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Loose Meat Sandwiches at Madvek's, Hammond IN

Loose Meat Sandwiches at Madvek's, Hammond IN
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  • Loose Meat Sandwiches at Madvek's, Hammond IN

    Post #1 - August 4th, 2006, 6:27 pm
    Post #1 - August 4th, 2006, 6:27 pm Post #1 - August 4th, 2006, 6:27 pm
    After Pierogifest, Cathy2 and I took a tour of northwest Indiana. Armed with little more than some snapshots from a phone book, we set out to find some interesting food. Thinking that Madvek's might be a source of Coney dogs (it wasn't, but more about that in a future post) we stopped in for at least a cold drink.

    Madvek's Doghouse, Looking South on Calumet
    Image
    Madvek's is an unassuming little building but neat as a pin. While enjoying our beverages we noticed a small sign alerting us that loose meat burgers were served.

    Madvek's Menu
    Image
    Loose meat sandwiches around Chicago?? Isn't that an Iowa thing? We wasted no time ordering one ("Cut in half, please. We just came from Pierogifest.").

    Loose Meat Sandwich
    Image
    This was my very first loose meat and I liked it a lot. It was subtly seasoned but not as boring as I had feared.

    Madvek's Counter
    Image
    That's the loose meat in back, chili in front. I think you can see this place is spotless. I can't remember the last time I saw a cleaner restaurant.

    The owner couldn't have been nicer, happily explaining how Madvek's got into the loose meat business some 40 years ago. It seems at one time there was a Maid Rite down the street and it seemed natural to serve the same sort of burger. The Hammond Maid Rite is long gone but Madvek's endures. I understand there’s a Maid Rite in Rockford but I wonder if anyone has seen loose meat sandwiches closer to Chicago.

    As we were getting ready to post, Cathy and I were very surprised to see ’s very recent mention of Madvek's. I guess we'll have to revisit and try a hot dog.

    Madvek's Doghouse
    6923 Calumet Av
    Hammond IN
    219-932-1060
    http://hotdogs.cc/index.html
  • Post #2 - August 4th, 2006, 9:37 pm
    Post #2 - August 4th, 2006, 9:37 pm Post #2 - August 4th, 2006, 9:37 pm
    Funny, though I'd heard of them I never realized "loose meat" meant hamburger-- I had a vague image of something like chipped beef. But since it is hamburger I suppose I should point out that, once again, my hometown of Wichita is heritage burger central-- in Wichita the equivalent of a "loose meat" sandwich is the Nu-Way burger, described by me here.

    I had always heard that a little chicken stock (actually someone even said chicken gumbo) was the secret ingredient that gave a Nu-Way a flavor different from mere crumbled beef, but this Road Food thread claims it's the use of a little organ meat. Something, anyway, thickens it up a bit and gives it a very slight gravy-like, binding sauce, which I think is different from the style you describe (it looks different, certainly, if you compare the pictures of the meat).

    Anyway, cool report, makes me wanna go!
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  • Post #3 - August 6th, 2006, 3:18 pm
    Post #3 - August 6th, 2006, 3:18 pm Post #3 - August 6th, 2006, 3:18 pm
    Mike,

    I know that all the KC Nu-Ways have closed, but did you know about this one:

    Nu-Way Drive-In
    510 Shawnee St, Leavenworth
    913-682-4350
    See historic Leavenworth photography!
    Have a famous Pork Tenderloin sandwich!


    Huh. Who knew?

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #4 - August 7th, 2006, 7:54 am
    Post #4 - August 7th, 2006, 7:54 am Post #4 - August 7th, 2006, 7:54 am
    Mike G wrote:I had always heard that a little chicken stock (actually someone even said chicken gumbo) was the secret ingredient that gave a Nu-Way a flavor different from mere crumbled beef, but this Road Food thread claims it's the use of a little organ meat.


    FWIW, this morning on the train I was reading the chapter on loose meat sandwiches in John Edge's Hamburgers and Fries and he cites Iowa church cookbooks which include chicken gumbo in the ingredients. He then proceeds to offer a recipe which doesn't use any kind of soup, broth, or for that matter organ meat.
  • Post #5 - August 7th, 2006, 8:13 am
    Post #5 - August 7th, 2006, 8:13 am Post #5 - August 7th, 2006, 8:13 am
    HI,

    This series of books, which Hamburger and Fries is one of, are more poetry than culinary history. I met John T. Edge around the time I was doing research on pies, which he has a book on Apple pie. He advised me not to use his book as a serious source of information because it was more anecdotal than researched information.

    It is also entirely possible the recipe you saw is not the one he submitted, his editor may have demanded a new recipe because, "Who cooks with beef heart?"

    Overall is Hamburger and Fries a good read?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #6 - August 7th, 2006, 8:31 am
    Post #6 - August 7th, 2006, 8:31 am Post #6 - August 7th, 2006, 8:31 am
    Cathy2 wrote:HI,

    This series of books, which Hamburger and Fries is one of, are more poetry than culinary history. I met John T. Edge around the time I was doing research on pies, which he has a book on Apple pie. He advised me not to use his book as a serious source of information because it was more anecdotal than researched information.

    It is also entirely possible the recipe you saw is not the one he submitted, his editor may have demanded a new recipe because, "Who cooks with beef heart?"

    Overall is Hamburger and Fries a good read?

    Regards,


    The recipe in B&F is definitely not the recipe from the church cookbook -- I think the recipes in the books are all his own, although he acknowledges inspirations. For this one, he describes the presented recipe as "straddl[ing] the line between the simplicity of Marshalltown Maid-Rites and the racy ideas promulgated by Iowa church ladies." But he never mentions organ meat in any case.

    This is the third in the series that I've read, and I am enjoying it enough that I ordered Donuts (the last that I haven't) today. I'm probably fine with a balance skewed towards poetry rather than real history :)

    I mean, now that I've read all of Calvin Trillin's books, where else can I turn? :D
  • Post #7 - August 7th, 2006, 11:36 am
    Post #7 - August 7th, 2006, 11:36 am Post #7 - August 7th, 2006, 11:36 am
    My Dad used to take me here as a kid....this post has brought back some great memories! I need to go back and re-visit some old times with him.

    I am a fan of the "Cheese" version - sloppy and fun! Not gourmet but good comfort food.

    If you are having a craving for ice cream...try Dairy Belle across the street a few blocks down.
  • Post #8 - August 7th, 2006, 9:15 pm
    Post #8 - August 7th, 2006, 9:15 pm Post #8 - August 7th, 2006, 9:15 pm
    There's (was?) a famous loose-meat place in Gainesville FL, called Steamers, I believe. It was sort of a hippy place. I never quite got it. Really bland. This place looks much better.
  • Post #9 - July 12th, 2007, 10:01 am
    Post #9 - July 12th, 2007, 10:01 am Post #9 - July 12th, 2007, 10:01 am
    Just in case anyone was planning to make the trip from Chicago, Madvek's is on vacation until July 16th.
  • Post #10 - July 12th, 2007, 1:33 pm
    Post #10 - July 12th, 2007, 1:33 pm Post #10 - July 12th, 2007, 1:33 pm
    Totally reminds me of Maid-Rite!
  • Post #11 - July 12th, 2007, 2:28 pm
    Post #11 - July 12th, 2007, 2:28 pm Post #11 - July 12th, 2007, 2:28 pm
    When I was growing up, my mother occasionally served what she called "Maid-Rite" sandwiches (ground beef, onion, Heinz chili sauce and who knows what else). In fact, I never even heard of "Sloppy Joe" until I was in my teens. Definitely must try Madvek's as well as the Rockford Maid-Rite.
  • Post #12 - July 12th, 2007, 2:35 pm
    Post #12 - July 12th, 2007, 2:35 pm Post #12 - July 12th, 2007, 2:35 pm
    Blown Z wrote:Totally reminds me of Maid-Rite!


    It is very similar to Maid-Rite.

    How much was a loose meat sandwich at Madvek's?

    Maid-Rite has gotten so expensive (almost $3.00! w/o fries) that I cannot justify buying them anymore as much as I love 'low food'.
  • Post #13 - July 12th, 2007, 2:38 pm
    Post #13 - July 12th, 2007, 2:38 pm Post #13 - July 12th, 2007, 2:38 pm
    Paul SL wrote:... Heinz chili sauce...


    A traditional Maid-Rite or loose meat sandwich will not have this. Just a seasoned hamburger flavor.
  • Post #14 - September 3rd, 2019, 2:05 pm
    Post #14 - September 3rd, 2019, 2:05 pm Post #14 - September 3rd, 2019, 2:05 pm
    While in Des Moines, Iowa on Friday to record a radio program, I asked the hosts food writer Jim Duncan and Chef George Formaro about loose meat sandwiches.

    I learned there is an ordering method to consider:
    - Dry (it is from the top of the pile with grease drained away and dry)
    - Regular (for a mixture of meat with more moisture from the middle of the pile)
    - Wet (Digging from the bottom to get moist meat)

    Wet makes for a more cohesive sandwich with the meat not falling all over the place.

    These locals like their loose meat wet with pickle and onion.

    I cannot wait for my next opportunity for a loose meat sandwich.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #15 - September 3rd, 2019, 8:30 pm
    Post #15 - September 3rd, 2019, 8:30 pm Post #15 - September 3rd, 2019, 8:30 pm
    Following our four year Alaskan adventure we're now residents of the fair City of Marion IA where I serve as a Pastoral Associate. The "Maid-rite" or "Loosie" is a staple of funeral lunches everywhere it seems. I admit to being a tad over the skeptical line when told the area's best cooks use a can of Chunky Chicken Gumbo soup passed through a blender as their binder.

    Stop making that face! Somehow...it works. It really, really works.
    D.G. Sullivan's, "we're a little bit Irish, and a whole lot of fun"!
  • Post #16 - September 3rd, 2019, 8:42 pm
    Post #16 - September 3rd, 2019, 8:42 pm Post #16 - September 3rd, 2019, 8:42 pm
    D.G.Sullivan wrote:Stop making that face!

    LOL - I'm sorry. It was involuntary! :lol:

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #17 - September 3rd, 2019, 9:09 pm
    Post #17 - September 3rd, 2019, 9:09 pm Post #17 - September 3rd, 2019, 9:09 pm
    D.G.Sullivan wrote:Following our four year Alaskan adventure we're now residents of the fair City of Marion IA where I serve as a Pastoral Associate. The "Maid-rite" or "Loosie" is a staple of funeral lunches everywhere it seems. I admit to being a tad over the skeptical line when told the area's best cooks use a can of Chunky Chicken Gumbo soup passed through a blender as their binder.

    Stop making that face! Somehow...it works. It really, really works.

    Just to be clear, is this Chunky Chicken Gumbo used with the Loosie sandwiches? Campbell's Chunky Chicken Gumbo?

    I see you are near Cedar Rapids. Maybe we meet you on your turf sometime.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #18 - September 4th, 2019, 9:42 am
    Post #18 - September 4th, 2019, 9:42 am Post #18 - September 4th, 2019, 9:42 am
    Cathy2 wrote:
    D.G.Sullivan wrote:Following our four year Alaskan adventure we're now residents of the fair City of Marion IA where I serve as a Pastoral Associate. The "Maid-rite" or "Loosie" is a staple of funeral lunches everywhere it seems. I admit to being a tad over the skeptical line when told the area's best cooks use a can of Chunky Chicken Gumbo soup passed through a blender as their binder.

    Stop making that face! Somehow...it works. It really, really works.

    Just to be clear, is this Chunky Chicken Gumbo used with the Loosie sandwiches? Campbell's Chunky Chicken Gumbo?

    I see you are near Cedar Rapids. Maybe we meet you on your turf sometime.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    I couldn’t believe it so I did some research...

    Yes, there is a variation that does use the soup. Doing the basic recipe search didn’t turn up results but adding gumbo to the query located the variation.

    Gumbo Burger

    A little further investigation came up with a quote cementing the fact that it is not a part of the company recipe...

    Adding Chicken Gumbo Soup to ground beef is NOT a Maid Rite. It is a Gumbo Burger. My grandfather designed and built the vat in which the meat was cooked for Mr. Angell himself. . It was like a swimming pool with a deep end and shallow end. There is also no mustard in the recipe at all. Not sure of the correct ingredients, but I’ve come close a few times.

    Besides, most Maid-Rites I’ve had didn’t seem to be ‘bound’.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #19 - September 4th, 2019, 10:19 am
    Post #19 - September 4th, 2019, 10:19 am Post #19 - September 4th, 2019, 10:19 am
    I finally had my first Maid-Rite in Davenport this past June at the beginning of my 2 week trip. I liked it. I had it with mustard and pickles (I'm not a fan of raw onion) - normally I almost always add ketchup to a burger but when in Rome... It was great. No frills in a really nice 50's diner type room. When I was coming home two weeks later I stopped at another Maid-Rite in St. Cloud, MN. This one was a tiny outlet in a gas station with a cheap menu board and was little more than Maid-Rites to go (no big menu like the diner I was at). It still hit the spot.

    I look forward to ordering my next one "wet."

    Maid-Rite
    2042 E 53rd St (closest to I-80 if driving from I-88 into Iowa)
    Davenport IA
    (563) 424-1450
  • Post #20 - September 4th, 2019, 11:20 am
    Post #20 - September 4th, 2019, 11:20 am Post #20 - September 4th, 2019, 11:20 am
    Welcome back to the lower 48, D.G.! Marion looks like a good spot.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #21 - September 4th, 2019, 12:26 pm
    Post #21 - September 4th, 2019, 12:26 pm Post #21 - September 4th, 2019, 12:26 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:
    D.G.Sullivan wrote:I admit to being a tad over the skeptical line when told the area's best cooks use a can of Chunky Chicken Gumbo soup passed through a blender as their binder.

    Just to be clear, is this Chunky Chicken Gumbo used with the Loosie sandwiches? Campbell's Chunky Chicken Gumbo?

    I couldn’t believe it so I did some research…

    Gumbo burgers – as much a sloppy joe variant as loosemeat sandwich – were discussed earlier in this thread.

    germuska wrote:FWIW, this morning on the train I was reading the chapter on loose meat sandwiches in John Edge's Hamburgers and Fries and he cites Iowa church cookbooks which include chicken gumbo in the ingredients.

    John T Edge doesn't go so far as to claim an Iowa origin for gumbo burgers, but he mentions the recipe's appearance in two older Iowa church cookbooks. That D.G.Sullivan encountered the sandwich in Iowa – in Iowa churches, I'm guessing – is probably more than mere coincidence. Both cookbooks cited by Edge were published within 200 miles of Marion, where D.G.Sullivan is now. In any case, it seems to be a fairly old recipe. If you read the comments at the end of Campbell's recipe for Chicken Gumbo Sloppy Joes (also known as Gumbo Souperburgers or Spoon Burgers), you'll find folks fondly remembering them from the 1950s. I wonder how many of the commenters grew up in Iowa.

    I wrote to Jim Duncan, who has been writing about Iowa food for thirty years, asking if he knows about the origin of the recipe(s). I'll post an update if I find out anything new.
    Last edited by Rene G on September 5th, 2019, 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #22 - September 4th, 2019, 7:50 pm
    Post #22 - September 4th, 2019, 7:50 pm Post #22 - September 4th, 2019, 7:50 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Just to be clear, is this Chunky Chicken Gumbo used with the Loosie sandwiches? Campbell's Chunky Chicken Gumbo?
    Picnic's right around the corner.

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