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24th & Meatballs


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#1 Calabrese

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 05:02 PM

http://pdx.eater.com...ncept-in-ne.php

"Among other options, the menu will feature beef, lamb, pork and turkey meatballs on hoagies, panini, cheesy polenta, and at least one fresh pasta prepped at Tabla each day, Berger says. For dessert, a simple list: frozen custards, milkshakes and concretes."




He had me at meatballs but frozen custards.... kripes.... and Adam if you are reading this..... two words: "Biscuit Tortoni". I will worship you forever.

#2 Prone to Hyperbole

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 03:02 PM

Yes! I'm in full agreement with Calabrese. Waiting with meatball free breath for this to open!
breakin' the law, breakin' the law!

#3 goodbyeohio

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 12:38 PM

Saucy Balls
Cause I like to drink whiskey by the gallon, I live on peanut butter sandwiches, I don't care
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#4 m5570

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 12:03 PM

Isn't it the same as this: http://www.themeatballshop.com/

#5 FoodKid

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 12:09 PM

Isn't it the same as this: http://www.themeatballshop.com/


But he didn't imagine meatballs could sustain a restaurant until, while visiting New York last year, he stopped by the Meatball Shop, a popular three-restaurant chain serving a rotating selection of meatballs.

"Wow," he thought. "This is kind of cool."

Berger thought a similar concept might work in Portland.


http://www.oregonliv...lans_meatb.html

#6 Prone to Hyperbole

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 01:46 PM

Isn't it the same as this: http://www.themeatballshop.com/

Other than having to drive several thousand miles for lunch...yeah, the same. :-\
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#7 ExtraMSG

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 05:53 PM

It's just like me stealing my idea from these guys:

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The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#8 m5570

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:42 AM

Sorry, I didn't read the actual article but happened to be aware of the restaurant. & for the record, if I could pull it off, I would totally do something like what the Frankie's do.

#9 vj

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 06:59 PM

http://www.24thandmeatballs.com/

One of my very kind benefactors took me there yesterday.

They just opened very recently, so I hope that website and other issues resolve themselves. It is tiny, as you might imagine 500 square feet to be, and it was not air-conditioned, which on one of the hottest days of the year was not a plus. (Hey, I'm a wimp, okay?)

I got the Italian meatballs & cheesy polenta with the tomato-basil sauce ($8) and was very happy -- nice serving size, 2 big meatballs, tasty dish. Got a side of white beans ($4) which I think the menu described as garlicky -- these were obviously cooked in house, but hadn't been seasoned really at all. At that price and serving size, these need to be seriously lecker and addictive.

I'll be keeping an eye on them. I'm a big Tabla fan, and a big meatball fan, (hell, a big bean fan, too) and I want Adam to do well.

#10 truth

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 10:15 PM

This place sounds cool. I was poking around their website and got lots of errors. Looks like they are hosting it with bishopsbs.com , which is kind of interesting. Maybe just same web dev company.
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#11 Jill-O

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 12:01 PM

I really want to like this place, but I think they need a bit more time to work things out.

Tried the traditional balls with the tomato basil sauce with spaghetti, dining partner had the same on creamy cheesy polenta. Had the kale salad and the white beans too. We washed this all down with some ginger lemonade.

Great ginger lemonade - not too sweet, nice ginger heat/kick, not too watered down (something I have noticed with many in-house nonalcoholic drinks lately). Great kale salad too - tangy dressing, sweet bits of cranberry, good amount of dressing, definitely a winner. The polenta is very creamy and cheesy - I am not even a polenta fan, but I would definitely order this here - it's delicious.

The balls were...well, just OK. A kind of odd texture meant that I could get a slice of that ball with a fork...seemed very finely ground, very uniform texture...almost unnaturally so. They didn't taste bad, they were OK. They definitely were not cooked in the sauce, which is par for the course here. If you are choosing your type of meat/ball and then choosing your sauce, well, they obviously aren't cooked together. I cook my meatballs in sauce. I was taught to do so by the Italian women I grew up with, and it makes for a better meatball and a better sauce...and you can really tell when they are cooked separately.

I didn't love the meatballs and I didn't love the sauce (unbalanced, sour, no herbiness - despite it being tomato and basil) - but they were edible. I actually did not like the spaghetti at all. It was really thick and overcooked...and it made my whole plate look and taste like it came from a cafeteria line. Even down to the watery appearance of the sauce/pasta. In fact, it definitely evoked the smell and flavor and texture of the spaghetti and meatballs from my summer day camp days. And that was some awful kosher overcooked catering food.

But the white beans were easily the worst thing we ordered. Tasteless. I detected no garlic, no herbs, no fat...nothing. They were soft and tender...we asked for salt and pepper and that helped, but I can't imagine why anyone would put these on a menu. Certainly there was no one in that kitchen tasting this dish...at least I hope there wasn't, it would be worse to send it out knowing it was tasteless...

It was way too hot to be someplace without AC, and so they were not at all crowded. And I think that the heat might have really impacted the service. You just opened, chances are I have not been there before...please let me know I order at the counter, please let me know water is self serve and where it is, please let me know that you bring stuff to the table when it is ready...sigh. There was no excitement of a new place, eager staff that want you to get to know the food and love it, etc.

I would definitely go back (on a cooler day) and maybe try the spicy pork meatballs/sauce...and I want to try a hero (decided spaghetti over hero, which was obviously the wrong choice). But really, it has to be a lot better than what I ate here last week for me to come back after that.
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#12 Adam

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 01:14 PM

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Hit up 24th & Meatballs yesterday for lunch. I'd say my impressions were pretty similar to Jill-O's. Feel free to chortle at any Tobias Funke level of unintentional double-entendres to follow.

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My wife got the chicken parmesan meatballs in the "Creamy Cheesy" sauce. Wasn't blown away by the balls, but they seemed fairly moist, although that may just have been because they were drowned in the cheese sauce. Very rich sauce, too rich for my wife, but that said she still finished the meatballs. I didn't try the focaccia.

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I went with the meatball hero with the classic Italian balls and the tomato basil sauce. The balls are made with beef, veal, pork, and basil, according to the menu. Like Jill-O said, they're just OK. Not a whole lot of flavor here, but not flavorless, either. A little too dense, and far too dry. There was barely any tomato basil sauce on the hero, and the whole thing suffered for it. Just a really dry sandwich, even with the melted cheese. Which, incidentally, didn't have much flavor; it really made me miss the provolone piccante at SandwichBagelWorks.

I have to say I was surprised to learn that the bread is from Fleur de Lis, because I didn't care for the texture and it didn't seem to taste like much. Might just have been because it was toasted, or maybe this is a roll they make specifically for 24th & Meatballs. Maybe just a bad batch. Whatever it is, I kept longing for flavor that wasn't there.

This place is brand new, so I wouldn't write them off yet. They definitely have some kinks to work out, though. All the food we had was totally fine, but nothing above average. Very friendly and helpful service. I'll give 'em another try in a month or two.

#13 nervousxtian

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 01:37 PM

If you are going to basically attempt to do 1 thing... you think you should totally do that 1 thing well, even before you are open.. that 1 thing should be nailed down solid.

#14 ExtraMSG

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:14 PM

If you are going to basically attempt to do 1 thing... you think you should totally do that 1 thing well, even before you are open.. that 1 thing should be nailed down solid.


The problem with that is who "you" are. Places need to train cooks, give them more autonomy, etc, which leads to problems, especially when you make things in large batches like meatballs, which could mean mediocre food for several days. Then again, it could be more fundamental. I hope not. I like the concept and the people.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#15 Jill-O

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 04:11 PM

I like the concept and the people too...I want it to get better and succeed!
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#16 ExtraMSG

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:23 PM

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Stopped in for lunch today while in the neighborhood.

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Kept it classic and got the hero with Italian meatballs and tomato sauce. It seems like they fixed a couple of the issues with the above. eg, there are three meatballs per sandwich rather than two now. Also, mine seemed saucier than Adam's.

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I would say that the balls are better than okay, but not great. They're solid. Good. I think there's plenty of flavor in the meatballs and the sauce. The meatballs had an assertive parmesan flavor to my palate with a lot of herbs. I think there's a decent amount of filler and the balls are pretty smooth. I don't really have a problem with that since they're also plenty tender. I'd say the thing that holds them back from being better than good is the lack of fat. Perhaps if they were stewed they'd take on some moisture, but I still think they'd be a lot juicier with fattier meat. The sauce was definitely herbaceousness, but also tart, much like a fresh tomato sauce, like what you might get at Nostrana for their pizzas. I'd say that I prefer something with more depth from long simmering with meats, but others may like the lightness of this one. I'd like it better for pizza myself.

There was plenty of cheese on it, a mixture of both mozz and parm, I believe. I thought the bread was quite good. It had more flavor and substance than typical rolls, but still felt traditional and wasn't too tough to bite through or so crisp that it would hurt someone's mouth.

I like that the menu lets you get things in various forms, although I'd like an option for a side salad and balls in sauce, since everything else is either bread of pasta. They have three $4 salads, so maybe 2 balls and sauce, plus salad for $8.50?

I think next time I'll try the spicy pork meatballs with the spicy pork sauce.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#17 Adam

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:36 PM

Sounds like they've jacked up the herbs and parmesan, which is a good thing. Looks like you definitely got more sauce than I did, too. I'm looking forward to trying it again. Maybe I'll do a one-two punch when I hit up Uno Mas after it opens.

#18 Flynn

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 02:04 PM

I think next time I'll try the spicy pork meatballs with the spicy pork sauce.

That's my favorite so far, as either a hero or over the polenta. Tried the cheesy sauce the other night and it near killed me out of sheer richness.

#19 Quo Vadis

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 02:31 PM


I think next time I'll try the spicy pork meatballs with the spicy pork sauce.

That's my favorite so far, as either a hero or over the polenta. Tried the cheesy sauce the other night and it near killed me out of sheer richness.


It embitchened you, is what you are trying to say?
Methinks I am like a man, who having struck on many shoals, and having narrowly escap'd shipwreck in passing a small frith, has yet the temerity to put out to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to think of compassing the globe under these disadvantageous circumstances-Hume

#20 Flynn

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 02:49 PM

Something like that. It's not to be fucked with.