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Maid-Rite Style Sandwiches


Antonio Burrell
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I am absolutely sure that some of you will make the obligatory 'meat' jokes. And despite this I pose this question. Where can I get a MaidRite style sandwich, or better yet a Runza? For those of you from the Midwest, you know what I'm talking about. For those that don't, a loose meat or a 'maidrite' is basically a tomato free sloppy joe. The meat is ground chuck seasoned with onions, garlic, salt and pepper and maybe a dash of tabasco and worchertishire (?) sauce. Kept in a hot well, it was kept moist with beef broth, when ordered the buns, steamed, never toasted, were heaped with a measered amount of meat depending on what size you ordered. These were then topped with, upon request, chopped onions, mustard, ketchup, mayo, pickles or cheese, always Don's favorite, American. When allowed to cool till you got parked or home or to your table, all the topping had fused into some other wordly sandwich that was soooooo much better than a burger. Sides includes o rings, crinkle cut fries, shakes and a very good maidrite dog, a hot dog topped with mustard, onion and meat! N I C E..

A Runza on the other hand is what I later learned is a basic piroshky, or Russian meat pie. (Nadya, correct my spelling please). A meat, cabbage, onion and spice kinda hand sized meatball/loaf wrapped in a wonderfull bread dough and baked till GB&Delicious. After baking they are kept warm and lightly steamed when ordered resulting in damn good sandwich that was easy to eat with one hand. Also had a salad bar way before Wendy's ever did.

God, it's times like these that I miss the Midwest....

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I am absolutely sure that some of you will make the obligatory 'meat' jokes. And despite this I pose this question. Where can I get a MaidRite style sandwich, or better yet a Runza? For those of you from the Midwest, you know what I'm talking about. For those that don't, a loose meat or a 'maidrite' is basically a tomato free sloppy joe. The meat is ground chuck seasoned with onions, garlic, salt and pepper and maybe a dash of tabasco and worchertishire (?) sauce. Kept in a hot well, it was kept moist with beef broth, when ordered the buns, steamed, never toasted, were heaped with a measered amount of meat depending on what size you ordered.

Try the Meat Loaf at Negril - I know that sounds crazy but just do it. It costs something like $1.30 and two of them make a full meal.

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Try the "puddin" at the Hagerstown Farmer's Market - open 5-12 Saturday mornings only. It is juicy minced meaty bits served on a flapjack. Yummy, especially with maple syrup but I could just as easily see it being tasty in a different way with ketchup mustard and onion on a hamburger bun. It is seasonal which I believe means available when they are killing pigs and have extra piggy bits to grind up in that part of the waste no want not world.

What you seek is a regional treat not done here about as far as I know.

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