31 Comment

  • They need to rename Penn Quarter to Over-Priced Small Plate-istan.

  • I ate there once. I had a delicious sandwich. Nothing fancy, but tasty and quick.

  • I guess they really wanted an excuse to put “BALLS” on the front of the restaurant in huge letters.

  • I hesitate to say this, but their balls are very salty.

  • At first, I was excited to try this place. Then I read the review by Tom Sietsema and decided not to rush down there anytime soon. The meatballs and sauces are apparently made somewhere in Maryland and trucked in, and heated up to order. What the hell? Oh, and apparently the food in general isn’t so hot, either:


    This whole thing smacks of people trying to make a quick buck off of a chef’s name and trendy concept.

  • Some people are hard on this place. Maybe the Michel Richard connection raised expectations through the roof.

    In my experience, the food has been nothing short of super tasty.

  • I just tried this place on Saturday. The ordering style is a lot like Chipotle/ShopHouse where you pick what meatball you want (the original was good), then you pick a base (sandwich, noodles, etc.), sauce (the red pepper is awesome) and toppings (mozz, parmesan, peppers, etc.). I had the noodle bowl and it came out to $9 or $10 without a drink which I thought was fair. The meatballs were fresh, the noodles were cooked well and the sauce/topings were great. I think it is a good, quick alternative to the traditional “fast food” joints. Although in that category it may be a few bucks more expensive.

  • What next, a restaurant that only serves cereal?

  • Been once. Line out the door (poor choice for layout). Service… A couple of meatballs were closer to raw than should be allowed. The cheese wasn’t given long enough under the salamander to melt. But I loved the morel sauce. And don’t bother with the minis…go straight for the grinder.

    Next time I hope the kinks have been worked out, but I’ll be back to give it a second go.

  • I’ve only heard scathing reviews of this place, but the feedback here seems mixed enough to give it a try I think. if I’m ever in PQ looking for a bite, that is, which is rare.

  • I live next door and visit every so often. It’s more of a utility food, though, and less of a treat. It’s… okay. A little pricey, but tolerable since I tend to skip sides/drinks. I hate that there are always little hiccups (I ordered Minis the other night and got some of the grinder bread and not the buttered buns, presumably they were out).

    I will say the only balls I really find to be better than “average” are the lentil ones (haven’t tried crab yet, to be fair, but for $16.99, I’d rather have a lobster roll from Luke’s next door that actually *is* very good).

  • More or less pretentious than Central?

  • I had high expectations give the Michel Richard connection, but it was a huge let-down. Honestly, I prefer the pasta at Vapiano, which is not saying a heck of a lot. Quite the bummer.

  • i’m surprised to see all these sadsack reviews… i thought the place was great! i tried the vegetarian balls with tandoori sauce on polenta. yeah, it’s not cheap, at $10, but it was a huge amount of food for the money. not to mention delicious. i’ll be back.

  • So they sell balls to go? Can you take them home in a sack?

  • Delicious. My fiance took me there for my birthday and she knocked it out of the park. I had a grinder with classic meatballs, marinara sauce and big slabs of fresh mozzerella on top. The meatballs were really good, and the roll was like garlic bread. Pumkin woopie pie was a great dessert too. I think it was $25 or so for both of us, and we were stuffed.

    The price wasn’t McDonalds and the food wasn’t Central, but that’s not what it’s supposed to be anyway. Great place.

  • I thought the place was good, coming from an Italian family I am very picky about meatballs and red sauce. The price was decent and the ordering experience was typical to an other fast casual restaurant (i.e. Chipolte or Shophouse.). I would go back, it’s one of the cheaper dining options in Chinatown if you don’t want fast food.

  • I had a really disappointing experience at Meatballs. I ordered the lamb meatballs sandwich ($4 extra), which the staff proceeded to burn the hell out of under their cheese-melting heat lamp. The top of the sandwich was black yet they still tried to serve it to me.

    When I asked for another they informed me they were out of bread (and it was 6pm on a Sunday). I didn’t really want spaghetti, but such was life. Blurg. All in all, very frustrating.

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