House of Meatball Review


House of Meatball offerings range from the traditional beefy Italian, above, to Thai pork, chicken marsala, steakhouse-style and mix-and-match options. (Photo courtesy of House of Meatball)

Kellyn Wilde, Reporter

If you are looking for a quality restaurant that is somewhere between fast food and fancy Italian, then you have to check out House of Meatball in the Evergreen neighborhood of San Jose.

House of Meatball got its start in Morgan Hill, and the chain has been slowly making its way north since opening last November. With the success of the Morgan Hill restaurant, they have decided to open three more locations in the Bay Area, including the brand new one in Evergreen.

The outside of the building does not look like much, but as soon as you walk in, you are greeted with smiling faces that will direct you to your seat. The decor inside is rustic, creating a comfortable and casual setting. For outside seating, they have created a charming garden scene, although they do not exactly need the private setting because the hills surrounding the restaurant already make the surrounding scenery gorgeous.

The staff at House of Meatball was definitely the highlight of my experience. They were constantly attentive when it came to refills, and the food was brought out in a timely manner. Whenever I asked the servers a question or commented on my meal, they replied with energy and kept the conversation alive. This sense of community made me feel as though I had been eating there for years.

Now, onto the most important part: the food. They started by bringing bread, as Italian restaurants tend to do. The bread itself was rather bland, but they provided a cheese sauce that helped the bread come to life. Next came the Greens & Apples Salad ($9.99), which had fresh leaves and an excellent vinaigrette dressing.

The entrees went far beyond my expectations. The Shrimp Scampi ($14.99) was cooked to perfection. Not only was the pasta al dente, but the shrimp also had the perfect balance between crunchy and firm.

It’s a good thing the restaurant’s namesake is after meatballs. At House of Meatball, you have the ability to create your own meatball dish by mixing and matching sauces, meatballs, and pastas. The grass-fed beef meatballs ($9.99 for 3 meatballs), a healthier alternative to their grain-fed beef brethren, were absolutely delicious. And of course, the marinara spaghetti accompanying the meatball dish (an additional $6.99) was amazing.

The meatballs themselves do come with sides ($6.99 each), but salad is counted as an entree and therefore costs more than the other sides. The side dishes include roasted vegetables, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, polenta, garlic rice, soup, and bread.

Strangely, the menu for the Evergreen location differs largely from that of the Morgan Hill one. The Morgan Hill location is much cheaper, but it has far fewer options to choose from. Three meatballs alongside a pasta dish would cost around $17.00 in Evergreen while only costing around $11.00 in Morgan Hill. This can be attributed to the fact that the Evergreen location is a sit down diner while the Morgan Hill location is generally used for quickly picking up lunch. The Morgan Hill menu only consists of meatballs, while the Evergreen menu includes appetizers and other dishes, such as the Scampi that I ordered.

By the time that I was finished with my meal, I was too full to eat another bite. However, the dessert menu looked incredibly appetizing, with options such as tiramisu, cheesecake, lava cake, and more.

The portion sizes could have been larger for the amount of money that was charged. The food may have been presented well, but that does not change the fact that the dishes were only half way full.

Overall, House of Meatball is worth checking out if you ever find yourself in Evergreen. And if not, there is a new House of Meatball opening on nearby Meridian in a few months, so make sure you’re ready!

Location: 4898 San Felipe Rd, San Jose

Parking: Big lot, not crowded

Hours: Mon-Thu: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Fri-Sat: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Sun: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.