Was The ‘Sloppy Joe’ Sandwich Really Invented In Iowa!?
Was the very first Sloppy Joe invented in Iowa, Minnesota, or South Dakota? Here is the answer...
What do you call it...Sloppy Joe, Tavern, BBQ Beef, Loose Meat, Slush Burger, or Manwich? When I was growing up we called it a 'Sloppy Joe'.
When we make 'em at our house we brown some ground beef then toss in some Ketchup, Mustard, Chopped Onion, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, and pepper. That simple.
I was told that the key to a great Sloppy Joe is the bun.
My personal favorite is fresh-made Hawaiian Buns. And for some reason, you can't stop with just one.
So where was the very first Sloppy Joe sandwich invented?
From what we can tell the Sloppy Joe was invented in Sioux City, Iowa.
The origin story I find says the sandwich was most likely invented in the 1920s at Ye Olde Tavern Inn in Sioux City, Iowa.
They were prepared by a cook named Joe who mixed in his loose meat concoction and referred to it as a 'Sloppy Joe'.
The original Ye Olde Tavern in Sioux City was opened by Dave Heglin in 1920.
The original Tavern Sandwich recipe was a closely guarded secret for years. The restaurant was sold in the 1930s after Heglin's death.
The new owners continued to sell the original sandwich for ten cents each, served on wax paper, for decades. Its popularity grew making it a local favorite.
This version of Ye Olde Tavern closed in the early 1970s. Several different restaurants have occupied the space since.
The Garden Cafe tried to keep the tradition of the Sioux City Sloppy Joe going but unfortunately, they closed their doors in 2020.