Meatloaf Bakery

>> Wednesday, March 3, 2010

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I know you are reading the title of this post and thinking that I've officially lost my mind and may need to hire an editor. No, dear foodies, that is not a typo. In my delightful neighborhood of Lincoln Park there is a bakery that is taking meatloaf to the next level by creating "cupcakes" or "meatcakes" as I like to call them. The Meatloaf Bakery (MLB) is located at the end of my street and has been gaining attention since it opened. Coupled with the idea that meatloaf is delicious and definitely does not have to be in loaf form, owner and founder Cynthia created these delectable treats to resemble something we all love - dessert!

After passing by the store front many times, I finally committed to giving the MLB a try. Upon walking in I am greeted by two members of the charming staff who were heating up samples - talk about timing! They are patient with me as I ask a million questions about each individual meatloaf, and help to guide me towards the loaf that was right for me. Currently they offer 8 varieties:

  • The Mother Loaf - beef, pork and veal mixed with herbs and seasonings then topped with their Yukon Smashers and served with demi-glaze on the side
  • Herb Turkey Loaf - lean ground turkey mixed with spices, garlic, red pepper and herbs, sprinkled with parmesan and topped with herbed bread dressing and cranberry sauce on the side
  • A Wing and A Prayer Loaf - ground chicken mixed with hot sauce, bleu cheese and celery make this a one stop wing shop. Topped with bleu cheese and served with ranch dressing
  • Loaf-A-Roma - beef and Italian sausage combined with mozzarella cheese, sun dried tomatoes, basil and splash of red wine topped with angel hair pasta 
  • Omega-3 Loaf - Alaskan salmon mixed with lemon, dill and parsley topped with wasabi mashed potatoes and served with lemon-dill yogurt. 
  • No Buns About It Burger Loaf - beef, bacon, cheddar, onions, mustard, ketchup, pickles, topped with cheesy taters and served with special sauce 
  • El Loafo Del Fuego - ground pork mixed with chorizo, green olives, almonds, garlic and a touch of sherry, topped with garlic spuds and served with a sherry mushroom sauce 
  • Yentil Lentil Loaf - lentils with brown rice, with veggies and cheese. Topped with bell peppers and served with cous cous. 
While all of them looked delicious, I had to focus and order just one. I opted for the Herb Turkey loaf, because, yeah, I like Thanksgiving and I like it more than once a year. The kind staff packed up my purchase and I even got a free drink (free drinks on Tuesdays!) and I raced home to re-heat my "meatcake."

The MLB provides reheating instructions with two different routes - the microwave or the oven. Ah, yes, the classic struggle between patience and hunger. I was so hungry, but I knew that the oven would offer a more delicious treat. So I decided to ride it out and let my meatloaf warm in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

When the buzzer finally went off, I removed my beautiful meatcake from it's tray, set the table and then tried to figure out where I would start. I didn't want to dive right in because I would knock the dressing off the top, but I was hungry and this was war, patience was losing. So yes, I took my fork cut through the dressing straight through the meat, then assembled a fork full, dipped in cranberry sauce and then sighed. Ah, sweet, sweet, Thanksgiving. I have missed you.

This meatloaf was not only juicy (and were talking ground turkey here!), but the dressing was the perfect blend of herbs and had a nice crust on the top from the oven. The sauce was sweet but not overbearing.

I have no idea what came over me next, but let me put it this way - I'm glad I live alone. Before I knew it my fork was on a rampage shoveling this masterpiece into my mouth and I didn't try to stop it. Ten minutes later I looked at my clean plate and was proud of what I accomplished (maybe a little ashamed too, I mean, you would think I had never seen food before).

Either way, this is my new favorite local shop. Friendly staff, innovative entrees, and most importantly fabulous food. This is a great place for a quick meal or to take people in from out of town to show a different side of Chicago.

Vote for the MLB on Time Out Chicago's Eat Out Awards! They definitely deserve to win Best Specialty Shop. Click here to vote!

The Meatloaf Bakery 
2464 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614


Linda September 20, 2010 at 4:33 PM  

What a great idea, given the popularity of trendy cupcakes! I just put together a meatloaf in mini-loaf pans for more individual servings here. Didn't go QUITE as small as cupcakes but it is a start.
Mine had beef, herb seasoned stuffing mix. red bell peppers, spinach , apples, and onions!


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