Wednesday, November 26, 2014

24th and Meatballs: A pair of balls never tasted so good.


Delicious, juicy, flavorful balls. 


Round. Supple. A pair of them you just need to bite, delectable in every way. 

When the balls are resting on the buns, life is very good indeed. 

Jeez guys, I’m talking about meatball sliders. Get your collective mind out of the gutter. This is a family friendly blog. 

Fooditka and I discovered 24th and Meatballs one evening while on the way to a local wine shop for a potluck/wine tasting event. The real bit of luck was finding this delicious, no frills meatball shop on the corner of 24th Ave and Glisan, in what would be called the Hollywood neighborhood here in Portland, or “The Deep South Northeast” to borrow a phrase from a local entrepreneur. A little bit of investigating revealed a great happy hour deal that we couldn’t wait to take advantage of: Two meatball sliders and a pint of beer, or a soda, for $6.00. 

To be honest, I was expecting a pub or bar type atmosphere with some table service and televisions with sports on them. 24th and Meatballs is not that. It is more of a no-frills take-out establishment, although there are tables and counters to sit at. It’s not quite fast food, but it’s set up sort of like that. When we walked in, the place was empty but that was a function of the time of day and not indicative of the quality of the food. Upon walking up to the counter, we were greeted by a friendly young guy who explained to us a little bit about the happy hour and the different options for choosing our balls and sauces. So we ordered and sat down, and our food was brought out to us when it was ready. 


Meatballs -  There are four basic varieties of balls to choose from (not including daily special balls), as well as four varieties of sauce with which to smother said balls. There’s the Classic Italian (beef, pork, and veal), the Pork Piccante (pork, chilis, spices), the Chicken (chicken, parmesan, thyme) and the Vegan (brown rice, black beans, seitan, walnuts). The Chicken is gluten free. 

Sauce - As far as sauces you have Tomato Basil, Spicy Pork, Creamy Cheese, and Pesto. I chose the Classic Italian with Spicy Pork sauce and the Chicken with Pesto sauce. Fooditka chose the Classic Italian with Tomato Basil, and a special daily ball, the Chicken Jalapeno, with Pesto sauce as well. “We chose wisely,” to borrow a phrase from the frail, elderly knight at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The sliders were molto delicioso, and the beer they came with was a smooth and refreshing way to wash it all down. 

Buns - The aforementioned perfect buns come from Fleur de Lis Bakery and they were soft and toasty and the perfect size to hold the meatballs. They soaked up the juice and sauce wonderfully and added just enough texture to make each bite truly delightful to savor and absorb. Based on the quality of the two balls and that I tasted, I’d venture a guess that any option you choose will be the correct one. In addition to the meatball sandwiches, there are pasta dishes available, and with all the vegetarian items on the menu, as well as a vegan option or two, there is something for everyone here. 

Service and Cost: 
As I said, the service was minimal but friendly. You order at the counter, and take your drink with you, and when the food is ready someone brings it to you. When you are finished, you bus your own dishes. As far as cost, $6.00 for two sliders and a pint of craft beer is about as reasonable as you’re going to find anywhere. The non-happy hour menu is a bit pricier, but still on the cheap side, so anytime you go in you’re in good shape.  

ICYDK: Happy Hour is every day from 3-6 p.m. 

3 Mmmms 

24th and Meatballs - 2341 NE Glisan St Portland, Oregon 97232 

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