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Original Maid-Rites

Subject: Re: Maid-Rites
From: Mary
Date: 10/27/2018 9:54 AM

On 10/26/2018 10:33 AM, Mary wrote:

I am looking for a receipt for maid rite loose meat sandwiches. I have been looking and 
trying receipes for 20 years.

Thank you,


Hello Mary,

Well, there are problems with your request. I have had requests for this recipe before, and I found that there are many different recipes for Maid-Rites on the Internet. No one seems to know which of the many recipes is closest to the original. So, until someone can produce a written copy of the original recipe that can be shown to have been written by the creator of Maid-Rites, then it must be assumed that all of the available recipes are "copycats," created by people trying to re-create the original sandwich without knowing the original recipe.

There is not even real agreement on where the sandwich originated. These sites all give different locations for the original Maid-Rite shop:

Wikipedia - Durant, Iowa

Dine and Dish - Marshalltown, Iowa

Funding Universe - Muscatine, Iowa

QC Times - Muscatine, Iowa

Flickr - Springfield, Illinois

There is a "Maid-Rite" website at : Maid Rite

The Maid-Rite site says the sandwich was created by Fred Angell in Muscatine, Iowa. They were so popular that he immediately began to sell franchises, and Maid-Rite spread quickly in Iowa in the 1920s. Marshalltown, Iowa is the home of "Taylor's Maid-Rites", which is one of the oldest existing franchises.

Someone told me, or I read somewhere (I can't recall which or where.), that part of the problem in determining the original Maid-Rite recipe is that Fred, and later the Maid-Rite Company, were not like modern franchise companies as far as insisting that franchisees use the same seasonings and recipe. Individual Maid-Rites franchises, therefore, tweaked the recipe as they wished and so Maid-Rites from different locations began to be slightly different from each other.

Mary, you say you "have been trying recipes for 20 years." I have no way to know which ones you have tried and rejected, and which ones you have not tried. You don't give me the location of the Maid-Rite shop whose sandwiches you want to duplicate, which might be a big help. So, even though I can find dozens of recipes, I have no idea which one(s) to send you.  I don't want to send you recipes that you have already tried and rejected.

The books "Hamburger America" by George Motz and "American Sandwich" by Becky Mercuri have articles about Maid-Rite, but both are about Taylor's Maid-Rite in Marshalltown, not much about the original shop in Muscatine. They both give "tastes-like" recipes, and both say Taylor's recipe uses beer.  I can send you a recipe with beer if you wish.

I have Maid-Rite sandwich recipes on these pages from previous requests:



If you'll tell me the location of the Maid-Rites shop whose sandwich you wish to duplicate, I will try to find a copycat recipe for that particular location's sandwiches.


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