When you picture a sloppy joe, one image (probably) comes to mind: ground beef folded into a sweet red sauce, plopped onto a hamburger bun. But on this episode of The Meat Show, host Nick Solares discovers an anomaly at New Jersey’s Millburn Deli — a cold roast beef, ham, and/or turkey sandwich on rye that is still, inexplicably, called a sloppy joe.
The sandwiches borrow some of the Reuben’s toppings — Swiss cheese, cole slaw, Russian dressing — but their name was inspired by another local sandwich shop, which in turn borrowed the moniker from a Cuban bar called Sloppy Joe’s. “They didn’t invent the form,” Solares says of Millburn Deli. “But some may argue they perfected it.”
Each sandwich can weigh in between 1.75 and two pounds each, a portion size that Solares notes “will clearly kill any normal human.” But the intrepid meat reporter survives the challenge, calling the roast beef sloppy joe “one of the great roast beef sandwiches on earth.”