Usually when someone says “loose meat” it has never been a compliment, until now. On the outskirts of the Miami Valley, in the town of Greenville, a legendary burger joint has existed since 1934. It is called Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe.
Over the years it has developed a cult following. People drive miles, and even come from out of state to taste their ‘burgers.’ They aren’t even burgers, they are “loose meat sandwiches” or “Maid Rites.” Why are so many people coming to eat these sandwiches and why are they so good ?? The Big Ragu and Crew set out to solve the mystery.
We have a had a handful of Food Adventures to Maid Rite either after the Darke County fair, or on a whim, or to satisfy an insatiable craving.
Over the years we realized that there are 2 types of people, those that have never tried Maid Rite Hamburgers, and those who have tried it and cant figure out how they make them.
HERE’S THE SKINNY:
— The main attraction is the maid rite loose meat sandwich. The sweet taste of the meat has developed three major theories of how they are prepared 1) Some think they are steamed in pepsi or coke 2) Some claim they are steamed in beer 3) Others say that sugar is added to the meat before cooking.
— The eatery is a small, no frills, brick building located at 125 N. Broadway St. in Greenville, Ohio and worth the trip. Locally owned they claim no relation to the MAID-RITE sandwich shop franchises in Iowa etc…
— Limited menu with 4 sandwich choices which include loose meat, chicken salad, egg salad or ham salad sandwiches. Shakes, sundaes, beer, soft drinks and chips are available too.
— The employees are very protective of the recipe and process of the sandwiches. We were unable to get the secret recipe after badgering the employees and managers. We were threatened with spatulas and told we would be picking shards of Little Kings bottles out of our rumps for a week. Sorry for the letdown, folks.
— For some unknown reason, it is now customary to stick your gum on the outside of the building. Literally thousands of wads of chewed gum have been stuck on every outside wall of the establishment.
— Bathrooms are located in a separate building around back, adding even more uniqueness and oddness to this place. They also have a drive up window for a quick meat fix.
— THE CHEESE RITE SANDWICH: This is the classic maid rite sandwich with cheese. What is a Maid-Rite Sandwich? Think of it as a sloppy joe but with no sauce. It is served on a soft bun, slapped with meat and toppings, and wrapped tightly in wax paper. The meat has a sweet taste to it. This sandwich is topped with a squirt of mustard, a couple of pickle slices and a slice of cheese. They run about $1.95 and the average person could eat 2 or 3 of them. You can get the Big Jim version which adds ham, but we prefer the original Cheese-Rite. Eating one is a unique experience, and you have to try it. Warning: once you unwrap one, we hold no responsibility for future addiction.
— CHOCOLATE MALT: Creamy, sinful and made just for you. You cant go wrong with this delicious, cool classic.
— LITTLE KINGS CREAM ALE BOTTLES: Oh come on , you gotta make it a full blown Food Adventure and wash it down with a icon from Schoenling Brewery. Ok, wanna be a snob? Then grab a Heineken instead.
— MIKESELLS POTATO CHIPS: No fries in this establishment, so choose your hometown chip instead. They have a nice selection of Dayton’s favorite potato chip. It is a good pairing with the simple, classic sandwich.
A couple of sidenotes: Make sure you bring cash, because that is the only form of payment they accept. Also, hours are 10am-10pm except Fri and Sat when they stay open until 11pm.
Amazing isn’t it? A formula for success being a squished, sloppy joe like sandwich served in a small diner with people sticking gum to the walls outside. But people come back every day in droves. WHY?? It is the curiously sweet tasting, delicious loose meat sandwiches. The workers feverishly tossing the ground meat, stuffing buns, wrapping it quickly, and tossing across the counter. It is the personality of the place. If you have never visited this spot, make sure you put it on your “Food Adventure hit list.” Maid Rite is one-of-a kind.