WHAT The Rodfather
WHERE Hey Meatball, 719 College St., 416-546-1483, heymeatball.ca
PRICE $12 (including side salad and taxes)
WHY Meaty, messy, most definitely awesome
Rodney Bowers, formerly of The Rosebud, was all smiles when I walked into Hey Meatball. Maybe it was because it was a sunny Good Friday. Probably it was because he knows he’s serving G-D great sandwiches. He had personalized greeting for every customer, plus his cherub-like cheeks go a long way in leaving an endearing impression. But enough about the brains of the operation (although, if you want to know the backstory of the chef and his meatballs, read about his creative process in the National Post), let’s talk about the sandwich!
Pork and beef balls (three of them) on a perfectly toasted ciabatta bun with cheese, tomato sauce and pesto.
The first thing that hits me is the aroma — oh, that smell! — so fragrant is it that I do pause for a few seconds just to soak it in. And then, mange! The balls were perfectly dense, the bread crispy on the outside, but soft inside (useful for soaking up the tomato sauce), and the pesto is the needed twist that ties all the flavours together. It’s a lot of sandwich, but the portion isn’t overwhelming, and the salad Bowers serves is covered in some magic dressing that had me enjoying cauliflower of all things.
One last note: While a charming spot that will demonstrate to the person you’re wooing that you’re hip to that jive, this is not an ideal sandwich for a first date. Third date, maybe.
*** It’s hard to take a good-looking photo of this meaty mess, but I think that’s the point.