Loosemeats

Also known as a canteen, a tavern, a tastee, a Charlie boy, and by the brand name Maid-Rite, loosemeats is a northwest Iowa sandwich of ground beef that is cooked loose – unpattied – and seasoned and drained but sauceless. Compared to a hamburger it has a scattered character, and yet the pebbly beef can hold together nearly as well as sticky rice when gathered up with an ice cream scoop and positioned on the bottom half of a burger bun. It customarily is dressed with pickle, mustard, and a slice of cheese – a remix of the cheeseburger with fragmented harmony. It is a food spoken of with singular/plural ambivalence. Usually one sandwich is a loosemeats; a batch in the kitchen or a bowlful without the bun are loosemeats.

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