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Meatballs by Michel Richard

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Elyssa Oct 18, 2011 07:33 AM

This just in....Michel Richard will be opening a casual meatball themed restaurant in Penn Quarter called Meatballs.

This place sounds incredible!!! I just hope they are able to maintain the creativity and quality of Richard's other restaurants.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10...

Mmmmmmm meatball sub on garlic bread!

  1. h
    hamster Jul 13, 2012 06:41 PM

    So, Meatballs closed! Noticed today when I was in Chinatown.
    http://dc.eater.com/archives/2012/07/...

    1 Reply
    1. re: hamster
      biscuit Jul 13, 2012 08:40 PM

      I went once a few weeks ago and it was seriously one of the worst meals I've ever had. And the concept was a complete disaster. Good riddance. Hope something better take its place.

    2. g
      Garlic Guy Nov 11, 2011 10:18 AM

      I went over to Meatballs for lunch today, on the theory that it might not be very crowded due to the holiday. I went early and had to wait less than a minute before placing my order. I also had no trouble finding a seat, but a few large groups came in as I was eating, and it was clear that many of them were not going to be sitting any time soon.

      Since it was my first visit, I decided to stick with the classics: the classic (beef) meatballs, on pasta, with marinara sauce. The four meatballs were small (I'd say slightly larger than a golf ball), but very good. Something about the marinara sauce combined with the pasta didn't hit me quite right; the sauce seemed a little thin and not very well seasoned, and the pasta and sauce combination felt a lot like something my junior high school cafeteria would have served. Again, though, the meatballs were great.

      They serve some free sides, which oddly include Fritos, served separately in a small bowl. I hadn't had Fritos in a decade or two, so that's what I picked.

      Overall, I thought the meal was fine, but I do think it's a little expensive for what you get. My four small meatballs with pasta, free Fritos, and a fountain drink cost me $12.41. It's not going to break the bank or anything, but I doubt this place will earn a regular spot in the lunch restaurant rotations of people who go to places like Merzi for a decent lunch at something like two thirds the price.

      -----
      Merzi
      415 7th St NW, Washington, DC, DC 20004

      1. r
        Ronin56109 Nov 10, 2011 10:50 AM

        Just got back from lunch there.

        The place is, obviously, quite packed, with a line curling throughout the restaurant.

        By the time I got to the counter, they had run out of the "classic" (i.e. beef meatballs), so I ordered lamb instead. I was more hungry than "adventurous," so I opted to forgo the crab option. I should note that by the time I left, a truck had pulled up with a new supply of beef.

        In any case, my order was fairly standard: lamb on a grinder, with marina and provolone. For a side I got their "spuddies" (i.e. tater tots). Other sauce options included Al Fredo, Mushroom, and Tandoori, though apparently they didn't have the latter for the day.

        To begin, I thought the lamb was very good; not too much breading, and the seasoning was not overdone. Overall, very tender. The bread was also surprisingly good, though there was perhaps too much of it considering the grinder gets 4 balls, and they aren't terribly large. The marina was fairly typical, perhaps a bit on the sweeter side. In terms of sides, the tater tots were also typical, perhaps even too soggy.

        All in all, when the place calms down a bit, I'll likely return. Not bad at all, if it is a little bit pricey for lunch.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Ronin56109
          e
          Elyssa Nov 10, 2011 11:32 AM

          The thing I'm most interested in is the garlic bread for the sandwich bread...did you get that or the regular bread?

          1. re: Elyssa
            r
            Ronin56109 Nov 10, 2011 12:27 PM

            I was tempted to get the garlic bread, but then I had guilt pangs over calories.

            Regardless, the woman in front of me ordered garlic bread for her grinder. From the looks of it, it's the same bread, but with a garlic/butter spread on the inside of the loaves. The bread itself doesn't look to be baked or prepared any differently, and it certainly isn't basted/coated in it.

        2. e
          Elyssa Nov 9, 2011 05:25 AM

          Ok enough about how the neighbors are annoyed....when is this place opening!?!?!

          4 Replies
          1. re: Elyssa
            m
            mdpilam Nov 9, 2011 08:26 AM

            1pm.

            http://dc.eater.com/archives/2011/11/...

            1. re: Elyssa
              a
              ahack Nov 9, 2011 08:41 AM

              All you had to do was ask!

              1. re: ahack
                r
                Ronin56109 Nov 9, 2011 01:39 PM

                Blah, it's right by my office, so I was looking forward to going there for lunch.

                However, they still weren't open.

                The link provided actually has an update: the Health Inspector never showed up.

                1. re: Ronin56109
                  m
                  mdpilam Nov 10, 2011 08:30 AM

                  Opened last night (officially), but looks like it isn't "quite" Richard's balls...

                  http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/bl...

            2. d
              drake0388 Oct 26, 2011 05:20 PM

              I cannot comment on the food obviously- I do not even think they are open. However I do have a few friends that live near where the restaurant is located and I can tell you that many of the neighbors are not happy about this place. They seem to feel that the outside of the place has a tacky/cheesy appearance. For one it says BALLS in huge letters on the front window and main wall inside. And the bigger issue seems to be that there is a large fluorescent sign above the place shining pink light into nearby windows and such. I believe there was a post about it on PQ Living Blog.

              I really wonder though if this is going to be a hit or not though for a variety of reasons. I somewhat do not understand why someone like Michel Richard would want to open a meatball fast food place. I'm also not sure a fast place like that will really be a hit in that location. Who knows, I guess time will tell.

              3 Replies
              1. re: drake0388
                monkeyrotica Oct 27, 2011 05:20 AM

                I'm reminded of the people who moved into condos on 17th Street and were shocked to find noisy bars and restaurants on 18th Street. It's not like Penn Quarter is the darkest, most subdued neighborhood.

                1. re: drake0388
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                  Elyssa Oct 27, 2011 10:56 AM

                  Their design choice is truly odd. Prince of Petworth had some pictures up and it does say BALLS all over the restaurant. haha

                  1. re: drake0388
                    l
                    lilkimbo Oct 27, 2011 01:49 PM

                    I'll agree that the design choices are odd, but why wouldn't a "fast place" be popular in that area? The area has tons of fast casual places that are always packed (Luke's Lobster Shack, Merzi, Choptle, Chop't, etc.) I think it's a great area for those types of restaurants because there are office buildings nearby, so you get daytime crowds and there are condo/apartment buildings nearby, so you get evening crowds. And it's not as if every single restaurant, be it fast food or sitdown, isn't packed before more popular events at the Verizon Center.

                    -----
                    Merzi
                    415 7th St NW, Washington, DC, DC 20004

                  2. woodleyparkhound Oct 25, 2011 07:22 AM

                    More...

                    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10...

                    1. woodleyparkhound Oct 18, 2011 08:58 AM

                      This sounds very exciting. Anything by Michel Richard in that price range and in that neighborhood is something I'm dying to try!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: woodleyparkhound
                        agarnett100 Oct 18, 2011 09:58 AM

                        Meatballs will offer a family-style takeout plan: On Sunday nights, the spot will offer a full Sunday dinner for 8 to 10 people. Exact prices are still being sorted out, but roughly $79.99 will get you a stock pot -- Thats a cool concept

                        I sounds like an interesting little spot have to wait for the actual menu

                      2. monkeyrotica Oct 18, 2011 07:49 AM

                        "Prices will range between $6.99 and $9.99."

                        Are $10 meatballs the new $5 cupcakes? MAYBE!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: monkeyrotica
                          ClevelandDave Oct 18, 2011 08:41 AM

                          Well at least it isn't another hamburger place...or are meatballs just hamburgers that are round???

                          1. re: ClevelandDave
                            monkeyrotica Oct 18, 2011 09:00 AM

                            You got it. I predict meatball "sliders" on brioche, three for $18.

                          2. re: monkeyrotica
                            e
                            Elyssa Oct 18, 2011 09:05 AM

                            I imagine the basic meat with tomato sauce on a bun won't be $10. They have different sauces and meats including lamb and morel mushroom sauce...those are higher quality ingredients and surely deserve a higher pricing system.

                            Plus this is Michel Richard---$10 is not all that bad. And I agree with ClevelandDave...thank God it's not another burger joint. I think this is a fun, creative idea that will hopefully be crazy delicious!

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