At first blush the meatball seems like pretty basic fare. You take some ground meat – beef, pork, chicken, or maybe veal – roll it into a small ball, cook it up and it’s ready to go. But in the right hands the meatball can be elevated to a mouthwatering and savory morsel that is other worldly. With National Meatball Day right around the corner, it’s good to know there are plenty of masterful hands in Seattle rolling out the humble meatball and transforming them into delicious delights. Here are a few places to join others in the celebration.
LoPriore Bros. Pasta Bar
1530 Post Alley
Seattle, WA WA 98101
Belly up to the red Formica counter at LoPriore Bros. Pasta Bar and join fellow meatball lovers who know that this little stand tucked inside Pike Place Market is a slice of meatball sandwich heaven. The La Priore brothers set up their humble Italian eatery more than 25 years ago and have been serving up one of the best meatball sandwiches to hungry Market visitors ever since. Surrounded by farm fresh produce stands, a hearty meatball sandwich might seem like an elusive oasis in the desert. This sandwhich is the real deal. One bite into this meaty concoction and you’ll know why this Market favorite has so many repeat customers singing its praises.
309 3rd Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98104
www.salumicuredmeats.comEver since Armandino Batali, father to famed New York chef Mario Batali, set up this shop dedicated to artisan cured meats, lunch in Pioneer Square has never been the same. Drive by this tiny outpost during the lunch hour on any given day of the week and you will see a long line of fans queued up outside waiting for a chance to get their hands on one of the tastiest sandwiches in town. Salami, prosciutto, guanciale and pancetta are just a few choices that line the meat case. If you’re looking to celebrate National Meatball Day however, there’s no better way to do it than with the mouthwatering Leonetta’s Meatballs, whose secret recipe has been passed down through the generations. Or if you really want to go all out try Salumi’s tribute to the pig — porchetta that is butter flied and stuffed with meatballs and spices.
401 15th Ave. E.
Seattle, WA 98112
www.ethanstowellrestaurants.comFriends, Romans, countrymen lend me your ears. Head on over to Ethan Stowell’s Rione XIII for a time-honored, Roman inspired meatball. That’s right, Stowell has stacked his menu at Rione XIII with the simple, yet classic fare that gives a nod to the culinary pleasures of one very dynamic district stretched along the west bank of the Tiber river in Rome. Take a bite into one of these hearty meatballs with the classic touch of tomato, mozzarella and basil and you’ll half expect to stumble onto a narrow cobbled street lined by medieval houses when you leave the restaurant. Or if you’re looking for a change of scenery, Stowell’s other Italian joint in Belltown offers up a chicken meatball with white bean, spicy Pomodoro and basil. You know what they say, “When in Rome…”
121 Kirkland Ave.
Kirkland, Washington 98033
Hours: Mon – Sat 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sun 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Price: $12 – $13
If you can’t decide whether you want to celebrate National Meatball Day at lunch or dinner, then why do both? Fortunately, Volterra has all of your meatball needs in mind regardless of the time of day. This eatery has fast become a hot spot for those looking to satiate their Italian cravings on the eastside of Lake Washington. Swing by for lunch and settle in for the Lamb Meatball Hoagie. This isn’t just a couple of meatballs that have been sandwiched in between some bread. This hoagie stands out with house made Anderson Valley Ranch lamb meatballs, smothered in tomato sauce, olive chili relish, goat cream cheese, arugula and pickled vegetables. If that didn’t fill you up, stick around for dinner and order the Polpettine D’Angello con Zucca. This estimable meatball is made of lamb,adorns roasted spaghetti squash, and goat cheese cream all topped with Calabrian chilis and Castelvertrano olives.
St. Burien, WA 98166
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit down and spend time swapping stories over a meal with Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack? From the moment you step into Hey Paison! you would swear that you have been transported back to the Las Vegas of the 60′s when Frank, Dean and Sammy ruled the roost. This joint has red and white checker clothed tables, walls lined with photos of Sinatra and the gang and a never-ending soundtrack of some of Frank’s bests. Most importantly, Hey Paison! serves up their own version of the meatball hoagie. They hand roll the meatballs which are made from veal, pork and beef and soak in a homemade tomato gravy. They also offer up the “Goomba” hoagies with provolone and mozzarella. Just make sure you grab a few more napkins.
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Jenise Silva is a freelance writer in Seattle who has studied culinary, visual and performing arts. She penned the financial planning guide Women & Money, and has been writing about food and the arts for a number of years. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.