Whenever I think of meatballs, I think of the scene in Lady and the Tramp, where Tramp is treating Lady to an Italian dinner and orders the spaghetti. “Heavy on the meat-ta-balls!” the owner yells to the chef in an Italian accent.
And I'm sure if Lady or Tramp were actual dogs, they would give the meat-ta-balls a chance at the new 8 Ball Meatball restaurant in Fells Point.
8 Ball Meatball sits near the corner of South Broadway and Thames, the perfect location to attract tourists, families and bar hoppers. And that’s exactly what owner Paul Weitz is going for.
“We’ve had families with their kids coming in during the day, then you see the transition of people on dates and groups of friends coming in at night,” said Weitz. “This is a place that’s meant to be fun and comfortable.”
Weitz is a Baltimore guy, born and raised. His family owns a couple restaurants at BWI airport, so he’s familiar with how the restaurant business works. He says he fell in love with hospitality because of the teamwork involved in making things run smoothly. Eventually, he wanted to venture out on his own.
When you sit down to order at 8 Ball Meatball, it’s a multi-step process to put together your meal, with several options each step of the way. You have 5 meatballs to choose from: classic (beef, pork, veal), chicken (gluten-free), spicy pork, veggie, and a “special” meatball that will change from time to time. You also have 5 sauce options: classic tomato, parmesan cheese, pesto, spicy pork, mushroom gravy, and a “special” sauce that, like the special meatball, will also change.
There’s also a slew of side dishes, some are classic comforts like mashed potatoes, while others change with the seasons. Right now they have Brussel sprouts and mushrooms on the menu, and Weitz says perhaps in the summer they’ll do something like roasted corn.
The restaurant has a nice bar and all the draft beers are Maryland beers. They also have other brands in bottles/cans. Weitz says the wine list has a little something from everyone, with a range of prices.
Before I left my chat with Weitz, I ordered the classic meatball with classic tomato sauce. The meatball was juicy, not dry, with good flavors. The sauce had a bit of sweetness to it, the bread was nice and crunchy. A solid meatball and sauce combo, and I’m curious to try some of the other flavors/combinations.
To keep up with the latest special ball/sauce, follow 8 Ball Meatball on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Check out the restaurant at 814 S. Broadway, Baltimore.
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