Who Will Build Dallas' Best Meatball Hoagie?

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This week in The New York Times, Pete Wells reviews someplace called Parm. His intro points out the lack of coverage food snobs give Italian-American cooking -- red-sauce pasta on red-checkered table cloths -- despite that it's a prominent comfort food for millions of Americans.

That's why it's so painful to see the cuisine abused to the degree it is, and so inspiring to see a polished chef devote such care to something as common as a meatball sandwich. Check out what Wells has to say about just the meat alone.

The meat is juicy and rosy pink on the inside, the color of a perfectly cooked pork chop. The meatballs, made from veal, beef and sweet Italian sausage, are pink because they were braised at 180 degrees in a CVap low-temperature cooker for 40 minutes. They were braised at 180 degrees because Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone, the chefs behind Parm, studied fancy-restaurant techniques under chefs like Andrew Carmellini, Mario Batali and Wylie Dufresne.

This is the paragon of pedestrian cooking. I get giddy when someone devotes this much attention to a menu item that's considered common by most in the culinary world. That a chef would get this geeked out on a meatball brings tears to my eyes. Not because I'm sentimental, but because I have to go all the way to Manhattan to get it.

I'm nominating John Tesar as the Dallas chef most likely to pull off the perfect meatball sandwich. We already know he likes to play with obtuse kitchen equipment, and he's also already done wonderful things the humble hamburger. Take the next step, Tesar. Build Dallas the perfect meatball hoag. The city will shower you with praise -- and parm.


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15 comments
littleloo
littleloo

Best meatball hoagie already exists at Jimmy's Food Store!  

Halldecker
Halldecker

Jimmy's still uses the Genaro family recipe.  Aunt Rose,  who till almost the day she died was in Jimmy's making meatballs exactly as they were made in the 30's, was the next to last family member taught by the Lady who created it.  The recipe remains the same.   The meatballs from Jimmy's are from an era when many Sicilians lived in East Dallas,  many of them operated small neighborhood groceries.   "That was the Depression,  we always knew there'd be food in the house."

I was blessed to know the last lady taught the family recipe.  She'd make me a dozen for Christmas.  Same exact taste as Jimmy's. 

Melissa
Melissa

Jimmy's would have to be up there.

Chubby Kid
Chubby Kid

Y'all are all wrong...Jimmy's Meatball Sub is the BEST in town.  Made with the fantastic Mama's Meatballs that are probably the best balls I've put in my mouth (wait...what?)

The meatball king
The meatball king

Holy crap you people are missing it.. if you have not tried the meatball sandwich at Cane Rosso you must get in your car this very second.

Urban Epicurious
Urban Epicurious

WAIT - Did I just hear a nomination for John Tesar?!?  Mind sharing this with Eater for "Make Your Nomination for The Hottest Chef in Dallas" dallas@eater.com

JT
JT

Deal Scott ... On the bus you will find the cvap meatball sandwich with a few personal touches !

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I don't know if they even offer one on their lunch menu, but Kenny's Italian in Addison would be a damn good candidate for one hell of a meatball sub if they do.

todd
todd

1. I don't know about that CVap smear crap, but Big Easy in Plano makes a mighty fine Meatball Sandwich. Mi-Tee Fine. 2. I've been enjoying homemade Italian-American cooking for 46 years and I have no idea how a tablecloth could contribute any substance whatsovever. It's peer is the grated "cheese" in the green can.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

I think places like Parm are going to create a lot of press about back to basics Americanized Italian, and for good reason. It's the intersection of local food with a cuisine that is familiar to most Americans.

B1ng
B1ng

Pretty sure they run it as a lunch special at Kenny's Woodfire.

G_David
G_David

I saw the article on the NYT website yesterday.  It's already on my list of places to go when I'm up there in March.

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