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<em>Positively Philadelphia</em>: Restaurant Honored For Its Magnificent Meatloaf

A Philadelphia restaurant has scored a big award.

"We were recognized in Bon Appetit as having one of the best daily specials in the country, and that's our MidAtlantic meatloaf with mushroom gravy."

That's Dan Stern (right), chef and owner of MidAtlantic Restaurant and Taproom, in the University City neighborhood of West Philadelphia.

He says you probably know meatloaf, but not this meatloaf:

"We didn't just throw all the ingredients raw in there. We actually cooked the onions and the garlic and the leeks and things like that, and then you fold it into your eggs and your seasonings and bread crumbs, then take all that and fold it into the meat. Then we just finished it on the grill and hit it with some of our homemade beef and mushroom gravy. Brings new life to meatloaf."

And the restaurant makes everything they serve, including the condiments from scratch.

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Stern notes that the magazine printed a simplified version of the award-winning meatloaf for cooks at home (see below).

"One gentleman in particular, actually e-mailing from the West Coast said, 'I just finished making your meatloaf recipe from Bon Appetit. What a pain in the butt that was, but it was the best meatloaf I ever had.' "

We put the meatloaf to a taste test with some hungry lunch customers:

"I'm a meatloaf fan, and this is delicious meatloaf."

"It deserves the award."

Philadelphia: known for cheesesteaks, soft pretzels... and now award-winning meatloaf.

That's Positively Philadelphia!

Reported by Lauren Lipton, KYW Newsradio.


Mushroom Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy

Prep – 1 hour 45 minutes; Total – 3 hours
6 to 8 Servings

MidAtlantic celebrates the cuisine of the region it's named for. There's scrapple on the menu (natch), as well as beer parings alongside the dessert menu, but the restaurant also serves dishes that would be classic in any American region – like meatloaf with mushroom gravy.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ¼ pounds crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
1 ½ cups chopped onion
1 ½ cups chopped celery
1 ¼ cups chopped shallots
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 cup dry red wine
6 cups low-salt beef broth
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
¼ cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 ½ cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; 2 to 3 large)
8 ounces thinly sliced crimini (baby bella) mushrooms (about 3 cups)
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs, beaten to a blend
½ cup crushed crackers (such as Ritz)
2 pounds ground beef (20% fat)
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, celery, shallots, garlic, and thyme. Saute until vegetables are soft, about 18 minutes. Add wine and boil until reduced to a glaze, about 5 minutes. Add broth. Boil until mixture is reduced to 4 cups, about 25 minutes.

Blend butter and flour in a small bowl to smooth paste. Simmer until thick, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Season gravy with salt and pepper. Do Ahead Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, chill. Rewarm before using.


Preheat oven to 350F. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, mushrooms, and garlic. Sauté until soft, about 10 minutes; scrape into processor. Add mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Blend until coarsely chopped; transfer to large bowl and cool.
Mix eggs and cracker crumbs into vegetables, then beef and cream. Transfer to 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Bake meatloaf until thermometer inserted into center registers 160F, 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours. Let meatloaf rest 15 minutes; turn onto platter. Serve with gravy.

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