Now That’s a Meatball!

By Joni Grana


Last night I was joined by friends and family for dinner at a new spot in town, Oak City Meatball Shoppe. Located on East Davie Street, half a block up from Calavera (which happens to have the same owner). We were warmly greeted from behind the bar that stretched the entire width of the kitchen behind it. If the aromas coming off the plates from the tables around us were any indication of the quality of food, we were going to be in for a treat. We were brought to a cozy table in the corner and after browsing the menu I took a moment to take in the thoughtfully warm decor. A long wooden bench against the wall running the entire length of the restaurant lined with 2 or 2 top tables, beautiful lighting fixtures with an old world feel, mason jar glasses filled with a tea light and wild flowers – all combined creates a relaxed and somewhat intimate atmosphere.

After ordering some local brews it took only a few minutes for everyone to decide just which meatballs were going to be for dinner. Here’s a breakdown of what was ordered:

  • Meatball Plate: Traditional Meatballs with meat sauce and an arugula side salad
  • Meatball Plate: Traditional Meatballs with parm cream sauce served over a bed of polenta
  • Meatball Plate: Spicy Pork Meatballs with meat sauce served over a bed of ristotto
  • Smush: Ball of the Day (Buffalo Chicken) with Sauce of the Day (Blue Cheese Cream) and mozzarella served on a kaiser roll and a side of mac and cheese

About 15 minutes later our orders appeared on simple plates allowing the food to be the star – don’t be fooled by portion size, you will be full (and satisfied!) after one plate.

The traditional meatballs and meat sauce have a fantastic blend of seasoning with a kick of heat that keeps you coming back for more, the texture  is so luscious no knives are needed. My brother, who ordered the smush listed above claimed, “This is the best meatball sandwich I’ve ever had.” So I had to try it, he shared part of a meatball with sauce and my immediate reaction was  “WOW”. Maybe one day it will appear on their regular menu (fingers crossed) because it is absolutely delicious. The arugula salad was dressed perfectly with dots of goat cheese, dried cranberries and nuts. Everyone at our table thoroughly enjoyed their meaty plates and agreed we will be back!

Oak City Meatball Shoppe is definitely a new favorite spot in Raleigh. They offer delicious meals, local beers, a variety of wines and an extensive whiskey/bourbon selection on top of excellent service that will earn them a spot on your list of regular places to dine. 

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