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Favorite places for meatballs..

andee Sep 16, 2013 04:51 PM

Just read a Tasting Table article that recommended Bi-Rite market for theirs.Any other input for favorites would be appreciated as we are meatball addicts.

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    madfoot RE: andee Sep 16, 2013 05:17 PM

    my house

    Emmy's Spaghetti Shack

    1. Robert Lauriston RE: andee Sep 16, 2013 05:27 PM

      A16, Pizzaiolo, Tony's, Rotten City

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        pauliface RE: Robert Lauriston Oct 1, 2013 05:37 PM

        +1 for A16.

        It's been a few years since I had them (never get to that neighborhood anymore) but they were memorable.

      2. Melanie Wong RE: andee Sep 16, 2013 05:29 PM

        Zare at Fly Trap, Meatball Mondays --- While I guess we won't see a return of the foie gras-stuffed ones, there's a special surprise each week.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Melanie Wong
          lakemerritter RE: Melanie Wong Sep 17, 2013 11:20 AM

          Just checking to make sure this was covered!

          1. re: lakemerritter
            Melanie Wong RE: lakemerritter Sep 22, 2013 03:57 PM

            What's your favorite kofta tabrizi there? Thought I'd be more specific to type . . . Zare's are kofta tabrizi made with finely ground/pounded meat, huge in size, and filled.

        2. o
          OliverB RE: andee Sep 16, 2013 07:33 PM

          Tony's Napoletana's meatballs gigante with wild mushroom pancetta robiola = number one best in the city!

          1 Reply
          1. re: OliverB
            marilees RE: OliverB Sep 22, 2013 03:46 PM

            Another vote for Tony's!

          2. Ruth Lafler RE: andee Sep 16, 2013 08:25 PM

            Maybe we can make meatballs the dish of the month next month. I was inspired to nominate them by the insanely delicious meatballs at New World Market on Geary.

            15 Replies
            1. re: Ruth Lafler
              Dave MP RE: Ruth Lafler Sep 17, 2013 11:20 AM

              Argh, I wish you had posted this on Sunday. I was just at New World Market for the first time on Sunday evening and would have totally bought meatballs. We bought some frozen pierogi (from Ontario, Canada) which were good!

              1. re: Dave MP
                Ruth Lafler RE: Dave MP Sep 17, 2013 02:25 PM

                LOL. If meatballs had been the dish of the month, you already would have heard all about them!

                The meatballs are a hidden treasure, too. When they have them (two out of three times I've looked for them), they're in the small serve-your-self steam table near the front of the store. I think they're veal (or mostly veal) and in a delicious dill-infused sauce.

                1. re: Dave MP
                  palmtree38 RE: Dave MP Oct 6, 2013 12:42 PM

                  Wow ontario canada where i reside has fanous perogies??

                2. re: Ruth Lafler
                  ML8000 RE: Ruth Lafler Sep 22, 2013 12:14 PM

                  The sausages (wide selection) at New World are very good as well. A friend brings those camping. Always a hit.

                  1. re: ML8000
                    Ruth Lafler RE: ML8000 Sep 22, 2013 09:23 PM

                    We dropped into New World today and I found the perfect thing: packages with tail ends of several kinds of sausage. That way I didn't have to choose (or over-buy).

                    Windy and I scooped up the last of the meatballs. We also got some tasty-looking stuffed cabbage. $5.99/lb. at the serve-yourself steam table.

                    Windy bought some veal as well. The veal chops looked delicious.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                      andee RE: Ruth Lafler Sep 22, 2013 10:16 PM

                      New World Market? Are you talking about the ones in SF or is there one in Oakalnd?

                      1. re: andee
                        Ruth Lafler RE: andee Sep 23, 2013 12:44 AM

                        The one in San Francisco. I went by there after a stop into Aroma for more tea.

                      2. re: Ruth Lafler
                        Windy RE: Ruth Lafler Sep 23, 2013 08:49 PM

                        Those meatballs are very good. The stuffed cabbage is decent, but for a moment I was hoping it would be like my great-aunt's recipe. This isn't as sweet. Still good, but the meatballs are better.

                        (The veal is a great deal. It was $3.99 a pound boneless and is spectacular looking. I also got cured salmon for $17.99 a pound or about half what Bi-Rite charges.)

                        1. re: Windy
                          Ruth Lafler RE: Windy Sep 23, 2013 10:00 PM

                          I liked the stuffed cabbage. The borsch was pretty good, too, especially with a dollop of the Russian sour cream. It was one of several house-made soups in quart containers in the last refrigerated case. The chicken noodle looked good, too. Sold by weight at $1.99/lb.

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                            Windy RE: Ruth Lafler Sep 23, 2013 11:23 PM

                            I also got perfect half-sour pickles and decent, inexpensive mushroom barley soup. For the soup I'd go to Cinderella's, although it's possible that's where these came from.

                    2. re: Ruth Lafler
                      BernalKC RE: Ruth Lafler Sep 22, 2013 01:09 PM

                      For a dish of the month, we might have to be more specific. There's a world of difference between Barbacco's polpette and Ikea meatballs.

                      But I think polpette would be an excellent DOTM.

                      1. re: BernalKC
                        Robert Lauriston RE: BernalKC Sep 22, 2013 03:51 PM

                        Meatballs, polpette, albondigas, frikadellen, köfte, köttbulle … they're just different words for the same thing.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          andee RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 22, 2013 06:43 PM

                          Love them ALL!

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            nocharge RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 22, 2013 10:52 PM

                            That's like saying that Gruyere, Cheddar, Roquefort, and Gorgonzola are just different words for the same thing: cheese.

                            1. re: nocharge
                              Robert Lauriston RE: nocharge Sep 23, 2013 08:54 AM

                              Cheese is a big, basic category, more like meat.

                              I think meatballs vary more by recipe than by national origin. Some of the recipes they use in Italy are similar to some in Germany, even though one is called polpette and the other is called frikadellen.

                      2. ipsedixit RE: andee Sep 16, 2013 08:32 PM

                        Chicken meatballs (tsukune) at Chotto

                        1. Glencora RE: andee Sep 16, 2013 08:43 PM

                          The pork meatballs on the interim menu at Cafe Rouge -- with a cocktail.

                          1. Melanie Wong RE: andee Sep 16, 2013 09:19 PM

                            Mary's Pizza Shack for the ONE giant meatball and spaghetti,

                            Several locations throughout Northern California.

                            1. e
                              ernie in berkeley RE: andee Sep 17, 2013 12:03 PM

                              Luca Cuccina in Berkeley.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: ernie in berkeley
                                andee RE: ernie in berkeley Sep 22, 2013 06:45 PM

                                Do you mean Riva Cucina?

                                1. re: andee
                                  Robert Lauriston RE: andee Sep 23, 2013 08:56 AM

                                  Luca has meatballs:


                                  1. re: andee
                                    ernie in berkeley RE: andee Sep 23, 2013 10:41 AM

                                    Robert is correct--I meant Luca in Berkeley (San Pablo just south of University). Lots of flavor, cooked to order with a nice crust and really good in their sandwiches.

                                2. d
                                  DavidT RE: andee Sep 17, 2013 01:05 PM

                                  The meatballs at the Wildflower Cafe (on Sansome just north of Sacramento St., SF) hot & cold buffet/salad bar are pretty darn good.

                                  1. l
                                    lakemerritter RE: andee Sep 17, 2013 02:08 PM

                                    I am going to offer my lowbrow assessment here and admit to liking the meatballs swimming in the chafing dishes at Lee's deli (the one on Market at Second is my usual). The meat is likely D-grade, the sticky sauce that they are served in is probably 90% high fructose corn syrup, and the attempt to gourmetify them with sprinkles of sesame seeds is kind of laughable... but they taste good. A half-dozen runs about $3.00 and I consider them a real treat.

                                    Will have to check out the Wildflower Cafe ones, too!

                                    1. Melanie Wong RE: andee Sep 22, 2013 11:56 AM

                                      Has anyone tried the Red Sauce Meatballs truck? It's serving at Larkspur's Off the Grid at this minute according the schedule, and soon to be a brick and mortar.


                                      It's usually in San Francisco.

                                      1. BernalKC RE: andee Sep 22, 2013 01:12 PM

                                        If you're looking for polpette, I'll nominate Piccino's and Barbacco's. Piccino's is more familiar and delicious. Barbacco's is more mind blowing, so you have to be open to it. But I guess you could say that about a lot of their menu.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: BernalKC
                                          hyperbowler RE: BernalKC Sep 23, 2013 12:38 PM

                                          Is "polpette" the generic Italian word for meatball or are there regional name differences? (I'm talking about meat meatballs, not things like Polpette di Melanzane)

                                          1. re: hyperbowler
                                            Robert Lauriston RE: hyperbowler Sep 23, 2013 12:57 PM

                                            Polpetta / polpette are standard Italian for meatball / meatballs, but there are who knows how many dialect words (purpetti, bombas) and probably individual regional dishes with special names.

                                        2. s
                                          sundeck sue RE: andee Sep 30, 2013 10:29 AM

                                          Middle Eastern meatballs by SF chefs in the Sunday SFChron food section, w/ recipes and restaurant mentions:


                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: sundeck sue
                                            Glencora RE: sundeck sue Sep 30, 2013 10:51 AM

                                            In the East Bay, Zaki Kabob House has kibbeh. Definitely not going to try to make them myself.

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