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Feb 14, 2001 09:31 AM

Meatball Sub

  • s

I have a hankering for a Hot Meatball Hero/Sub. Does anyone have a favorite with tasty meatballs and loads of gooey sauce and cheese?

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  1. One word: DiFara's.

    6 Replies
      1. re: Elaine

        What a sad state of affairs that a question like this isn't deluged with replies. Clearly, this is not the same city that I grew up in.

        That said, I don't know how much I have to add. I -still- haven't been to DiFara's (I know, I KNOW), but I'm quite willing to believe it is truly the best.

        But, for me at least, a meatball hero is a particulary situational food: a sudden craving, something you want to bring home and eat in front of the television. Proximity matters.

        When I lived in Williamsburg about four years ago, Driggs Pizza had an exemplary meatball hero, but Jim recently mentioned that the old cook left a while back. No idea what effect that's had on hero quality, but might be worth looking into.

        Right now, trapped in the East Village (not for much longer, though!), I rely on Five Roses to deal with my meatball hero needs. It's probably not something I would travel for, but it's definitely the best in the immediate area.

        I'd love to hear other's favorite "locals." That is, assuming other people besides me still eat meatball heroes.

        1. re: Steven Stern
          Chris Armstrong

          I used to like Catene (sp?) at 4th Avenue and 9th Street in Park Slope back when I lived there. Nice multi-meat, bread-crumby, parmagian-y meatballs on fresh bread.

          I reckon that the best of them are produced on Long Island (or Staten Island, maybe). Just one of those L.I. foods, like "breakfast specials"--two fried eggs, bacon, and american cheese on a roll w/ salt, pepper, ketchup.

          Out of curiosity, where are you moving to, Steven?


          1. re: Chris Armstrong


            I'll defintitely check out the 4th Ave. spot--thanks for the suggestion.

            As to where I'm moving...good question. I'm still looking, hoping to end up in Sunset Park. So if anybody knows of a good deal on a 1-bedroom (40s or 50s btwn. 8th & 5th Aves. preferred) or a trustworthy broker, I'd love to hear about it.

            Sorry to get off topic, but I think a nice place to live is definitely my most powerful Craving these days!


          2. re: Steven Stern

            I enjoy the meatball heros at Pomodoro Pizza, on Mulberry and Spring. Also the potato and egg heros at Rocky's across the street.

            1. re: Jeremy Osner

              The quest for a great local - and by local I'm willing to say anything on the island of Manhattan - sub has been a source of great disappointment to me. I've not tried Five Roses, but have been so disappointed by the quality of their pizza (sauce and cheese) that I've been reluctant to try their other food....Do they take more care with the subs?

              I do urge anyone who cares about the sub genre - meatball, veal parm, eggplant parm - to make the trip to DiFara's. (I know it seems far away, but believe me once you go, you'll be thinking about moving to Midwood just to make it your local...) The meatballs are bursting with fresh herbs, the sauce garlicky w/ chunks of tomato, the bread delicious, and the cheese 1000% the real thing. The veal is an actual cooked-to-order veal cutlet - nary a pre-fab patty on the premises. These things are so good that I've never been able to bring myself to try the much ballyhooed pastas, b/c after all, there are many fine pasta establishments (including my own kitchen), but the subs are one-of-a-kind.

        2. Try Manganaro's Hero Boy, the sandwich place on 9th Ave at 39 th street, not the quaint "Managanaro's" grocery next door. (feuding brothers who own stores next door to each other.)

          The meatball heros are excellent, and if you get one with cheese, it'll be real mozzarella. The red "gravy", as we say, passes the test, too.

          1. Well I asked and all the replies made me hungry. had the day off yesterday so I jumped on the D train and got off at Avenue J. The mythical Difara's. Dominick was there and he's a real nice guy. Almost went for a slice but stayed true to course and had the meatball sub. It was tasty. The meatballs were great. They use fresh herbs and the good cheese. The bread didn't bowl me over but thats nit picking. They heat up the meatballs,sauce and cheese seperately and then stick it in a roll. I would have liked it all jammed together and then heated up so that the mass of goodness could become a true love machine. DiFara's -vini vidi vici...

            1 Reply
            1. re: SLAP

              Thats funny. The meatball report also made me hungry, and my wife and I too went out to brooklyn last night for a meatball sub and pizza (1 mushroom, 2 plain squares). Were you the guy sitting in the back at around 8:30 by any chance? Looked like another chowhound.

              I can't say that the meatballs were the best thing I've had there. Maybe its just not my thing. The pizza however, particularly the square, was fantastic as usual. I saw somebody's eggplant parmagiana, and it too looked fantastic. I'm going to give that a try next time.