An endearing memory of my paternal grandmother involves a meatball sandwich. Nana was visiting from New Jersey and we went out to dinner at Antonino’s along the train tracks in LaGrange. Apparently, our order took too long to come out for Nana’s liking. Yet, she was only concerned with one portion of the order – the meatball sandwich my dad chose. Old school Irish mother, making sure the boy was fed. A busboy came out to refill our bread & water and she gave him an earful – “Where’s the meatball sandwich?!!”
The phrase instantly became legend in our family. That meatball sandwich arrived at the table not long after Nana lit up the innocent busboy.
Yesterday, I grabbed a footlong roasted turkey sub from Bari, as I often do. But before my order came out, one of the register ladies shouted out “Meatball sub?” – and I was tempted to claim it. It’d been awhile since a meatball sandwich occurred to me, for whatever reason. Later, around dinnertime – meatballs on bread danced in my head. Bari closes around 4, so it wasn’t an option. Although I imagine they make a proper meatball sub. I searched Yelp for meatball sandwich and The Little Meatball Pizzeria popped up. The pizza looked good and the reviews were positive. I ordered a meatball sandwich and a side of garlic cheesy bread. Picked it up 20 minutes later at Lincoln and Fullerton near DePaul.
Came home and unpaused the Bulls game while I enjoyed my pickup. Both hit the spot – rippable, dippable garlic cheesy bread with cups of marinara. Meatballs – covered in mozzarella & marinara – seasoned by professionals and fresh, quality sandwich bread.
Now I know where the meatball sandwich is, Nana. There’s one in Lincoln Park.