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Where A Burger Isn't Always A Burger

| 8/17/2016 8:46:56 PM

Country MoonWho doesn’t love a burger and a beer? Running for a quick bite after work, going out with friends, or an impromptu gathering around a backyard grill, nothing says American like a burger and a brew. Always being the first choice on my list, I thought I had a handle on what the best burger was after my Aunt Sharlene taught me that the only way to make a good burger is to pile everything on but the kitchen sink. That was before we were driving for parts one day and stopped at the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe in Greenville, Ohio.


Photo by Lois Hoffman

The employees were filling to-go orders as fast as they were serving customers inside. Cars were lined up for two blocks down the street, and people were lined up outside the door. I soon found out what makes this little brick building on Broadway Street so special.

The hamburger meat is always served steamed, never fried, and piled loose on the bun. Sound really messy? You bet, but worth every stain it causes. The flavor: out of this world, with a little something extra that makes it so good but a seasoning that you can’t quite put your finger on.

So unique was this place that I went back a couple of weeks later and talk to Mark Koontz, the great nephew of Louise Maher, the woman who had the vision to start the place in 1934. He explained about the loose meat. “Great Aunt Louise wanted to start a family business, and she wanted something different, so she ingeniously came up with the loose hamburger idea and her special seasoning.”

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