No third option. There will never be a third option.
Mom used the red stuff when I was a kid, but I’m a brown gravy man now. It just makes sense–you’re having potatoes with brown gravy anyway, so throw some of that goodness on the meatloaf. No need to mix up the red bullshit.
I don’t make any sort of sauce when I make meatloaf. My mom usually didn’t either, but when she did, it was brown gravy. I have eaten meatloaf witht he red goopy stuff baked on top, and I didn’t like it at all.
You make an indentation along the top length of the loaf before baking and you put your red sauce/ketchup in this indentation so it gets baked in. Bake and slice. And after the meatloaf is sliced you provide brown gravy to put on top of the sliced meatloaf and the mashed potatos that go with.
Well, bacon, of course. Slap a couple strips right on top- when it’s done, the meatloaf is done. Mmmm, bacon. If there is some national tragedy where bacon is not available, then I’ll take red sauce, grudgingly.
Anyway, I googled it. It was what I was thinking of. So yes, I have had meatloaf with ketchup. I remember thinking it was weird. Like…hamburger, but without all of the other parts to the burger. Why would anyone do that anyway, when you can take the same meat and have an actual burger?
No. Meatloaf is hamburger mixed with other stuff to make the meat go further. Usually crackers or bread crumbs in my part of the world, with various spices and options. If we had a Dopefest at Rand’s house and he served it, I suspect it would be excellent, since he appears to be a meatloaf fan and would know how to do it right. If we went out and ordered it at somewhere like Picadilly Cafeteria, or even Cracker Barrel, it would likely be edible. If we went to somewhere like a hospital cafeteria…well…I would not be ordering meatloaf.