Monday, September 27, 2010

Taverns, Made Rites and Sloppy Joes


So my sisters are at home for a few days visiting our parents in Northwest Iowa and the question has arisen as to the difference between the three types of sandwiches named above.  

I have done a little research and will share my findings with you.  I know, you can hardly contain your excitement.


1.  Tavern.  The tavern recipe I have comes from my childhood friend Erin.   I have know Erin since grade school and we spent a fair amount of our Junior High years  working on our 4-H record books, baking cream puffs at her grandma’s house, riding 4 wheelers around her farm, practicing crazy skits, working on our Share the Fun for the State Fair, and making super cool cards on  the computer(like when computers were first invented)!  Ah the good ‘ole days.

Back to the taverns.  Here is the official recipe. 

Simmer for 10 minutes-

2 cups water

1 cup catsup

3 teaspoons dry onion

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 cup brown sugar

Add to that, 2 lb cooked ground beef and 1 teaspoon dry mustard.

Simmer 40 minutes. 

There were a few recipes to be found for taverns on and the ingredient list was similar.  I like Erin’s recipe.


2.  Made Rites.  Another Iowa original. 

In 1926, Fred Angell, a respected butcher in Muscatine, Iowa, combined a special blend and grind of the finest Midwestern ground beef with a selected recipe of secret spices and created the one and only Maid-Rite sandwich.

As legend goes, Mr. Angell asked a delivery man, at his restaurant, to taste his newest sandwich creation. After a few bites, the taster exclaimed, “You know, Fred, this sandwich is just made right.” Thus our signature sandwiches name was born.

Thanks to my mom, I have a recipe for Made Rites as well. 

Bob’s Drive-In Made Rites

2 1/2 to 3 lb ground round

14oz chicken broth

1 small onion

salt and pepper

Brown beef in 1 tablespoon oil, crumbling with a fork over medium heat.  Add chicken broth and simmer uncovered until liquid is absorbed.  ( You may use 3 tablespoons dried chopped onion)

I love Made Rites too.  We have Carl’s Canteen here in Loveland where you can get a sandwich for lunch and the owners are from Iowa even! 

3.  Sloppy Joes.  The most commonly known of the sandwich names.

Sloppy joe
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A sloppy joe is an American dish of ground beef, onions, sweetened tomato sauce or ketchup and other seasonings, served on a hamburger bun. Commercially made sauces are also available. Contradictory lore suggests that the Original Sloppy Joe Sandwich was invented at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Florida or by a cook named Joe at a cafe in Sioux City, Iowa as a variation of the popular "loose meat" sandwich (which does not contain tomato sauce).

Sloppy joes are also referred to as:

  • Yip Yips in Southern Illinois near St Louis.
  • Yum Yums in parts of the Midwest USA, particularly in Nebraska
  • Wimpies in parts of the Northeast USA, especially Northeastern Pennsylvania
  • Slushburgers in parts of the Upper Midwest, particularly in Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota
  • Barbecues in other areas of the Upper Midwest, and also in some parts of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
  • Hot Tamales in parts of southeastern Wisconsin, particularly in the Sheboygan area despite the fact that tamales are a completely different food item.
  • Taverns in parts of northwest Iowa and Minnesota.
  • Sloppy Janes in parts of central Minnesota.
  • Steamers in parts of Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland.
  • Gulash (not to be confused with Goulash) in parts of the Upper Midwest, especially in areas where people of Scandinavian heritage, boasting Viking roots, are prominent.
  • Dynamites in northern Rhode Island.


So, if it is  a sloppy joe you seek, I would refer you back to item #1.  The best Tavern recipe ever. 

And that settles that.

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