Maid-Rite: a sandwich so good you'll drive for hours to taste it
The Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe in Greenville, OH may be a local favorite, but it's also well-worth a road trip just to taste their amazing little sandwiches...
How far would you drive for a sandwich? We drove nearly 2 hours for a Maid-Rite “Cheese-Rite,” and we’d do it again in a heartbeat. Nestled on the edge of the little Ohio town of Greenville, the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe has become a strange mecca for sandwich lovers from all over the midwest, and after our little trip, we can see why.
Truth be told, we didn’t head from Cincinnati to the Ohio countryside for Maid-Rite, but to track down two trucks from my father’s youth. After scoping out the relics in a little stop-lightless town in rural western Ohio, my father’s childhood friend mentioned we should drive a little further north for a sandwich he fell in love with as a boy: the Cheese-Rite.
We soon found ourselves in the quaint city of Greenville, Ohio, home to about 13,000 folks, all of whom I think either came inside or through the drive-thru of their cherished Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe while we enjoyed lunch.
To call the Maid-Rite a Greenville institution wouldn’t do it justice. It’s almost on a level of sacred at this point. Founded in 1934, the Maid-Rite is so deeply beloved by the people of Greenville the former fire chief once worried he’d be run out of town if he couldn’t save the Maid-Rite during a fire in the 1990s. Fire departments near and far came to rescue the sacred Maid-Rite.
The first thing you notice about the Maid-Rite is the gum. There is literally chewing gum stuck all over the building, a rite of passage for any Maid-Rite newbie. It’s just another little quirk making the Maid-Rite so endearing.
Once inside, you’ll find a simple diner doing what its done for decades… Serving up their famous “loose meat” sandwiches.
What’s a “loose meat” sandwich you ask? Imagine a sloppy joe without the sauce. The Maid-Rite’s sandwiches aren’t just “loose meat” though. Their secret recipe makes for some sort of bizarrely sweet and savory sandwich unlike anything we’ve ever tasted. We polished off two a piece in quick order and grabbed plenty for the road.
While the food is certainly amazing, it’s the Maid-Rite’s status as the local gathering place that truly makes it so special. It’s the kind of place a boy has his first date. It’s the kind of place you visit first thing upon returning home from college, military service, or just a long absence. Little diners like the Maid-Rite are what we love about small towns and cities… The community supports the Maid-Rite and it supports the community right back.
For those of us not from Greenville, the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe seems a little off the beaten path, but once you know about it, you’ll do anything to make sure your path takes you to its front door every now and then.
Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe
125 N Broadway St.
Note: Cash only