Best New Jersey Food Trucks: Mama’s Meatballs

T.New Jersey’s food truck scene is one of the most dynamic in the country. People from different backgrounds and companies have put their hats in the ring with different mobile his menus. For example, the story behind Mama’s Meatballs is quite the story. The owner, Michael Antinore, is an Italian-American hairdresser from Southern New Jersey who is also an expert in meatball slings. he is currently best new jersey food trucks.

Before Mama’s Meatballs, when Michael was young, he would make meatballs with his grandmother in Philadelphia on Sundays. One of his fondest childhood memories is learning his grandmother’s secret and delicious homemade meatball recipe. Today Michael uses the same recipe to make delicious meatballs.

Close up of Mamas meatball sliders

After two years of planning, Mama’s Meatballs hit the food truck scene in 2013. Clearly, Tri-State his area loves grandma’s recipes as much as Michael does. Because it didn’t take long before the food truck took home the prize. In fact, Mama’s Meatballs earned him #10 on America’s 101 Best Food Trucks list.

Mama’s Meatballs now exists as both a food truck and store on Haddonfield Road in Pennsauken. However, the brick-and-mortar store will be closed for the summer while Michael takes his meatballs on a trip.

Michael Antinoir sat down with best of new jersey We talk about his background and his award-winning food truck. Check out the full interview below!

Best New Jersey Food Trucks: Mama’s Meatballs Interview

Mama's Meatball Food Truck and Owner

Best of New Jersey: Why Meatballs?

Michael Antinole: I have been thinking for a long time. You know, each track tries to do something a little niche. No one was doing meatballs. So I came up with the idea of ​​making different kinds of meatballs. The idea was to put what you normally put on top of meatballs inside. Place another on top of it. For example, Rocky Ball his boa is a sweet sausage mixed with sweet magnolia, sautéed peppers and onions, stuffed with sharp provolone and topped with a wonderful marinara sauce, sautéed peppers, onions and pesto and Parmesan his cheese. So I put more stuff on top to give it more flavor. Each bite explodes with different flavors.

BONJ: Can you give us a breakdown of the other meatballs that you normally serve at your truck?

Michael: “Dazza Spicy Balls” are primarily hot sausage roasted long hot, crushed red chili peppers and jalapeño cheddar cheese sandwiched in the middle. Then there’s the “father of raab,” which is broccoli rabe mixed with turkey. It is then stuffed with Asiago cheese and served with marinara sauce, pesto, parmesan cheese and arugula.

The blue cheese stuffed “blue ball” is topped with a blue cheese sauce topped with bacon bits and parmesan cheese. There are also “nacho balls,” which are beef with jalapeños, onions, and taco seasonings on the meat. It’s then stuffed with cheddar cheese and topped with pico de gallo and lime-infused sour cream.

Another closeup of a slider sandwich

Mama’s balls are my grandmother’s recipe. Rocky Ball He, along with Boa, is the biggest seller of all time. That was her recipe. It’s also her sauce, her gravy.

Life before Mama’s Meatballs

BONJ: Incorporating fond memories of your grandmother adds a more personal and sentimental element to your business, doesn’t it?

Michael: absolutely. I grew up with my grandparents, who made meatballs for me on Sundays. My grandmother used to make Sunday gravy. She made meatballs, sausages, everything, and then just cooked all day. She fried all her meatballs because she only made her 3 pounds. We (Mama’s Meatballs) she earns £400. So you need to bake more. But my grandmother and I used to fry meatballs. Then I ate meatballs like lollipops. I put my fork in and sat watching TV and eating meatballs.And she yelled at me because I eat them all [laughs].

BONJ: What were you doing before Mama’s Meatballs?

Michael: I have been a hair stylist for over 20 years. I have a hair salon in the Old City of Philadelphia, East End Salon.

BONJ: How did the food truck come about?

Michael: I was sitting with my ex-partner who started Mama’s Meatballs with me. He and I have been friends for 20 years. I cut his hair and told him I had an idea for a food truck. This is back like 2011-2012. There wasn’t a food truck scene yet, but little by little it came out. And I told him I had an idea for a food truck called Mama’s Ball. Make all these different meatballs.

Crowd surrounding food truck

He was like, “You’re crazy!”and people thought i was crazy [laughs]I said We came out in 2013 and our meatballs have been a hit ever since.

Work is fun, but fun is work

BONJ: The names you come up with are always creative. Talk a little bit about how fun it is.

Michael: It’s very fun [laughs]Before thinking about the business concept, I was actually thinking about the name of the truck. I was like, “What a great name for Mama’s Balls. And we make meatballs.” , gave it a fitting name. Sometimes I would name it first and build a ball around it. For example, I wanted sausage and green pepper balls and they were like, “Rocky ball boa!” [Laughs].

BONJ: What do you think are the challenges of food trucks that most patrons overlook?

Michael: This includes a lot more than you might think. One is that it’s usually pretty hard to maintain, so there’s very little waste. Food waste kills you, so that’s the key. please. Little things like that really affect how you operate.

If you don’t have your own commercial kitchen, you’ll need to prepare and cook at a concession stand and pay for that concession. You may be thinking, “Oh, let’s cook at home,” but it’s actually not. Now you have to figure out where to park your food truck.Not everyone can or wants to park at home [laughs]If you are a food truck owner, you are truly a gambler.

award plaque

I always tell people when they ask me about starting a food truck. I have to drop the concept. That’s the best. what do you want? Second, build your tracks around what you’re trying to do.

Mama’s meatball details

BONJ: Does the track correspond to events?

Michael: The truck will definitely come out for catering. A truck can be rented and we have done a lot of corporate work. We just did a big thing in Hackensack, about 800 people were served that day. I also like to have lunch in corporate parks. I get a call from the company, so I’m going out to lunch in the truck. Host events for parties of all sizes and get award-winning balls.

BONJ: What events are you planning to attend this summer?

Michael: We are going to Swedsboro on June 27th. Swedesboro Auction Park has he 10 or he 15 trucks going there. They hold that event once a month in June, July and August. We are still booking for July. Follow Mama’s Meatballs on Facebook for upcoming events.

Mama's meatballs serving customers

Want to discover more Best New Jersey Food Trucks?Then check out Best New Jersey Food Trucks: The Complete Series.

Featured (top) image (and additional images): © Patrick Lombardi / Best of NJ

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