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Best Meatball Sub

In current order:

1) The Dining Car
not very close 2) Casa Razdora
somewhere a few miles away 3) Al's

Never been to Bob's.

Seriously, just got the meatball sub from the Dining Car, and it is superb. While Casa Razdora does an excellent job, the Dining Car elevates it. Truly excellent. Even if you're not a fan of meatball subs generally, if you like meat and bread together in any form, you should try this sandwich.

I enjoyed my first Al's meatball sub several years ago, but it has been steadily going downhill since then. Still not a bad sandwich, but I think the expansion has hurt the quality.

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  1. While you are in the area to pick up your lamb order from Nick @ Coolidge Variety, go next door to Emilio's...


    Take Lindsay's advice and get an order of fried eggplant and deconstruct the sandwich a little, I like to cut the meatballs in half, shingle them and top with a slab of fried eggplant. There may be better but that sandwich is one I think of in moments of reverie.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hyde

      good to know, thanks! that might be dinner tomorrow night....

    2. The best one is Victors Italian Kitchen in Saugus.

      #2 Is Sabatinos in Arlington

      1 Reply
      1. re: Locutus

        The Dining Car blows Sabatinos away.

        Big fan of Dominic's but never had the meatball sub there. I will have to remedy that. Don't go by there as often as I'd like.

      2. I Ike Dominic's in Waltham and Tutto Italiano. I go to the Tutto Italiano in Hyde Park on the Dedham line and don't know if they offer hot entrees and subs at their other locations.

        8 Replies
        1. re: catsmeow

          It looks like they do. Has anyone been to the one in the N. End?

          1. re: CportJ

            I'm pretty sure they don't have one in the North End. There's one in Lexington and according to their site, one in Lakeville. I know there use to be one in Wellesley too. Hyde Park is the original one.

            1. re: catsmeow

              I've been to the Wellesley one, but I googled to see where else they are and found this: http://m.yelp.com/biz/tutto-italiano-...

              1. re: CportJ

                The North End location closed a few years back. They made a great Italian.

                1. re: CportJ

                  Hmmm...I'll ask when I'm in the one in Hyde Park next week. I never noticed it in the North End either but you never know....

                  1. re: catsmeow

                    The NE location was on Fleet St,a few doors from Prezza. They closed a few years ago and was replaced by another cheese shop which closed.

                    Joe, who ran the store and made those great sandwiches was running Frank DePasquale's pasta shop.

            2. re: catsmeow

              My go to sandwich at Tuttos is either the Panini (prods, mozz, tom, basil) or the Italian (no lettuce, imported sharp provolone) H likes their tuna, oddly enough with tomatoe and hots.

              Sorry, I can't comment on their meatballs.

            3. Guiseppe's in Nonantum does it for me. The presence of Wachusett's ketchup chips and Throwback Mountain Dew are an additional draw.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                Damn you, Jenny O!

                I was heading to this specific place today for this very sandwich when I awoke to the fact that my fridge is CRAMMED with food and could not, in good conscience, spend the money on several sandwiches.

                Because if your there, one usually orders a large italian cold cut also, dosent one?

                No lettuce.

              2. Not a meatball sub, but the meatballs at Russell House Tavern are amazing. When I order them, I ask them to bring me the rolls that they use in their lobster sliders and make myself a bunch of meatball sliders. Truly amazing.

                15 Replies
                1. re: Blumie

                  Guiseppe's is my favorive, they also make a sausage and meatball combo that is awesome if you ask ever so nice.

                  1. re: psc109

                    Based on this thread, I started craving a meatball sub last week, so I tried Guiseppe's (first time - never noticed the place before). It was so very, very, very good!

                      1. re: catsmeow

                        309 Watertown Street in Newton. The neighborhood is called Nonantum.

                          1. re: catsmeow

                            Bonus round. Dont forget, the best Italian sausages in metrowest are available a few doors down at DePasquales, at 325 Watertown.

                            As long as you are in the neighborhood.

                            1. re: hyde

                              Thanks for the reminder. I know where DePasquales is. I don't know why I never noticed Guiseppes.

                              1. re: catsmeow

                                Its one of those "wedged between a nail salon and a computer repair place" type of joint. Like almost everything in the neighborhood. If you didnt grow up in the area, you may have never seen it.

                                You do know that Stoddards, the Boston 200+ year old cutlery shop is now located at 360 Watertown street, (across from the last stereo fix-it guy in the area). You can get your knives sharpened there.

                                1. re: hyde

                                  Thanks. I haven't been down that way for a while. That's good to know. Anything else I can take advantage of when I'm in that hood?

                                  1. re: catsmeow

                                    Antoine's is one of the last old-school bakeries that I know of. I don't love all their stuff, but at Easter, they make the best hot cross buns in the area, and in the summer, they do a fine hot dog roll.

                                    Avoid the hi-fi shop. The guy thinks everything he has is solid gold when what's on display is all garbage. I was in there last week looking for a new turntable for my living room setup. He sneered "Anything halfway decent starts at $200." I said "Well, you have a nice day now," walked out, went to In Your Ear and bought a 1977 Technics SL1400 Mark II with a brand-new cartridge and stylus for $150, and Reed offered me a ride home so I didn't have to carry it half a mile. (I actually hailed a cab, but that was sweet of him.)

                                    1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                      Great to know about the hot dog buns. Thanks! Now I can pick some up and then grab some dogs at Moody's.

                                      1. re: bear

                                        It will be a fine combination. Those Moody's dogs are 100% deserving of the hype.

                                        When we cooked our first package of them, I was reminded of a legal definition of obscenity I ran across once and said to Allstonian, who was in the other room setting the table, "You remember the old Ball Park slogan 'They plump when you cook 'em!'? The slogan for these should be 'They become discernibly turgid when you cook 'em.'"

                                        1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                          Ha, another form of food porn.

                                          Seriously, those are pretty awesome dogs.

                                      2. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                        ok, ok, you are right. The stereo guy is kind of a crook (old school eastern european), I think the place might be where one goes to wash ones money, if you are inside.

                                        Steamers Seafood Market, at 311 watertown street, is reasonable and the guy who runs it is square. They do a pretty good lobster roll at 17 dollars and the fry job is on point. Nothing fancy but solid food..

                                        Vecchia Roma, at 398 watertown street is one of the better undiscovered Italian places in Metrowest (and maybe the whole Boston area),

                                        1. re: hyde

                                          Currently completed my limited review of my three favorite meatball subs, this is how it shook out...

                                          -The sub at Giuseppies was hot and 6.00, and it hurts me to say this, but the weakest of the three. Ok weight was good but a little washed out in flavor. This is my local and I wanted to love it more but ....
                                          Also got an Italian cold cut, and is it me? or are Boars Head cold cuts more insipid than ever? Granted, my new standard are the VERY good cuts at Russos, and that skews me, but really?!? This sandwich was sad.

                                          -Leone's. Large with some cheese, 7.00. Damn, this is a good sandwich, could have been a little hotter (temp-wise). They also make an "Egg Bomb" which I am dying to try. but square to the middle of the pack.

                                          -Emilio's. Coolidge square, Watertown, (not the South End)
                                          I have tried to be objective here but this is the flavor profile I think about when i want a meatball sub.I tried to eat the sub alone but what I really want is a meatball/eggplant parm mix that I cant get away from.
                                          Its my fav, the people are nice, handmade signs, boxes of toys, and the food is killer.

                                          Whats not to love.

                  2. How bout this!? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9133...
                    Sorry i still get a laugh on this one

                    1. Dining car's is awesome. Another favorite is Leone's Subs in Somerville.

                      6 Replies
                        1. re: Small Plates

                          What are their other subs like? I love a meatball sub, but Mr. SMT is always looking for something else like an Italian or Roast Beef.

                          1. re: smtucker

                            I get a roast beef every single time. My fav. I like to order it very rare, moderate slather of mayo, heavy pickles, heavy tomatoes, onions, S & P. Really quite good! (Cash only.)

                            1. re: Small Plates

                              Any chance they have a horseradish option? And thanks for the reply. A meatball and a roast beef could be the right answer.

                              1. re: Small Plates

                                The RB is really good there. Leone's is just legit, bottom line.

                              2. re: smtucker

                                Leone's meatball sub is definitely old school in a good way, based on a takeout a couple of years ago where we had them pack the rolls, meatballs and cheese separately so we could assemble them at home 30 minutes away. The meatballs were meaty in a good way, and the sauce looks and tastes like a long-simmered brew with maybe a lightly browned tomato paste and browned with simmered meat enriching the sauce.

                          2. Figaro's on Beach Street in Boston makes a really good one.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: gooch

                              +1 on Figaro's. I'll need to give the Dining Car another shot. Didn't enjoy my prior experiences there.

                              1. D'Agostino's Winchester; Big A Malden

                                1. Obviously outside of the meatball sub canon, but the lamb meatball sandwich at TR Street Foods (lunch only) is one of my favorite sandwiches of the past year.


                                  1. Does the Dining Car sell out of the meatball sub frequently? I tried today at 12:10pm and they were already sold out. That seems like some pretty poor inventory management.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: mkfisher

                                      thx for the heads up. I was going to try to make it over by 11:30 to give them a try but couldn't get out.

                                      I see they are on the Greenway on Tues/Thurs also

                                      1. re: mkfisher

                                        12:10! Holy cow. That's early. I do think, coincidentally, I got there around noon, but I wasn't trying to get there early. I guess I got lucky.

                                        I love the lamb meatball sandwich at TR Street Foods. (And REALLY enjoyed their heart attack inducing veal pastrami at lunch today.) Yes, I guess I was thinking of the more traditional types.

                                      2. Tutto Italiano's meatballs are the closest to my nonna's that I've had. Nice bread, too. The only meatball sub I've had in Boston over 4 years (and a lot of tries) that I'd get twice.

                                        I had the Dining Car's before, and it was good. I preferred Tutto Italiano's meatballs more, but the Dining Car's bread was better.

                                        1. Can't believe nobody has suggested Mighty Sub in Needham yet, just off 128. I think they make the meatballs in house, and they are delicious.

                                          1. Tried the Dining Car today..great sandwich. The bread really elevated it above my usual downtown spot, Casa Razdora.

                                            I was there shortly after 11 and no line.

                                            Don't skimp on the napkins if you get 1 of these.

                                            Alcachofa, thx for the tip.

                                            1. 1. Victor's in Somerville - amazing meatball subs and meatball calzones

                                              2. Nappi's in Medford

                                              1. So, I finally had The Dining Car meatball sandwich. As others have mentioned, the bread is fantastic. The sandwich was indeed very good, but I like Tutto Italiano and Figaro's a little more. I got a lot of dried oregano in The Dining Car's sub - it was definitely the dominant flavor in the sauce.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: mkfisher

                                                  Interesting. I'll have to think about oregano next time. I don't recall that flavor, but maybe I just like oregano.

                                                  It's been quite a while since I've had Figaro's, but recall it being on par with better sandwiches from Al's. I probably should have put it above Al's, but still below Casa Razdora, but it has been awhile. More research needed. ;-)

                                                2. Diblasi's meatball sub in Everett is wonderful. The meat is soft and pillow-y and the sauce is the right combination of sweet/tangy.

                                                  1. Since there are so many meatball aficionados reading this string, I figured I'd ask, who is your favorite meatball purveyor in the North End (served either in sub or with pasta)? I'm sure the locations listed are amazing, but they are a little too far to cure the workday lunch craving this string has inspired :)

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                                                      Pace's is pretty good for lunch. Limoncello makes a nice meatball.For more upscale Prezza does Gravy Sundays. I'd be willing to bet Il Panino does a fine job.

                                                        1. re: Bellachefa

                                                          I've had their braciole in Red Sauce and I think it came with a meatball, but my memory fails me. The Braciole and sauce were very good.

                                                        2. re: phatchris

                                                          I like Paces too. In addition to subs/sandwiches, they also sell them separately.

                                                      1. Picco currently has one that I think is out of this world.

                                                        1. Ok here is a chow tip that is a bit obscure.. I have not been personally but hear RAVES about the meatball sandwich at a dive bar in worcester called Vincent's.. You can read reviews on that "other" site...or see images/articles on google

                                                          1 Reply