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Food truck review: Barone Meatball Co.’s serves up mom’s classic recipe and made-from-scratch creations

Barone Meatball Co.’s food truck serves up mom’s classic recipe and made-from-scratch creations

Barone Meatball Co.’s food truck owner-operator Stephen Dewey talks about menu favorite Mom’s Italian meatball
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Barone Meatball Co.’s food truck owner-operator Stephen Dewey talks about menu favorite Mom’s Italian meatball

The Barone Meatball Co. food truck has been on the road since 2013, qualifying it as venerable by local standards. You may already have sampled the truck’s wares, in which case you’ll understand its enduring success. It recently appeared in an episode of the Cooking Channel’s “Food Truck Nation,” putting a local favorite in the national spotlight.

You might even have a go-to meatball.

Ask owner-operator Stephen Dewey to name his favorite, and his answer is not surprising: Mom’s Italian. The truck bears the family name of his mom, who taught him how to cook. He still makes the all-beef Italian meatballs, as well as the rich old school marinara sauce that blankets them, from a family recipe she passed down to him.

Then, just as you’re thinking “Of course, it’s his comfort food. What else would he choose?,” he chooses something else: “‘I would also have to say that my other favorite is whatever new meatball I’ve come up with lately.” In the past, meatball creations ranging from Philly cheesesteak to Holiday Turkey have made appearances on the blackboard menu by the order window.

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Stephen Dewey tops off Mom’s Italian meatballs with marinara sauce on Barone Meatball Co.’s food truck Tuesday, March 11, 2019. Juli Leonard jleonard@newsobserver.com

Recently, the rotating meatball has been the Cuban: pork meatballs blended with Cuban spices and a little Swiss cheese, topped with more Swiss, dill pickles and homemade mustard. That’s right, he makes pretty much everything from scratch, even the shells for his excellent cannoli.

I haven’t had the Cuban yet, but I can vouch for the Italian sausage meatballs (yep, he makes those, too), which I scarfed down recently on a sub topped with grilled peppers and onions. Buffalo chicken meatballs, with lettuce, tomato and blue cheese crumbles, are also justifiably popular. And you can always count on a veggie meatball offering, recently a Southwestern-spiced mix of black beans and corn with cheddar and chipotle sour cream.

Kudos also for the chopped salad. Available in two sizes, it’s tossed in just the right amount of vinaigrette, and so lavishly loaded with dried cranberries, candied walnuts, diced onion and blue cheese crumbles that I could be tempted to make a meal of the large.

Who am I kidding? There’s no way I’m hitting the Barone truck without ordering Mom’s Italian meatball sub. (You can also get any of the meatballs over rigatoni pasta, or sliced in a grilled cheese sandwich.)

I guess what I’m saying is, while I can recommend everything I’ve had so far, I’ll leave it up to you to pick your favorite. As for me, I’m going with Dewey’s first answer.

Barone Meatball Co.

Prices: meatballs (served in a sandwich, grilled cheese or over pasta) $9-10, sides and salads $5-8

Website: baronemeatball.com

Twitter: @baronemeatball

On TV: The “Food Truck Nation” episode featuring Barone Meatball Co. will air again March 30 at 12 noon on The Cooking Channel.

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