Celebrate ‘Sloppy Joe Day’ the New Jersey way

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SOUTH ORANGE -

March 18 marks “National Sloppy Joe Day” across the United States.

In most parts the country a Sloppy Joe is a sandwich typically made with ground beef and a tomato-based sauce, served on a hamburger bun.

But in parts of New Jersey, a Sloppy Joe is actually a sandwich consisting of two types of cold cuts, Swiss cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing, served on rye bread.

RELATED: WATCH: The New Jersey Sloppy Joe vs. the traditional Sloppy Joe 
RELATED: Deli celebrates 90th anniversary of invention of the NJ Sloppy Joe 

The Town Hall Deli in South Orange claims to be the first restaurant in New Jersey to make this version of the Sloppy Joe.

“On our menu, we put ‘not chopped meat on a bun.’ It's a totally different sandwich. It's not the lunch lady special you got when you were a kid in school,” says manager Matt Wonski.

According to legend, the mayor of Maplewood tried to replicate a sandwich he once had when he went to Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Havana, Cuba in the 1920s.

Pat Merchant grew up in South Orange but has lived in California for 45 years. She says that she still orders the Town Hall Deli Sloppy Joes by mail. And she is not alone – the restaurant had a map of all the places they have shipped sandwiches.

Merchant says that the Town Hall Deli is her first stop when she comes back home to New Jersey.

“I have been eating Sloppy Joes for probably 65 years and I love them,” she says.

Besides the Town Hall Deli, there are at least a dozen other places that sell the New Jersey version of the Sloppy Joe.

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