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Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

santoku71 Aug 30, 2008 06:24 AM

Looking for a mom and pop italian restaurant with really good spaghetti and meatballs. I find most italian restaurants don't even serve it and if they do, it's really bad. Anyone have any suggestions?

  1. JamieK Aug 30, 2008 08:12 AM

    You'd probably get more interesting responses if you asked for people's favourite spaghetti & meatballs. With so many Italian restos in this city, who can say which has the best.

    Whereabouts in the city are you looking? On the Danforth, Quattro Ragazze is family owned/operated and has spaghetti & meatballs on the menu. I haven't had it but everything else I've tried there has been really good.
    http://www.europe-planet.com/index.php

    -----
    Quattro 4 Ragazze
    1792 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1H8, CANADA

    5 Replies
    1. re: JamieK
      p
      Pincus Aug 30, 2008 08:47 AM

      I quite enjoy Quattro Ragazze's spaghetti and meatballs. It's one of my standby dishes there.

      1. re: Pincus
        r
        rsvp7777 Aug 30, 2008 09:52 AM

        Another shout out for Quattro Ragazze. The closest thing to the neighborhood "red sauce" restos in NYC that I grew up with that I've been able to find here. Their sandwiches are the real bargain and treat but the pastas are all darn good as well.

        1. re: rsvp7777
          s
          szw Aug 30, 2008 03:42 PM

          I live right around the corner but haven't really ever walked down danforth in that direction (just to shoppers)...I'll be sure to check it out sometime soon.

      2. re: JamieK
        l
        lostintdot Oct 20, 2009 02:29 PM

        The Spaghetti and meatballs are delicious, my husband tried the lasagna and said it was good as well. The sauces were made from scratch.

        -----
        Quattro 4 Ragazze
        1792 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1H8, CANADA

        1. re: JamieK
          Googs Oct 24, 2009 07:53 AM

          Quattro Ragazze's version isn't good anymore.

        2. Rudiger Aug 30, 2008 08:46 AM

          I've always been a huge fan of Gamberoni. It certainly has the 'mom and pop' feel, what with the checkerboard table clothes and their tomato sauce and meatballs are both fresh and flavourful. Mmhmm. The prices are quite reasonable too. If I'm not mistaken, an order runs around 13$.

          Also, if you happen to visit on a night where the osso bucco is offered (and not sold out), it's in your best interests to try it.

          -----
          Gamberoni
          3238 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4N, CA

          1. s
            smr714 Aug 31, 2008 08:10 AM

            Paul's spaghetti house on (i belive it is on) cosburn is good too.

            1. f
              FresserGuy Oct 20, 2009 04:22 PM

              I've been a few times recently to 7 numbers on Eglinton and ordered their polpette (home made meatballs with cheese in the middle) and a side of their linguine with rapini in a home made tomato sauce (more like olive oil and roasted tomatoes). Anyway, the combination is fabulous, so if you crave pasta with meatballs, I'd highly recommend it :)

              1. t
                Toronto Fastfoodie Oct 21, 2009 12:32 PM

                Ok. Super-old school and really just for takeout, but my absolute favorite for crazy good spaghetti & meatballs is Commisso Bros.

                For sit down my family really likes Paisano's on Willowdale just north of Sheppard. It has been around forever but is great.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie
                  Googs Oct 24, 2009 07:54 AM

                  Bingo. Commisso Bros. Now that's Italian.

                2. m
                  mysterydvr Oct 21, 2009 06:22 PM

                  Neighborhood spaghetti & Meatballs about $12 also pizza excellent. On Gloucester just east of Yonge.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mysterydvr
                    p
                    Pincus Oct 22, 2009 01:18 PM

                    Is this Olympic 76 or somewhere else?

                  2. m
                    Mitzimouse Oct 22, 2009 05:42 PM

                    I love the S & M at Cranberries at Parliament and Wellesley. This is my standby, I'm too tired to cook, place where it feels you have a homemade meal waiting for you. The Tuesday night special is the spag 'n' 'balls. It is a very generous portion with LOTS of meatballs floating in a tasty red MEAT sauce. Yuuuum! Also, you get two side pieces of garlic bread - all for $9.99 - a steal. Have a tasty Greek salad to start -- order the small and share because it's definitely enough for two. They have nice tartuffo to finish off but detour Italia and have the apple crumble with ice cream...sigh...divine!

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Mitzimouse
                      h
                      hungryabbey Oct 22, 2009 06:07 PM

                      Ive driven by this place so many times and have never gone in. What else do you recommend there?

                      1. re: hungryabbey
                        m
                        Mitzimouse Oct 22, 2009 07:30 PM

                        That's exactly what we used to do and then finally, curiosity got the better of us. This is our homestyle cheap and cheerful. The guy actually trained at the cordon bleu but the haute French didn't fly in the area. Instead, he turned it into a, for lack of a better term, sportsbar and it took off like gangsters. Mixed crowd, artsy, gay, yuppie and everything in between. It's our place where everybody knows our names now.

                        OK, on to the food: Siva, the cook, makes excellent soups which are an embarrassingly low 3.99. Sweet potato fries to die for. Fab wings. There's always a daily special, for example, new york strip and a caesar salad for 10.99 - the salad is excellent and he uses real bacon, not the fakon. pastas are all good and I like the lamb curry every now and again. I think in all the yrs we've been going there, only 2 misses, a soup I didn't care for and the ribs which, in spite of being a garlic lover, were too garlicky. Oh, and speaking of soups, in the winter, the manager Ruth, has instructions to phone us for a "beef barley alert" my absolute favourite soup of his.

                        Really, try it. You won't be disappointed.

                        1. re: Mitzimouse
                          h
                          hungryabbey Oct 22, 2009 07:43 PM

                          wow, Im really surprised. I will definitely give it a try and let you know! They have a pretty extensive menu. As a nacho fan, I must ask, have you tried them?

                          1. re: hungryabbey
                            m
                            Mitzimouse Oct 23, 2009 11:06 PM

                            Haven't tried the nachos believe it or not. I will wait for your report!

                        2. re: hungryabbey
                          Googs Oct 24, 2009 07:56 AM

                          hungryabbey, I find the quality at Cranberries to be commensurate with the prices. In other words, if you go there looking for great food you'll be disappointed. If you go knowing that you'll get good bang for your buck, you won't be.

                          1. re: Googs
                            h
                            hungryabbey Oct 24, 2009 06:41 PM

                            Thats all I can really ask for when wanting something "cheap and cheerful". Its just good to know theres a nearby alternative when HoP is packed and I dont feel like waiting.

                      2. y
                        Yum2MyTum Oct 23, 2009 07:13 AM

                        Never tried the spaghetti but Gio Rana's (the Nose) in Leslieville makes a WICKED meatball.

                        -----
                        Gio Rana's
                        1220 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1L7, CA

                        1. Davedigger Oct 23, 2009 11:51 AM

                          I've yet to find fabulous spagetti & meatballs at a restaurant. So, if my neighbour hasn't hooked me up with some of his awesome homemade, then I buy the Roman brand "Italian Survival Kit" at my local Sobeys.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: Davedigger
                            Googs Oct 24, 2009 07:58 AM

                            Davedigger, please tell me more about this "Italian Survival Kit".

                            1. re: Googs
                              jayt90 Oct 24, 2009 01:47 PM

                              This appeared to be good, so I went looking for it at Sobey's. No luck.

                              Found a box (2 lb of meatballs and sauce) at Highland Farms, $5. on special no less.
                              It comes from Niagara Falls, Ont., and really seems to be a local product that is looking for wider exposure. The ingredient list is real, not a chemistry lesson, and the nutrition label has a lot to offer.

                              I'll probably have it with macaroni, (I have a surplus) and added sauce and cheese, although there is quite a bit of ungreasy sauce in the tray.

                              1. re: jayt90
                                d
                                Danybear Oct 24, 2009 07:37 PM

                                After reading this thread, and beginning to salivate over S+M, went to Cranberries, even tho my friend had been there previously, and thought it was some what scuzzy.
                                So glad I did, It's a neighbourhood pub/restaurant, where the staff seems to know everyone whoo has been there before. Nice decor, friendly, but slow service. They apparently haven't served S+M for at least two years, so settled on the Parmesan Chicken Breast with Alfredo Linguine. I know it was late, and I was very hungry, but the food was quite delicious. The extremely HOT garlic bread keeps the vampires away for miles!! The key lime pie and Mango cheesecake didn't live up to rest of th efood, even though our waiter promised it would be good, "because its made in Scarborough (????)

                                All in all a rather unexpectedly nice meal.

                                -----
                                Red Cranberries Restaurant
                                601 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M4X1P9, CA

                                1. re: Danybear
                                  h
                                  hungryabbey Oct 24, 2009 07:52 PM

                                  really? no one has ordered the meatballs in over 2 years? strange.

                                  1. re: hungryabbey
                                    CeeQueue Oct 24, 2009 09:24 PM

                                    It was mentioned that it's a Tuesday night special. I wonder if the server meant that it isn't on the menu, but doesn't work Tuesdays so forgot about the special? Or maybe the poster hasn't been there in awhile for the S&M.

                                    1. re: CeeQueue
                                      m
                                      Mitzimouse Oct 25, 2009 12:01 AM

                                      Yes, it is, indeed, the Tuesday night special. Had it last week and really hit the spot.

                                  2. re: Danybear
                                    h
                                    hungryabbey Oct 25, 2009 03:46 PM

                                    I stopped in tonight for an early bite and was also pretty impressed. By 5:40 the place was full! Seems like a real neighbourhood gem. We had the fried pickles (I had to have these, they were very good), nachos (chili on top was good but chips were pretty stale, maybe an off day?), T-bone steak special (13.99$!!) was amazing for the price and the beef brisket sandwich with sweet potato fries (fries were perfectly crispy, beef was pretty tough). All in all, however, the atmosphere is really charming, the service was great (mature servers who actually know what they're doing), great prices and a pretty extensive menu. I will definitely be back, thanks for the tip!

                                  3. re: jayt90
                                    jayt90 Oct 25, 2009 10:47 AM

                                    I tried Roman's Italian Survival Meat Balls and sauce today. This was OK, good for the price and easy to make in a few minutes. You get 12 meatballs, 1.5", and fairly soft without flavor, plus a good tomato sauce.
                                    The spaghetti and meatballs I made was bland and soft, and needs to be spruced up with herbs, S&P, and grated cheese.
                                    It is convenient, and at $5 a package, one of the few frozen comfort packages I would keep on hand.

                                    1. re: jayt90
                                      f
                                      FrankD Oct 25, 2009 11:07 AM

                                      I tried the Roman brand meat lasagna a couple of months ago, and now have two boxes (about 2 kg each) in the freezer for the cold winter nights that are coming (like next week?!). Tasty, inexpensive, and quick to prepare.

                                      But to get back to the original topic - I've given up on spaghetti out. Most of the top end places don't serve it, with or without meatballs. They seem to prefer penne or orchiette or linquine - any shape but spaghetti or macaroni. And the lower end places.. I can't place a finger on it, but the pasta seems both thicker and more watery than when I make it at home, and the meat sauces can't hold a candle to what we make on the stove.

                                      But my darling daughter is the only non-Italian on her soccer team, so I'll ask her to ask her teammates, and get back to everyone!

                                  4. re: Googs
                                    Davedigger Oct 25, 2009 06:55 PM

                                    jayt90 seems to have covered it. Real ingredients and VERY tasty. Their lasagna's are good too.

                                2. Restaurant Dish Oct 30, 2009 02:30 PM

                                  Had spaghetti and meatballs special not too long ago at Grano. While I like this restaurant very much for a neihourhoody spot, they missed the mark on this one. The sauce was too 'fresh' tasting, ie. I was looking for a more 'meaty' flavour to the sauce and a bit too tomato-chunky. Meatballs were very forgettable.

                                  Now, if you're every craving a Carbonara....I've had an excellent version here. Sorry I couldn't recommend, but at least you won't have to go through eating it now.

                                  -----
                                  Grano
                                  2035 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S2A2, CA

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