to the unique micro-biome of the original Greenville Maid Rites either way.
It seems more places than Greenville lay claim as the original home to the Maid rRite sandwich, as they are also popular in Iowa and Illinois. For me, these sandwiches bring back many memories of the gum covered building in Greenville, where my family often visited in my childhood.
Maid Rites seem to have originated in the mid-to-late 1920s and 30s The fact that both Iowa and Ohio lay claim to the title as the home of Maid Rites can be contested, sure – they both popped up within a few years of each other, so who’s to say for sure.
But if there’s one thing I do know, the Greenville Maid Rites will always be the original in my heart.
Maid Rite sandwiches are distinctive in the fact that the meat is steamed (or in my case, boiled) instead of browned in it’s own grease. I’ve been told over the years since I originally posted this recipe that the beef is actually steamed or boiled with BEER.
To each their own, you can use whichever you prefer. My recipe uses water primarily, but I think cooking is meant to be an experiment! So have fun with whatever you choose.
Then onions are softened until they are sweet then mixed into the loose meat with Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Typically they are topped with more mustard, pickles, and sometimes cheese to hold it all together.
Maid Rite Sandwiches | Copy Cat Recipes
- Bring one cup of water or beer to a boil in a large pan or skillet. Add the ground beef and constantly break up the meat as it cooks. When the meat is cooked through, drain and rinse off excess grease.
- Wipe the pan clean and add the onion. Cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the crumbled beef to the pan. Stir in the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard until completely combined.
- Serve the loose meat on toasted hamburger buns with sweet pickles, mustard and cheese as desired. Enjoy!