Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Rob Corliss
June 6, 2024

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Sloppy Joes and similar loose-meat sandwiches can be easily translated into captivating, premium renditions without losing their simple charm. High-quality meats, whether blended, ground or chopped, are an instant upgrade from the typical chuck. TriBecca’s Sandwich Shop in Chicago throws down a modern take on an old-school sandwich with its MaidWrong. A nod to the iconic Iowa restaurant chain Maid-Rite, which specializes in loose-meat sandwiches, the MaidWrong elevates the original through a combination of locally sourced ground beef, yellow mustard, agrodolce onions, Muenster cheese and steak sauce aïoli on a buttery bun.

Sloppy Joe sauce already boasts sweet and savory notes, providing an ideal flavor template that can embrace any number of world cuisines. For example, adding red miso to the standard sauce (usually a mixture of ketchup, sugar, mustard and Worcestershire) ratchets up the umami and brings a bit of sophistication. Keep the other ingredients familiar but still elevated with chopped beef brisket, white cheddar-beer queso and crispy jalapeño strings atop a soft pretzel bun.


About The Author


Rob Corliss is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 30 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and owning the culinary consultancy ATE (All Things Epicurean) since 2009. Based in Nixa, Mo., ATE has an energizing passion focused on flavor innovation and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness. Rob is also a regular contributor to Flavor & The Menu.