In my mind, at least, when I hear the word "bakery," I think of dessert. But a new concept in Lincoln Park is proving you can take your mom's classic comfort food recipe for meatloaf and turn it into a tasty business.
Sure, it looks like a bakery. There's a big glass case up front, with what appears to be cupcakes, tarts and even layer cakes; but they're all derivations of meatloaf. It is, after all, the Meatloaf Bakery in the heart of Lincoln Park.
"I love to cook, and I always used to make meatloaf, and I just woke up one day and thought why can't I start a business that's all about meatloaf," said Cynthia Kallile, owner of The Meatloaf Bakery.
But also Omega-3 loafs, made with wild salmon, parsley and dill, plus Loaf-a-Romas, a beef-and-sausage meatloaf with mozzarella that's topped with angel hair pasta.
The No Buns About It Burger Loaf can come in multiple shapes - bacon, cheddar, onions, mustard and beef - all topped with cheesy mashed potatoes.
And speaking of taters, they also offer scoops of Yukon Gold potatoes. There are loafies, mini-versions of the larger loafs. For example, the Herby Turkey comes in this smaller version, but also a substantial size - ground turkey is loaded with herbs, dusted with parmesan and crowned with dressing and a few cranberries. Additional gravy is your call. The Mother Loaf is really the basis for most of the recipes. It comes straight from Kallile's childhood.
"Beef, pork and veal, little bit of oatmeal, little bit of Ritz crackers, a few herbs and vegetables; it's my mother's recipe and I just tweaked it just a little bit," Kallile said.
The 'El Loafo Del Fuego' is more on the spicy side. Chorizo sausage and ground pork are first added to the bowl of a mixer, along with chopped bell peppers and onions. While those are mixed, some sherry is added to beaten eggs. Back at the mixer, the flavorings are added: chopped green olives, chopped serrano and jalapeno chiles, crushed almonds, fresh garlic and a few cups of breadcrumbs to keep it together. Then that sherry-egg mixture to really bind it all together. The ingredients are mixed up for about five minutes more, then a cook weighs them into eight-ounce portions, placing them into greased foil tins. Baked in-house, they make a quick snack, or even a light meal.
But Kallile says don't expect this bakery to satisfy a sweet tooth.
"We've got a couple cookies, a brownie or two, but it's really meatloaf looking like pastries," added Kallile.
It's best to call ahead, as they do tend to run out of specific flavors, namely the mother loaf.
The Meatloaf Bakery
2464 N. Clark St.