By Glen Macnow

SOPRANO’S TRATTORIA AND CATERING, 3072 West Chester Pike, Broomall

We’ve been enjoying this neighborhood treasure for years, but usually for their roast pork or chicken cutlet sandwich. Despite the sign outside reading, “Best Meatballs in Town,” we never took that plunge.

What fools we were. Soprano’s chef Danny Gonnella learned to make meatballs at the Overbrook Italian Club, and he’s damn near perfected the recipe. Not that he’s going to tell you much about it. Gonnella likes his secrets.

This much I got out of him: There’s beef, veal and pork – the usual among Italian meatballs. Spices include parsley, garlic, basil and  . . . well, other terrific flavors that will go unmentioned. They’re baked, rather than fried. And they’re bathed in marinara before they come to the table.

The meatballs are springy but not rubbery, savory but not over-spiced. I could have popped them like M&M’s.

We thoroughly enjoyed a meatball parm sandwich ($8.50) with melted provolone, as well as a meatball abbruzzese ($7.95) sprinkled with three kinds of cheese. Both were terrific and aided by some of the best sandwich bread we’ve in a while. Again, don’t bother asking where the bread is made, because Soprano’s keeps its secrets.

“Italian people often don’t eat Italian food away from their home,” says Armon, Soprano’s owner. “They love their grandmother’s cooking and that’s it. But they come here for our meatballs.”

Soprano’s has the Broomall shop for both eat-in and take-out. There’s also a site at the Bellevue Food Court on Broad. Both are BYOBs. And get the roast pork, as well.

Score: 85/100

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