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GLEN MACNOW’S MEATBALL MADNESS
By Glen Macnow
Meatballs are as much a Philadelphia thing as cheesesteaks or roast pork. In this town, where most everyone grew up watching their grandmother stirring gravy over the stove on Sundays, the meatball is an important food item. So for any restaurant chef to make a good one, he’s got to pass a high bar just to beat what many folks can get at their kitchen table.
The good news is, those wonderful meatballs are everywhere – and don’t consider that a knock on your family recipe. Throughout the Delaware Valley – and not just in South Philly – there are high-end restaurants, dive bars and neighborhood hoagie shops offering terrific takes on the humblest of comfort foods.
My job over the next six weeks is to try them all . . . well, a minimum of 40 anyway, and try to locate the best. I’ll be following your tips, and my nose, to as many places as I can in search of the perfect meatball. In the end, I’ll invite you (for free!) to join me in honoring the King of the Meatballs. Stay tuned for details, but be ready to join me at Delaware Park Casino on a May 7th to sample the best of the bunch.
We’ve done this before. Over the years, my food hunts have searched for ribs, burgers (twice), cheesesteaks, Italian hoagies, beer, specialty sandwiches, pizza, bacon creations and food trucks. And you’ve always guided me with suggestions. So I’m asking again: If you know a meatball I’ve got to sample, hit me up here, or on my Facebook page, or on Twitter @RealGlenMacnow. I’m going to get to as many as I can.
Of course, we’ll start with the basic Italian ambassador, served on pasta or in a sandwich with marinara. But I’m already learning that great meatballs come with a taste of Sweden, Asia or the Middle East. They’re made of beef, veal and pork — but also lamb, duck and rabbit. Nothing is off-limits in this contest.
So stay tuned. I’ll post reviews most days between now and our Meatball Madness finals in May. I’ll listen for your suggestions and appreciate your feedback.
And, while you’re at it, go thank your grandmother for all those great tastes and aromas coming from the kitchen
Macnow's Meatball Scores (X / 100)
- 14. Wawa - 60
- 13. Ralph's - 88
- 12. Stogie Joe's - 87
- 11. Vincenzo's - 77
- 10. London Grill - 84
- 9. Mrs. Robino's - 78
- 8. Triangle Tavern - 64
- 7. Pepperoncini - 89
- 6. Carlino's - 80
- 5. Anthony's - 40
- 4. Pizzeria Stella - 87
- 3. Marino's - 73
- 2. Pastificio - 83
- 1. Villa Di Roma - 95