Marabella Meatball Company

But they're also rolling outside the box..

July 25, 2011 2:51:40 PM PDT
The Marabella family emigrated from a small town near the hills of Naples, Italy more than 100 years ago, and opened a string of 8 restaurants around Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore.

The focal point of the family's latest project is a Sunday staple, the meatball. And at this eatery, the Italian classic is the star.

The secret to a perfectly spherical globe of goodness is something Judy Marabella learned from her husband Gabe's grandmother.

"We used to call her Nonni," says Judy, "and her recipe was just beef meatballs." They bake them, and then bathe them in a pot of bubbling homemade happiness.

So, that means every day is Sunday at the Marabella Meatball Co., and it's still the way Nonni made it. "She used to smash the meatball," Gabe says, "and then add her toppings."

But they're also rolling outside the box.

"The veggie balls are made with cauliflower, broccoli, chick peas, pine nuts and raisins," Gabe says.

They also serve chicken, pork and other specialty balls that customers can mix and match with a smorgasbord of sauces, cheeses and toppings, like homemade pesto, olive tapenade, spinach and broccoli rabe. They serve it on a sandwich, in a bowl or with pasta.

You can get a full meal to heat up at home. They are also a BYOB if you want to bring a bottle of wine and dine there. Everything is homemade daily, so they don't even have a freezer.

Marabella Meatball Co.
1211 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107