Here in Denver, we value choice — but if an executive order comes down requiring meatloaf consumption, at least we have good options. Here are five restaurants where you can enjoy a great plate of meatloaf, whether you're in the company of Governor Christie or just looking for something homey and comforting to distract you from all the political nonsense.
4990 East Colfax Avenue, 720-550-7665
200 Quebec Street, 303-364-1102
Don't expect down-home meatloaf from the crew at Chop Shop, where international flavors mingle with American standards, with mouthwatering results. A touch of India spices up the meatloaf here, with a garam masala marinade and a drizzle of mango barbecue sauce. But a jacket of applewood bacon, a dollop of mashed potatoes and a couple of hula-hoops of onion ring bring the dish back to the good old U.S. of A.
2. City Bakery Cafe
726 Lincoln Street
City Bakery Cafe serves its meatloaf in a sandwich, but all the classic ingredients are there. The meatloaf itself is robed in cheese and swaddled in potato bread made at owner Michael Bortz's bakery with whole baked potatoes kneaded into the dough. A side of brown gravy for dipping completes the presentation with a touch of love straight from Mom. The special only comes out on chilly days, so call ahead to see if it's in the works.
3. Kitchen Table
1426 East 22nd Avenue
Meatloaf purists should drop whatever they're doing and head to this north Denver diner for a plateful of juicy, slow-cooked meatloaf topped with a crust of baked-on barbecue sauce. The portion is huge and comes with a housemade biscuit and your choice of a side. Just don't let anyone bully you out of selecting your favorite (but we're telling you: The collard greens are fabulous!).
4. Punch Bowl Social
Last year, Punch Bowl Social owner Robert Thompson hired Southern-cuisine master Hugh Acheson to put a taste of the South on the menu at his growing chain of gastro-tainment pubs. While meatloaf has been a PBS staple for years, the latest incarnation is a streamlined classic made meatier with the use of grass-fed beef. The side of mashed potatoes is a natural, and a small salad touched with buttermilk dressing ensures that you get your allowance of veggies.
523 East 17th Avenue, 303-830-1001
7355 Ralston Road, Arvada, 303-830-0096
When you're in an old-school diner setting, it's hard to pass up old-school food. Fortunately, Steuben's meatloaf is by the book, and a good book at that. The star of the plate is dense and juicy and supported by a cast of mashed potatoes, mushrooms, gravy and broccoli (because someone's looking out for you). Tell Christie that all lanes leading to both locations of Steuben's are closed so you can have this meal to yourself.