Oakwood owl counting
pilgrims at the Stryx end gate,
"Whooo passes this night?"

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Two Maid-Rites in every pot.

There isn't much to say about the Maid-Rite, either you grew up eating the spiced loose-meat burgers or you didn't. If you did, they taste of the steam-cooked sweetness of youth. If you didn't, they are just another quaint, failed product from the past. They almost faded from their Midwest home after pizza and McDonalds hit town with their slicker, more aggressive advertising. Who are we kidding here? Maid-Rite never had ANY advertising. They were just there, a staple in almost every Midwestern smalltown. We grew up with them. Then one day we looked up and realized they were gone, replaced by plastic burgers designed by committees and franchise pizza. In 2006 the remnants of the company changed hands for the second time, purchased by a group who came in with an infusion of new capital, computers and management, and there has been a resurgence of the brand. Maybe in the future, kid's with a growing appetite and little money will be stopping at the Maid-Rite for a paperbag full of burgers again.


Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

I never meant any disrespect to this slice of Americana. It looks marvelous, just like a sloppy joe from grade school. I have never had one, but hope to rectify that before they are all gone. Thank you.

your pal,
michael white

Gunnar Berg said...


It ain't like any sloppy joe I ever et. But maybe that nostalgia talking.

your BEST pal,

Silk Hope said...


Oldfool said...

I would eat that.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if they do fries, if so are they good and what kind.


ps: this is not a matter of national security

Mimbres Man said...

Our local bowling alley had something like that.

Gunnar Berg said...

To all of you who have eaten sloppy joes, even from Sloppy Joes in Key West, have to keep in mind they are ALL inferior copies of Maid Rites.

Margadant said...

You're right, they ain't like any Sloppy Joe. And we can only hope that there is a resurgence.

Tom G. said...

I wish we'd get some to open up here in the Cities. It used to be that every region in America had some little unique casual food like this. (Buffalo's Beef on Weck, Louisville's Hot Browns) Now they are either disappearing, or turned into something beyond recognition by the marketing combine. (See Philly Cheessteak, and Buffalo Wings)

Anonymous said...

There's a Maid-Rite on the west-side of Madison Wisconsin. Think it's still there...if one would want to make the drive. Madison is a beautiful city..... to visit....If you don't find these, there is always the pizzas and franchise hamburgers.

Gail Ravenhorst DeBoer said...

Neal Gendler's dad ran the Maid Rite in Albert Lea during the years I was living in Clarks Grove (birth to 1962). Mom always tried to make them at home but never got the seasonings right. There still are Maid Rite shops in Brainerd and Bemidji. Enjoy!

Gunnar Berg said...

When we were very young, Gendler and Waterman had a junkyard right east of Wilson's.