Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Or, the harrowing tale of “The Great Meatloaf Shortage of ’08.”
I remember being really surprised by how good the food was at The Brick the first time I had it when I was there for Trivia Riot one Friday night years ago. Until then, I only knew the dive as a cool place to see rock shows. But I was hungry and the meatloaf sandwich was noted on the menu as the house favorite, so that’s what I got. It was so delicious that I haven’t had anything else there since -- save one Tuesday when we went for Guys’ Night to play bingo and the food special was all-you-can-eat tacos. Which was a perfect complement to the beer special of all-you-can-drink PBR.
Our table at lunch last Friday ordered a grand total of four meatloaf sandwiches -- Wells, Dylan and Strickler each got one, while Shaw and I decided to split that and a Chicago-style hot dog. Moments later, the waiter returned and told us they only had enough meatloaf for three.
Wells’ instinct for self-preservation kicked in and without hesitation he said, “One of those is mine.” Seeing how The Brick was Strickler’s suggestion and Dylan had never had the meatloaf sandwich, Shaw and I chose to make no claim on the remaining two. We’re good people like that, here at Lunch Blog. Instead, we opted to get the Scimeca’s Famous Italian Steak.
We totally choked on that call -- the Italian steak sandwich was tasty enough, with a breaded, juicy pork patty and plenty of mozzarella, but ultimately no substitute for the meatloaf sandwich we wanted so desperately that everybody else was enjoying yet we'd regrettably passed up in a dumb moment of misplaced good will. We should’ve at least gone with The Pubby, a burger “Served at This Location Since 1967,” and loaded up with bleu cheese, bacon and an onion ring.
I can’t stress how much you are messing up if you haven’t had the meatloaf sandwich. It’s a slice of meatloaf with chipotle ketchup and pepper jack cheese on wheatberry bread. We’re talking a pretty thick slab of meatloaf, too. Later I was wondering why they didn’t just slice what meatloaf they did have into four pieces instead of a mere three. I mean, ba-dam -- problem solved. Only reason I could come up with is that maybe The Brick’s secret ingredient is pride. Pride in a sandwich well made.
Our table also split an order of Singapore wings. Coated in a slightly spicy ginger sauce, they were just kind of eh. Can’t for the life of me remember why we thought ordering Asian food at The Brick was a good idea in the first place, much less why the price of $10.95 for a dozen didn’t give us pause.
Same story on the Chicago dog -- okay but nothing special. Must remember to only get these from street vendors, or when I’m actually in Chicago. It’s got to be rough being an average entree when you’re sharing space on a menu with something as awesome as the meatloaf sandwich.
If I had last Friday's lunch to do all over again, I would totally tell Dylan tough luck, buddy -- I got dibs on that meatloaf sandwich.
My Secret Brick Fantasy: My waiter hands me a PBR plus half a meatloaf sandwich wrapped in some kind of wax paper for easy eating. Then he says, “Hey, I’m really sorry, but we need to clear out the tables because Doris Henson is about to play a reunion show right this very second.” All of a sudden, I look around and the place is packed and the band opens with “The Power” and I get to get rocked while munching on a meatloaf sandwich. Could it get better than that?
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