Muscatine born and bred Maid-Rite named iconic postgame spot in Iowa

The Maid-Rite on U.S. 61 near University Drive. [Google Maps image]

A fast food chain that originated in Muscatine has been ranked as the iconic spot for a postgame meal in Iowa according to one of nation’s top websites that covers high school sports.

According to a tweet over the weekend from, Thrillist rated Maid-Rite as the most iconic place to grab some grub after a big game in the state.

Fred Angell was a butcher in Muscatine who combined a special cut and grind of meat with a selected set of spices and created the Maid-Rite sandwich, which is not a traditional hamburger. Rather, it is called a “loose meat” sandwich.

While the component meat is similar, the Maid-Rite sandwich’s meat is not formed into a patty, making it similar to a sloppy joe without the tomato-based sauce.

Angell opened his first restaurant on Cedar Street in Muscatine, which was strictly walk-up. Later, a new eat-in building was opened.

He and his son, Francis Angell, opened a second restaurant featuring a “car hop” or drive-in service, the first of its kind in the United States.

Maid-Rite remained under family ownership until 1982. The original Maid-Rite restaurants in Muscatine were sold to Gary Kopf, a local businessman who also operated vending companies, family restaurants and bakeries.

There are currently 21 locations in Iowa, and 11 locations in other states. Maid-Rite’s corporate headquarters are located in Des Moines.

As with any type of these lists and rankings on the internet, the post has stirred all kinds of debate and arguments over where the best postgame meal can be found.