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Best Thing I Ate This Week: Meatloaf sandwich at Holy Roller

Matthew Odam
The meatloaf sandwich is one of the stars on the Holy Roller menu, no matter what time of day. [RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN ]

I’m not much of a brunch guy. I’ve written about it before. I won’t bore you with a rehash, but the salient points go like this:

I don’t think there’s great value in the meal.

I don’t love eating heavy in the morning.

I make a mean bacon-egg-and-cheese breakfast sandwich as it is.

But when friends have old friends in town and insist on a weekend day-drinking ramble that starts with brunch downtown, I’m not gonna put up an argument, especially when we’re not eating until 2 p.m. And while I may make a mean breakfast sandwich at home, I don’t make my own bread, and I’ve never had much success with meatloaf. I’m not saying I could make the yellow cake pancakes at Holy Roller or fry chicken as well as they do, but I know for certain I couldn’t make a meatloaf sandwich as good as theirs ($15).

The sandwich, which made my list of the best in town a couple of years ago, is probably my favorite thing on the menu at this irreverent all-day comfort spot run by chef Callie Speer. A firm sear traps juicy meat packed with garlic, onions and herb. There’s a one-two cheesy punch, balanced on one end by milky, melty mozzarella and at the other with the umami shatter of Parmesan crisps. All of it is spirited with zippy horseradish cream sauce and the sweet crunch of bread-and-butter pickles. Some might be a little confused by the lack of ketchup, but I feel having the sandwich come with ketchup might overwhelm the flavor of the meatloaf and slightly mute the horseradish. You want ketchup, add it yourself.

And if you want to get your afternoon of sipping cocktails started early, pair the sandwich with a Season of the Witch cocktail ($10), made with Wild Turkey 101 Rye, fig and black walnut bitters.

Information: 509 Rio Grande St. 512-502-5119,

Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Sunday.


Best Thing I Ate This Week archives:

Beef tartare tostada with ant aioli at La Condesa

Wild game Italian sub sandwich at Dai Due

Vegetarian barbecue jackfruit sandwich at Kinda Tropical

Crab and butternut squash at Vixen’s Wedding

Fried chicken sandwiches at Pollo Las Abuelas

2018 restaurant review: Holy Roller’s nostalgia jam is a grand slam