Comfort Food at Portland Meatball Company

I don’t like to bring up politics, but it’s been an unavoidable topic after the election. How convenient that comfort food is available, and near by. Want to know what one of the ultimate comfort foods is? Meatballs! There’s just something about meatballs that makes people stop in their tracks for a minute, and just chew. There may be some oohing and groaning, but that’s normal. Even in this crazy end to the year, stop for a minute and savor a meatball. Especially if it’s a meatball from the Portland Meatball Company!

Now with a name like Portland Meatball Company, I at first thought it would be all meatballs. That makes sense, right? Meatballs, with a side of meatballs, and then some sort of dessert meatballs? Not exactly. Portland Meatball Company is actually much more than meatballs. It’s pasta, sandwiches, soups, salads and the typical things that you’d expect from an old school Italian restaurant located in New York City. But meatballs are an integral part of the menu, and available as a daily special, along with the pastas and their meatball sandwich and a pizza featuring meatballs.

Besides a menu that’s got meatballs on the brain, there’s also a degree of rationality here. There’s plenty of seating available for big and small groups, both near the bar and inside their plentiful booths. But beyond that, the Portland Meatball Company is reasonable. This is the kind of place that I’d feel comfortable bringing my mom to, and that’s saying something.

My mom holds the opinion that because I’m a food blogger and a self professed “foodie” that must also mean that I’m a food snob, and that all of the places I enjoy are too expensive for her to even enter.I love the Portland food scene with all my heart, but there can be a feeling of pretentiousness when you walk into some establishments, or at least a feeling of I don’t belong here. That feeling is completely absent at Portland Meatball Company. Instead, the pasta is served hot and fresh, and the meatballs are pretty giant!

portland meatball company bucatini with duck meatballs

My bucatini in meat sauce with five duck meatballs was pretty damn good. The pasta was tender, but not too droopy, and held my meat sauce nicely. But the real star is of course, the meatball. I’ve certainly had a duck burger before (go check out Blaze in Bangor for that) but a duck meatball was new to my palate. I half expected the duck meatballs to not hold their shape and fall apart, but these were lovingly hand crafted, and help up just fine. If you want a tender meatball, the duck meatball is seasoned to perfection and counts as a “perfect bite”. The perfect bite is that infamous moment where you stop in bliss, and the world around you just fades away as you savor each and every flavor that blossoms in your mouth. Sounds corny, but it’s true!

If you’re looking for old school Italian food with meatballs to die for, come check out Portland Meatball Company. Considering I’ve only tried one out of five of the meatballs they offer, you’ll probably find me dining there too!


Sarah Gelber

About Sarah Gelber

A recent graduate from the University of Southern Maine, Sarah has always had a passion for food. Follow her escapades around Portland, trying every new restaurant in her path! Conquering Portland, one meal at a time.