Celebrate National Meatball Day at Meatball Hero & Pasta with Free Samples

Happy National Meatball Day!  I bet that sounds strange coming from an 18+ year vegetarian, like myself, but trust me, you must try the vegan meatballs at Meatball Hero & Pasta in Lakeview, along with a plethora of other affordable items available on their menu. 

Today only (Wednesday, March 9, 2016), celebrate with Chef Atif Ali at Meatball Hero & Pasta for FREE samples. Chef Atif will be hosting the free meatball sampling from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm in his restaurant and to top it off, he will also be offering a special today to commemorate National Meatball Day with a buy any hero and get one FREE!

What’s a hero?  Well, those are the meatball sandwich menu items.  Chef Atif has four great choices that are sure to please any palette:

RED HERO: Beef meatballs with smoked mozzarella and housemade marinara sauce

WINGED HERO: Chicken meatballs with provolone and housemade marinara sauce

AQUA HERO: Catfish meatballs with spicy marinara

GREEN HERO: Eggplant, mushroom, beans and oat veggieballs with parmesan cheese and housemade marinara sauce

All heroes are served on housemade wheat or white baguette with your choice of hot or sweet giardiniera.  The giardiniera is phenomenal, by the way.

The heroes are served very cleverly and not just tossed on a piece of sandwich bread. Chef Atif cuts off one end of the baguette and scoops out the middle, creating a pocket for the meatballs which make for a much easier, mess-free dining experience.

I was invited to sample some menu items at Meatball Hero & Pasta.  I started out the evening with their crispy mushroom risotto balls that were served on a bed of marinara and topped with sauce and parmesan cheese.  I then had my first taste of polenta in the form of polenta fries, which has now become my favorite snack food. 

After the starters, I tasted three “Build Your Own Pasta” meals.  The first one I tried was not even on the menu yet, called “squazini” as named by Chef Atif.  A perfect, gluten free option with squash and zucchini finely prepared like pasta.  The other two pastas tasted were spaghetti with marinara and fettuccini Alfredo.  All pastas are handmade and served with fresh focaccia.

Last, but not least, I tried the green hero vegan meatball and it was delicious and did not have a meaty taste to it, which I can appreciate.  

You can also “Build Your Own Salad” at Meatball Hero & Pasta, have spaghetti with meatballs and finish off with your favorite refreshment, as they offer a fridge full of pop, teas and water.

The restaurant is BYOB. Customers are welcome to bring their own wine or alcoholic beverages of their choice as they dine inside.

While enjoying my delectable dinner, I asked Chef Atif, what was his inspiration for opening Meatball Hero & Pasta. He opened the restaurant last year in July after seeing the tremendous popularity of meatball restaurants in New York City. But, he wanted to up the excitement and offer more variety including chicken, vegan and fish balls as noted above.

The great thing about Meatball Hero & Pasta is that it is a scratch kitchen. Every single item from the bread, to the meatballs, to the sauce, to the pasta, and even the cheese, is made fresh every day in the restaurant. Chef Atif does not use any prepackaged or processed foods on the menu, so it’s very clean eating.

The restaurant is located in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood at 3037 N. Clark Street. Hours are Sunday through Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm.  The restaurant, offers online ordering and delivery service.

For more details, call Meatball Hero & Pasta at 773-348-3037 or visit their website at http://www.meatballheroes.com.

Photos by Janelle Rominski.






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