Put our balls in your mouth
Meatballs Invade Portland
At the corner of Portland's Northeast 24th Avenue and Glisan Street within microrestaurant collective The Ocean is a first-of-its-kind meatball-focused restaurant owned by Adam Berger of Tabla fame. One thing's for sure: 24th & Meatballs is “dead serious” (Thrillist Portland) about having Portland's tastiest balls. Adam brings his East Coast roots and lifelong passion for meatballs to this grab-and-go restaurant boasting an approachable atmosphere with infectious energy and high-quality food. Everything on the mix-and-match menu from meatballs and fresh pasta to salads and sides is priced at $9 or less, so a meatball feast is no doubt feasible. Whether at the counter or a picnic table outside, these balls are the real deal.
Put Our Balls in Your Mouth
The process is simple. First, choose from the four big, juicy meatball options including Classic Italian with beef, veal, pork and basil; Pork Piccante with chiles and cheese; Chicken Parmesan; or Vegan. Then select one of the savory sauces: Tomato Basil, Creamy Cheesy, Spicy Pork, or Hazelnut Arugula Pesto. Finally, decide how to get the balls in your mouth whether that's sliders, panini, a bed of from-scratch pasta or cremy polenta, heroes made from Portland's Fleur De Lis French Bakery bread, or straight-up “balls, balls, balls” served with focaccia. The Chicken balls are gluten free except for the vegan, and gluten-free buns are also available. But wait, there's more! Satisfying salads – from Caesar to kale to green – and flavorful sides like garlic mashed potatoes and braised collard greens round out any order. Wash it all down with Kool-Aid of the Day (yes, from the packet!), craft beer from the robust bottled selection, a glass or bottle of wine. For dessert, it's all about the Waffle Balls – a sweet tooth's must-try decadence. These made-to-order spheres with slightly sweetened egg waffle batter yield a crispy-on-the-outside, soft-in-the-middle delight.
Love Our Balls – Inside and Out!
A cozy beach shack meets funky retro Italian shop, 24th & Meatballs is a super casual 560-square-foot space with large yellow-framed windows that fold-open wide to maintain a breezy flow and bring the outdoors in. The walls are a real focal point with hand-painted murals by local artists of old boxing scenes while the colorful, quirky décor includes boxing memorabilia and old-school candy jars overflowing with childhood favorites. Ecelctic music fills the small-but-mighty space with seats for 26 inside at a 20-foot burnt cedar plank bar with stools and a half dozen two-top tables as well as room for 50 outside at hand-torched wooden picnic tables with red umbrellas. Balls are everywhere, and they are good.
The Boys Behind the Balls
A self-described “nice Jewish boy” from New Jersey, Adam Berger grew up eating at local Italian restaurants and with a slight meatball hero obsession. He may have graduted from culinary school and worked in top restaurants around the world, but perfecting his recipe for this down-home comfort food favorite has always been a priority. The food at 24th & Meatballs represents the way Adam loves to eat. The restaurant is co-owned by Leo Rivera, the founder and marketing mind behind Bishops Barbershop.