Food fads have their ups and downs. Today’s trend is tall, as chefs vie to see who can construct the most architectonic appetizers and elevated entrées.
Houston’s Backstreet Cafe (1103 S. Shepherd) has its own entry in the culinary sweepstakes: the aptly named Meatloaf Tower. In designing the dish, chefs Hugo Ortega and John Watt have taken the humble staple of home cooking to new heights. They combine ground beef with veal for a lighter, more delicate texture and prepare an earthy wild-mushroom gravy to lend robust flavor. A bed of fresh, barely wilted spinach undergirds the creation and a vertiginous crown of garlic mashed potatoes tops it off.