East Baltimore Eats: 8 Ball Meatball

88Fell’s Point has recently been graced with a few new awesome restaurants. One of the new spots that received a lot of hype from locals and visitors alike is 8 Ball Meatball, which opened this winter. It specializes in, of course, meatballs, which you can order your personalized special way. You first choose your protein. There’s the classic but there are also other meats like lamb, chicken, spicy pork. Then you must decide if you want it over a salad, on a sub, as sliders, or over spaghetti. Your decision-making is not finished, however. There’s a variety of sauces to choose from as well, like Parmesan cream, spicy meat, or traditional tomato. After a first visit, I was so impressed by the food, service, and selection that I came back shortly afterward.

I decided to get sliders so I can mix and match and get a few different options.

First, I ordered the special ball, which changes weekly. This week, it was  a spicy lamb ball topped with tzatziki sauce. This was awesome, I loved how spicy the lamb was without it being overpowering and the cooling effect of the thick creamy tzatziki sauce that relieved my palette. I would love to see this regularly on the menu.

My next meatball was the chicken ball with the pesto sauce. This was also another winner. The chicken was moist and juicy and not at all dry like I was anticipating. The pesto itself was thick and the fresh taste of the basil stood out.  I do wish there was slightly more pesto, but that’s just me, I’m a saucy girl so I like a lot of sauce.

8 Ball’s spaghetti and meatball dish with spicy sauce. | Photos by Rachel Lipton

8 Ball’s spaghetti
and meatball dish
with spicy sauce.
| Photos by Rachel Lipton

The third meatball I ordered was the classic ball with mushroom gravy. The meatball was a mix of beef, pork, and veal which gave it a ton of flavor and was moist, something that really impressed me because so often meatballs can turn into crumbly messes of dry ground beef once you stick the fork in it. The mushroom gravy was hearty and paired well with the savory combination of the meat.

All three sliders were housed in fluffy buns that were slightly crisped. The buns held up against the deluge of sauces and never became soggy, a feat that many meatball subs can’t duplicate.

Sure, 8 Ball’s specialties are meatballs. But the highlight of the meal for me by far was the cheesy polenta which I ordered as a side dish. The polenta was very creamy and smooth, as any self-respecting polenta should be. The cheese incorporated into the dish along with the snow sprinkle of parmesan on top turned the already good polenta dish into a showstopping sidedish.  It really reminded me of a fancier mac and cheese that was levels above Kraft dinner in a box.

They have other sides that I’m eager to go back and try, like risotto, bruschetta, and fried pickles.

My friend opted to order something much more traditional and went with the classic meatballs over spaghetti with the spicy sauce. She loved the dish, saying that the sauce was spiced well and didn’t underestimate her ability to take the heat. The spaghetti was cooked al dente, with a perfect bite.

If you’re craving meatballs and want to get creative, head over to Fells Point and try out all the options at 8 Ball for yourself!

8 Ball Meatball is located at 814 S Broadway.

For more information and a full menu, visit www.8ballmeatball.com.

By Rachel Lipton

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