Last November, Food & Wine reader Barbara Haggerty was en route to St. Louis, Missouri, when she stopped in Columbus, Ohio for the night. A search for a German restaurant led Haggerty to Schmidt's, where she ordered the family-owned restaurant's famous meatloaf. The dish, Haggerty recalls, "had the flavor and consistency of the loaf my grandmother used to make. It was classic comfort food." Haggerty reached out to us here at Food & Wine and asked if we could get her the recipe. We were only too happy to oblige!
This simple and deeply comforting meatloaf has been on the restaurant's menu since 1972. Developed by Betty Jane Schmidt, wife of the restaurant's founder, George, the meat loaf continues to be one of Schmidt's bestsellers. The secret ingredient in this pork-and-beef loaf is applesauce, which lends both moisture and a gentle sweetness. The cooks at Schmidt's use crushed seasoned croutons as a binder, but we found that plain dry breadcrumbs work well, too.
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Schmidt's Meat Loaf