Motor City Meatball Kitchen serves many delights

Molly Abraham

Motor City Meatball Kitchen is like a Broadway-worthy production that finds itself in an Off-Off-Broadway location. If people manage to find it, it’s going to be a hit.

The cast, in this case, includes a kitchen making everything from scratch from quality ingredients, and a dining room that is leading-actor attractive despite the casual, self-serve approach and disposable tableware. The production is in the hands of three restaurant pros, Mary Ann Gualtieri, Jeff Glover and Ron Uhouse, all of whom have years of experience.

True to its name, the MCMK is dedicated to meatballs, handsome little golf ball-sized bundles of chicken, pork or beef, with all of the meats ground in-house. There is also the option of so-called vegetarian meatballs, an oxymoron if ever there was once. They are made with lentils, eggs, ricotta and bread crumbs.

This might be a modest spot, but it has high aspirations under the director, Glover, who works from a script of recipes collaborated on by all three.

Meatball sandwiches on a choice of Asiago roll or ciabatta flatbread and sliders on mini brioche buns are not the only dishes that contain the titular meatballs. They also come tucked into the fresh green salads and atop spaghettini or penne pasta accompanied by the delicious garlic and herb focaccia bread that is made in house. There’s even a dish called Meatball! Meatball!, a choice of two of the tender morsels served as a side dish with focaccia.

Other sides include a couple of soups, one of which is a hearty minestrone, and there’s four-cheese mac-and-cheese as well. Just one dessert is offered, and it’s terrific — warm zeppole (Italian doughnut-style pastries dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar) with crème Anglaise dipping sauce.

Diners step up to the counter where their choices are put together in full view, then pick up wax paper covered small metal trays on which the food is served. Beverages range from an array of San Pellegrino soft drinks to conventional sodas.

The three principals say that after years of working for other people. they decided to create a job for themselves.

You might need to rely on a GPS to find Motor City Meatball Kitchen, but this fresh new place is worth the search.

(313) 222-1475

Motor City Meatball Kitchen

31081 Hayes at 13 Mile, Warren

Call: (586) 872-2486


Rating: ★★½

Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Sat.

Prices: Sandwiches $6.95, pastas $6.49-$7.95, salads $6.95-$8.95, sides $1.95-$3.95, dessert $1.95

Liquor: No; soft drinks only

Noise level: Low

Parking: Strip mall lot

Wheelchair access: No barriers