The old childhood song, “On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball, when somebody sneezed. It rolled off the table, and onto the floor, and then my poor meatball, rolled right out the door… etc” pays homage to one very adventurous little meatball. As it should. March 9 is National Meatball Day and if you’d like to celebrate (and enjoy) the savory, little, round treat before it rolls right off your plate, here are five places to hit around the Twin Cities to do just that.
635 Payne Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55130
If you’re looking for a primo sandwich that’s sure to fill you up, look no further than Yarusso Bros. The family behind the restaurant has been in the business of cooking and serving up all things Italian since the 1800s, so one could conclude “… if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The Yarusso meatball supreme sandwich is just one of those such menu items. Inside this hefty sandwich you’ll find chopped-up meatballs, special sauce, cheese and sauteed onions, peppers and mushrooms ($9.69). One bite of this sammie and you’re likely to shout “Mama, Mia!”
17523 Minnetonka Blvd.
Minnetonka, MN 55345
Tucked in the corner where Highway 101 meets Minnetonka Boulevard lies a restaurant named Spasso that features all things Italian: pastas, salads, breads, desserts and, of course, meatballs. To get your meatball fix here, you can choose between a couple of dishes: the traditional spaghetti and meatballs smothered in marinara and Parmesan ($14) or one of Spasso’s signature items, the broiled house made meatballs ($5). Either way, your taste buds will thank you.
2859 Johnson St. N.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Hazel’s Northeast opened up but a couple years ago and already it seems like an institution. It has been serving up classic, hearty, made-from-scratch breakfasts, lunches and dinners to the Northeast crowd, and all who enter its doors enjoy the Sieve family’s age-old and time-tested recipes. What’s Hazel’s specialty? Comfort food. And it hardly gets more comfort food-y than a steaming, creamy plate of Swedish meatballs. Ordering it on the dinner menu ($11) at Hazel’s will get you garlic mashed potatoes, lingonberries and a soup or salad of your choice.
Sweet Taste of Italy
6023 42nd Ave. N.
Crystal, MN 55422
If you find yourself in Crystal and pizza is your craving, you’re sure to find your fix at Sweet Taste of Italy. And since it’s National Meatball Day and all, there are a couple good choices of pies that will satisfy your ‘ode to the meatball’. First off, the Noah’s Ark pizza ($19.99 for a 16-inch pie) boasts that it has room for every animal: chicken, pepperoni, meatballs, sausage, bacon, turkey, salami and ham. If that sounds a little too meaty, you can always opt for the bacon cheeseburger pizza that has crushed meatballs, bacon, onions, mushrooms and cheese ($15.99 for a 15-inch pie).
Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza
600 Washington Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Meatballs are good on most things, but what about on pizza? You betcha! This coal-fired pizzeria, the first of its kind in the state of Minnesota, features a devilishly delicious meatball pizza on its menu. The meatball, ricotta and garlic pizza is offered in a 12-inch pie for $11.75 and a 16-inch pie for $12.50. It’s best served piping hot with Minnesota-made beers or fresh-squeezed lemonade to take the edge off. If meatballs are really what you’re in the mood for, and why wouldn’t you be, Black Sheep also offers meatballs straight up on its appetizer menu ($8.50).
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Amber Ranzau lives on the edge of Uptown in Minneapolis and is a gal about town. She frequents the local restaurant scene, loves to support new and local businesses, follows the latest and greatest fashion and design trends, and she does all of this while working as an interior designer, spending time with her man, The Specialist, and taking care of her two goldfish Felix and Petunia and their tankmate Huey the Snail. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.