When you think about meatballs, you think about a traditional spaghetti dish. However, Barrelhouse has taken an ordinary component of a timeless Italian pasta dish and turned it into a small plate delicacy great for happy hour, with a bucatini, or in a sub sandwich. Barrelhouse doesn’t just have any ole meatballs, and these are not the meatballs you will find at your next office party (although you may be the next big thing at the office party if you had a tray of these catered). With options ranging from Angus beef, Home Place Pastures Pork, and Joyce Farms Chicken, Barrelhouse has a meatball choice for every type of diner. What makes their meatball menu feature even more unique than the protein sources is that you can choose your sauce as well. The sauce choices are traditional classic tomato, parmesan cream, and pecan basil pesto.
I naively assumed I’d need slightly more filling than the meatballs, so I opted to make it a sub. I went with the chicken meatball topped with Parmesan cream sauce. It had shaved parmesan sprinkled on top, and the bread was nicely toasted. Let’s jump right into the “meat” of the matter. These meatballs come in orders of five, and they are a pretty good size. Had I known they would have been as big as they were, I certainly would have been satisfied with just the meatballs and sauce for lunch. They were hand-rolled and appeared to be flash fried. The meatball was flavorful in its own right, but the sauce was a great compliment. Taken together with the sub, it became a tad dry. So, I asked my waiter for an additional offering of sauce to pour over the sub to give it the wetness I desired.
Every single bite I took had meatball, sauce, cheese, and bread. That’s how a meatball sub is supposed to be. I almost forgot to mention the sub comes with the side of your choice for a price point of $12. I went with the pimento cheese grit girl grits as my side this time. They were slightly peppery and left a bit to be desired on flavor. I think the next time I order the meatballs in a sub or as a pasta dish; I’ll go with one of the guaranteed-to-be-fabulous sides I know like their delicious fried okra, macaroni, and cheese, or roasted sweet potatoes. All in all, with a little more sauce, this dish is a hit. The meatballs alone are fantastic, and I can’t wait to return to try the other two types and the different sauces as well. If there’s such a thing as a gourmet meatball on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, I think Barrelhouse has it.