As a kid, I was never fond of the rectangular brown brick that my mom served us. It was always mysterious-looking and to me a big waste of perfectly good hamburger meat. I remember it as always being dry no matter how much instant gravy was poured over it. And because my family belonged to the "clean plate" club, there wasn't even the opportunity to hide pieces under the lumpy mashed potatoes.
But I now have a new opinion of this classic dish. We were having some friends over for dinner and my wife wanted to serve "Diner" fare. When she suggested meat loaf, memories flooded my brain and I tried to resist but we ended up serving it with garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, cole slaw, and beets.
This recipe comes from a restaurant in Venice, California called 72 Market Street and has been described as the "ultimate meat loaf". Of course I was skeptical to say the least, but after my first bite I converted from a lifelong meat loaf hater to a satiated meat loaf lover and wanted to share this other All-American recipe with you.