Today I took my husband Keith to Maid Rite in Springfield, Illinois. This wonderful diner famous for its loose meat sandwiches has been on the National Historic Register since 1924. Inside we were told that this site dates back to even earlier than that.
The diner is located in a train caboose. To add space, they built onto in the 1980’s. The atmosphere is quite charming, but it is the food that brings you back again and again! I loved the small original booths although we choose the roomier built on ones!
We noted walking up a window that opened. “Can we go in?” Keith asked noting that this window appeared to be a drive through window.
We sure could. And yes, it was a drive through window that got a heck of a lot of business! A sign outside boldly states, “Nation’s first drive thru”. Not according to Google, but it is surely one of the very first!
Maid Rite is a franchise of independently owned restaurants. According to the Maid Rite website, “In 1926, way back before Facebook, and even before TV, people just didn’t know how to waste time. But, being really bored paid off for butcher Fred Angell. He worked to get just the right combination of a special cut and grind of meat and a selected blend of spices. When a deliveryman tasted Fred’s new creation, he said, “This sandwich is made right.” With that, the Maid-Rite was born. Fred was quite a sandwich maker but not much of a speller.
The stellar product, the sandwich, which made them famous the Maid Rite consists of 100% USDA Midwestern fresh ground beef. We were told that the ground beef is not fried, but steamed. Then the sandwich is served on a fresh steamed white or wheat bun, with your choice of ketchup, mustard, onion and pickles. Yum.
We ordered a special which was 2 Maid Rite sandwiches and fries and a drink, then we ordered an extra drink. Since it had been ages since I had one, and Keith never had, we wanted to try it before placing a big order. I was soon back at the counter ordering chili and another sandwich. Sadly, I was too late for the chili which I learned is sold out by one. Next time, we will show up earlier in the day.
Everything was awesome. The service, attention to detail, lots of room with social distancing it was the perfect luncheon meal.
Peases at Bunn
Keith had not been to Peases at the Bunn Gourmet location so we headed there for dessert. Keith was amazed by the fancy store, he had only been to Peases on Laurel. It is quite the place, a Valentine’s Day store for sure!
Rather than getting a piece of candy we indulged in dessert. Peases is another Springfield icon so this was a day of Springfield traditions. The nut and candy giant provided a great dessert selection and we left happy campers.
Maid Rite is definitely made right! And Peases was the cherry on top! If you are looking for a fun getaway, follow in our latest footsteps and keep a couple Springfield traditions alive!