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Favorite places for meatballs..

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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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  1. my house

    Emmy's Spaghetti Shack

    1. A16, Pizzaiolo, Tony's, Rotten City

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        +1 for A16.

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

      2. 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

          Just checking to make sure this was covered!

          1. re: lakemerritter

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

          1 Reply
          1. 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

              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

                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

                  Wow ontario canada where i reside has fanous perogies??

                2. re: Ruth Lafler

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

                  1. re: ML8000

                    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

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

                      1. re: andee

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

                      2. re: Ruth Lafler

                        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

                          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

                            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

                      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

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

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

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

                            1. re: nocharge

                              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. Chicken meatballs (tsukune) at Chotto

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

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

                            Several locations throughout Northern California.

                                  1. re: andee

                                    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.

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

                                  1. 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. 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. 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

                                          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

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


                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: sundeck sue

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