Meatball mania across America
February 27th, 2012
10:00 AM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

No doubt, the weather has been pretty weird lately. Someone’s even coined a genius label for it: Marchuary. We won’t get into any prospective causes here; instead, let’s talk about how to react when it’s technically February but feels like March.

Fashion-wise the answer is simple - wear ankle boots (you probably already have them on). Food-wise, there’s also an easy solution and that is to eat meatballs. Aren’t meatballs a terrific winter food, so comforting? But they're also perfect for spring - not as heavy as a stew or a big, fat burger.

Here then are some great places for meatballs nationwide. And happy Marchuary, everybody.


The Meatball Shop - New York City
Meatball specialists Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow now have three locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn for their cozy restaurant, that’s slogan is We Make Balls. The meatball options range from classic beef laced with ricotta to spicy pork and vegetable; you can choose the accompanying sauces like classic tomato or Parmesan cream. Holzman and Chernow tend to think broadly: you can have smashed balls, balls on top of your salad and naked balls. Maybe this makes you to think of some good punch lines; if so, there’s a place to submit ball jokes on the Meatball Shop website.
 
Marabella Meatball Co. - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
If meatballs makes you think Jersey Shore, consider Marabella. So far, MMCO’s only location is Philadelphia, where you can build a sandwich like beef, pork and veal meatballs with marinara sauce and aged provolone. Toppings like prosciutto and broccoli rabe are $1 extra. But owner Judy Marabella's family owns the Jersey Shore's Marabella Family restaurant, where they serve meatballs on several of their pastas. So maybe, just maybe, an MMCO branch will open at the Jersey Shore if the eponymous show’s cast members “want” new jobs.
 
Meatballs - Washington, D.C. 
(No website yet, but they will shortly, they say – ph: 202.393.1083)
Star chef Michel Richard's says his new spot in the Penn Quarter was inspired by his mother’s budget cooking in postwar France: she’d make garlicky pork and potato meatballs for her five kids. Presumably Richard’s mother was not serving the meatballs he is now featuring, which include flavors like lamb, crab and lentil, served in a grinder, over pasta or as part of a platter and sauced with options like Tandoori. Since the word “meatball’ seems to bring out the 13-year-old in all male chefs, note the restaurant’s signage (‘balls’, written really, really big). 
 
Moochie's Meatballs & More! - Salt Lake City, Utah
“We put meatballs on everything!!” says owner Joanna Rendi. Indeed. You can get their meatballs atop spaghetti, macaroni salad, Mediterranean salad (“It may sound weird, but it's a really great salad!”), potato salad (“It's what we eat in the back!”) or chicken Parmesan salad. Or you can transform their handmade meatball sandwich into an “atomic meatball” with the addition of feta cheese and jalapeño sauce. Unlike most meatball places, this one shares space with a ceramics store, Circle Pottery Gift Shop; Rendi’s husband is a potter).
 
Haulin Balls - Las Vegas, Nevada 
Any meatball lover who’s ever looked longingly through the pages of a muscle car magazine, get ready to have your mind blown. Haulin Balls is a Vegas food truck with a trompe l'oeil image of a full-size black muscle car detailed on the side. Wait there’s more: The car is adorned with flames. Haulin Balls offers 5 “ballwiches”: pulled pork; ground beef; and Thai-style turkey with lemongrass, ginger, cilantro; lamb and tzatziki. There’s also - wait for it - the rotating "blue ball special."

More from Food & Wine:

50 Best Bars in America

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.

America's Best Doughnuts

Meatball Recipes

Best Fried Chicken in the U.S.

© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Don

    Is that meatball covered in blood, because the person that's eating it looks like a vampire.

    February 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  2. Torio

    Meatballs are awesome. If you're looking for a good meatball restaurant in the San Diego area, check out the Cafasso Meat Ball Company, it's fantastic.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  3. m&m

    I'm a huge meatball fan! I even named my blog after them, http://meatballsandmilkshakes.com! My favorites right now are my tuna meatballs...

    February 27, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  4. jj

    Where is the mania she was talking about? So some restaurants serve meatballs. Not exactly a mania.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  5. Joe

    What good is an article like this without recipes?

    February 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  6. momof4

    shes so tired and hungry from not eating any souls all day

    February 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  7. calmo

    I thought this was going to be about the generous selection of both beef and turkey meatballs in the frozen food section. The beef meatballs make it wonderfully easy to come up with a a meal of spaghetti, or meatball stew, or gravy and meatballs. If you frequent potlucks, take a 5-quart Crockpot filled with gravy and meatballs, with a large companion dish of mashed potatoes, and they'll pull a disappearing act like you wouldn't believe.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  8. Sam

    Spaghetti looks better than the meatballs.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  9. rhobere

    I was hoping this was about the movie Meatball about the alien at summer camp. but real meatballs are good too I suppose.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  10. KCfoodie

    The Magical Meatball is a partnership between two great chefs here in Kansas City. The meatballs are fantastic, the owners have a great sense of humor with their naming conventions for the meatballs and very creative minds when its comes to the types of meatballs they offer. Their food truck has gotten so popular that they now have regular features at the Czar Bar.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  11. Glastonbury John

    Yesterday, I made lamb and goatcheese meatballs. Awesome!

    February 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  12. City of brotherless love

    Meatballs and Philly go hand-in-hand. You can find them at any local sporting event behaving badly, their forte.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  13. Molly

    Herbs Meatball Sandwich in SF. Long gone but not forgotten

    February 27, 2012 at 10:59 am | Reply
  14. Claire

    Vegetarian? Try these tasty black bean and roasted butternut "meatballs"

    http://outoftheordinaryfood.com/2012/01/09/roasted-butternut-and-black-bean-kofta/

    Easy to make and very tasty!

    February 27, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
  15. JPopNC

    In Sweden, they serve meatballs along with mashed potatoes and gravy. Absolutely delicious!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 9:32 am | Reply

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