Go Local Wednesday – The Meatball Shoppe

Meatball shoppeOne of my favorite things about working in downtown Orlando, is all the great restaurants I get to try!  One of my favorite comfort foods is spaghetti and meatballs, so when I heard of The Meatball Shoppe, I knew I had to try it!

Isabella Morgia di Vicari and her husband Jeff, have been in the food industry for over 30 years.  Isabella, a first generation American, born of Italian heritage in Brooklyn, NY, with a very large “famiglia” from Calabria and Trieste, Italia.  She learned to cook, not from cooking school but from her namesake, Nonna Isabella.  Isabella is also an author and co-owns the family’s catering business “Isabella’s Bella Cucina Catering” with Jeff.  Jeff, also has a fantastic resume!  After graduating from the University of Nevada, he worked for Sheraton and Burger King, holding many positions including operations, training and new location openings.  With Isabella’s cooking and Jeff’s business knowledge, they are a winning team!

On my first visit to The Meatball Shoppe, Jeff explained the menu options, making recommendations and educating me on the family’s love for food.  I had the Greek Meatballs with the white bean ragu.  It was “delicioso!”  The meatballs were good size and the perfect texture.  The white bean ragu (which I was a little skeptical about) was to die for.  The arugula salad with vinaigrette was delightful.  I left full and satisfied.

Don’t let the unassuming exterior fool you, Isabella and Jeff are the real deal!  Isabella will be competing in the Pantry to Plate: A Chef’s Challenge tomorrow evening against Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant and Ryan Vargas of Emeril’s Tchoup Chop.  There is no question in my mind that she will be the clear winner!  Get out and go local Orlando at The Meatball Shoppe today!

Image Credit: April Martin


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