The Most Historic Fast Food Place in Iowa Has Been Around 90+ Years
Iowans love their loose meat sandwiches!
An article from Love Food outlines the most historic fast food restaurants in all 50 states, and the pick for Iowa is only about an hour and 15 minute drive from Cedar Rapids! Taylor's Made-Rite, located at 106 S 3rd Ave in Marshalltown, is the most historic fast food joint in our state.
The Maid-Rite sandwich was invented in Muscatine, Iowa back in 1926. According to an article from the Quad-City Times, "butcher Fred Angell steamed hamburger instead of frying it and slurried in some spices. He offered one of his sandwiches to a delivery man who was so enthused that he said, 'Fred, you know this sandwich is made right.'" In 1928, Cliff Taylor purchased a franchise in Marshalltown for $300, and Taylor's Maid-Rite Hamburger Shop was born!
When Cliff passed away in 1944, his son Don and his wife Polly took over the restaurant. They eventually decided to build a new “state of the art” shop right across the street. Taylor Made-Rite's official website says, "all equipment was stainless steel, the counters were up on legs for better cleaning, and they even had two cash registers!" Apparently, that was a pretty big deal in 1958!
Don passed away in 1973, leaving Polly to run the restaurant with the help of the employees. Her grandson Don Short took over in 1985, and then Don and Polly's daughter Sandra Taylor Short took over in recent years.
For folks who've never had a Maid-Rite sandwich before, the website reads:
"A Taylor's Maid-Rite is a loose meat sandwich made of finely ground hamburger. The hamburger is ground fresh daily, cooked in our cast-iron cooker, put on a bun and served with mustard, pickles and/or chopped onions. Now, after 90 years, ketchup is available on the counter!"
In addition to keeping their Maid-Rites the same, Taylor's also uses their original ice cream recipe! It's an establishment that is beloved for it's dedication to tradition.
There are lots of places to get a Made-Rite here in Iowa, but if you want to try one from the most historic fast food place in Iowa, Taylor's is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can check out their website HERE.