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Apr 1, 2009 06:17 AM

Spaghetti and meatballs

It seems like not that many restaurants do spaghetti and meatballs anymore but I'm craving it for my birthday dinner, any recs?

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  1. Mamma Martino's on the Queensway. Non pretentious good homey stuff.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ebay3392

      Mamma Martino's on the Queensway????

      NOOOOOOO! Stay away!!!

      I tasted/nibbled the watery sauce, powdery pasta and dry/cardboard meatball and pushed the plate away. A can of spaghetti/meatball from a corner variety store would be an improvement tenfold.

      1. re: 5andman

        Second that! Mamma Martino's is the WORST!!! I've lived 2 blocks away from it for the last four years, and I've only been once in that time. Enough said.

        Not too far away from the dreaded Mamma Martino's is Il Paesano, on Brown's Line - real classic Italian resto feel, great retro spag and balls:

        1. re: redearth

          Mamma Martino's in definitely awful.

          But for some reason, and I don't mean this sarcastically, I get in the mood for mushy spaghetti and meatballs full of filler. If this is your bag, Mamma Martino's is for you. Sometimes, for some odd reason, I kinda crave it, even though I know it's a horribly crafted mess. Maybe it's because it is as ebay3392 says… homey. Which is nice, even if it is sometimes not up to snuff.

          Quattro Ragazze makes really good food. I find they overdo it with the tomato sauce a little, and I've had better tomato sauce in this city to be sure, but they really care at QR, and I admire that. Their carbonara is a gift from sweet Jeebus. My stars is it ever good.

    2. Quattro 4 Ragazze on Danforth Ave has spaghetti and meatballs on the menu.

      2 Replies
      1. re: foodyDudey

        Second vote for Quattro Ragazze. Great "red sauce Italian". Shows up best in the spaghetti and meatballs and their awesome sandwiches which are among the best bargains in the city.

        1. re: foodyDudey

          I'm a big fan of spaghetti and meatballs -- been one of my fave meals since I was a kid. So, a friend and I tried Quattro 4 Ragazze, based on the reccs here. Have to say, it was really disappointing.
          The breaded artichokes were greasy, oily and over salted. It looked like they pulled artichokes out of a can, and then tossed burnt, greasy breadcrumbs on top. Totally not what we were expecting.
          We then ordered the spaghetti and meatballs, and a veal panini. The S&M was under-sauced. There were 4 meatballs embedded in the pasta -- and when you pulled them out, discovered it was actually 2 meatballs cut in half. So, 2 over-salted meatballs on a bed of undersauced pasta for $11. No thanks. Not good enough. Nowhere good enough.
          The veal panini looked good -- very generous portion. Sauce and cheese were good. Veal was very over-cooked. Tough meat, overly chewy. It was as if they had an old piece of veal on hand, and just nuked it to serve it. The breading was more salt than coating. The meat was tough and altogether unsatisfying.
          Didn't take anything home in a doggie bag -- even my dog wouldn't eat any of this food.

        2. Hi Ziggy,

          I'm a fan of the spaghetti and meatballs at Olympic Pizza as their sauce has a very fresh taste and is not too heavy and I really think their meatballs are quite tasty as well . . . It's located on Gloucester Street just east of Yonge street . . . I think the place gives you a pretty good bang for the buck as far as value goes . . . I think the spaghetti and meatballs will run about 11 bucks and will include a salad that is a decent size and if you want you can make it a greek salad for 1.50 extra . . . Their lasagna and pizzas are also pretty good as well . . . If you get the greek salad and the pasta you will not leave hungry that is for sure! . . . I also find their staff very friendly as well . . .

          Enjoy and have a Happy Birthday,


          12 Replies
          1. re: snackboy

            Cheers Snackboy and the others for your recs. Actually SB I've been to Olympic 76 for their pizza and I love it. I've been tempted to try their pasta but haven't taken the plunge yet.
            Just for the sake of getting out of the hood, I think we're going to give Quattro Ragazze a go.

            1. re: ziggystardust

              Not sure if this happened already, but I'd also put in a vote for Paul's Spaghetti - also east end.

              Paul's Spaghetti
              488 Cosburn Ave, Toronto, ON M4J2N5, CA

              1. re: ziggystardust

                No sweat Ziggy . . . Let us know what you think about Quattro Ragazze . . . I might check it out myself as you said. . . It's good to venture out of the hood . . . Next time your at Olympic. . . give the pasta a try they are pretty decent . . . I tend to stick to the red sauce so can't comment on the cream sauces . . . I know their lasagna is really very good IMO . . .



                1. re: snackboy

                  I wouldn't consider Quattro Ragazze a place worthy of a special trip although they're great for certain items (ie panini) for us in the neighbourhood. If you do go, try the breaded artichokes app -- delicious.

                  Mind you, I haven't had the spaghetti & meatballs, they probably have a farily good version, since they're old school.

                  1. re: JamieK

                    JamieK......what's this about 'breaded artichokes'??? Do I make a special trip for these? Even Roma doesn't make these and you know that's our favourite 'down home' Italian share please...

                    1. re: pearlD

                      Yes, Roma, haven't been there for a long time but always had only the pizza there, which was delicious.

                      The only reason I tried the breaded artichokes at Quattro was because of previous posts here recommending it (yet again why this site is fantastic) and that was the first and only time I've had breaded artichokes. They came piping hot. Delicious.

                      Don't think Quattro is worth a special trip from another part of town, but just saying, if you do make the trip, consider the breaded artichokes.

                      1. re: JamieK

                        The breaded artichokes and the spaghetti and meatballs are both good at QR.

                    2. re: JamieK

                      JamieK, the spaghetti and meatballs at Quattro Ragazze is okay, but not great and not trip-worthy.

                      1. re: Googs

                        Had it last week. Portion was large, sauce was better than average and the meatballs were somewhere on the line between Ok to good. They were too finely minced and dry for my peculiar taste.

                        Now my SOs Panini (eggplant) was more than a meal, and she really enjoyed it. I think that's because it carries with it an air of healthy living.

                        They are of Sicilian roots, so my SO is paisan. Quite a friendly place.

                        All in all, enjoyed it, especially at that price point. Incidentally Googs, we are by Coxwell and O'Connor, where art thou?

                        1. re: Paulustrious

                          Googs is somewhere down around Corktown, I believe.

                          I, on the other hand, live within three blocks of Quattro Ragazze, although haven't been for a long while now. Lazy as we are, we tend to order delivery during the winter months. And if I go out locally, it will likely be to Melanie's Bistro.

                          1. re: JamieK

                            I am down and around Corktown. Spooky, JamieK. If I want Sicilian, there's only one place: Fusilli when Giuseppe's in the house.

                2. re: snackboy

                  my firend's parents used to own this joint years ago. I've always been curious who the new owners are? The old owners i used to know used to do a kimchee pizza (they're korean) but dunno if that still on the off-menu.

                  They also did a mean spaghetti and meatballs back then. If the current owners are using the same recipe then i'd definetely recommend it.

                3. Regina Trattoria on College

                  1. Your birthday might have passed but Autogrill on Eglinton near Avenue Rd. makes delicious spaghetti and meatballs. It's more of a rustic/authentic version than a red sauce North American take, and the portion was really quite small (some would say too small!) but very tasty. Might have been the bolognese, I can't remember for certain. But if meatballs weren't in the dish I might have requested them and it was no problem. Memory is foggy, but I remember it was damn good.