Buon Cibo, Buon Vino, Buoni Amici

Leave it to the locals to know the best foodie spots!

After many of my friends suggested it, I decided to follow their wise palates and visit The Meatball Cafe.

And all I can say is …darn! They were right again.

The Meatball Cafe on South Padre Island has become a (nearly) overnight local favorite and Island must-do. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Italian Food? At Padre?

No worries. The owners have provided an ample selection of delectable seafood entrees, all laced with an authentic Italian flare, while still offering the traditional dishes we have all come to love from an Italian cucina.

The restaurant’s main dining area is quite spacious, graciously inviting, and well lit with a touch of Art Deco flair. As soon as you walk into The Meatball Cafe, the wonderful aroma of fresh baked bread and traditional herby Italian scents flowing from the kitchen hits you.

With some advice from the friendly, but professional staff, my companions and I proceed to order. I start by requesting the made-from-scratch Spaghetti and Meatballs entrée, as this was at the top of the list from my friends’ recommendations. My friends set their sights on the “Seared Sea Scallop Toscana” plate and the “Mahi Mahi Rockefeller” dish.

A fabulous service, the restaurant offers the option to choose the type of pasta that comes with your dish. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try their lasagna, nor their panini, but my friends swear by it.

And don’t worry. This isn’t an adult-only type of restaurant (even though there’s a healthy array of fine table wines), there’s also a special Bambini Menu for your little ones.

While my friends munch on the incredible, freshly baked, ciabatta loaf smothered with real butter, I stealthily sneak into the kitchen. I catch the Chef and his assistants busy at work, carefully following the Ferrone Family prized recipes. I witness a savory pizza created from scratch – literally. The use of quality ingredients is amazing and the food is obviously delicious because of this attention to detail.

By now I’m way beyond hungry, so after taking a couple of quick photos, I exit back into the dining area.

Wonderfully, the food arrives within a reasonable amount of time.

My Spaghetti is perfectly cooked, with the pasta a nice thickness and texture. The Meatballs are just dreamy; they’re perfectly seasoned and moist. The Garlic bread is no exception, as it matches the deliciousness of the rest of the meal.

The fresh salads are undoubtedly scrumptious and don’t disappoint at all. Especially when paired with the fresh bread.

Luckily for me, I also get to sample the “Sea Scallop Toscana”, which is undeniably fresh as revealed by its firmness and plumpness (is that even a word?). And the “Mahi Mahi Rockefeller” is topped as the name suggests, with an incredibly rich and delicious creamy sauce.

It’s definitely easy to see how the ‘Del Mare’ freshness of the seafood is a key factor for how quickly this eatery has become highly rated.

Even though there isn’t any room for dessert, in-house Mixologist, Braulio, concocts some syrupy Tiramisu Martinis. Oh boy! This delicious cocktail certainly hits that sweet “Chocoholic Spot”.

By now it’s really starting to feel like ‘Nap Time”. It’s that warming feeling you get after a great meal.

I’ll definitely be back to The Meatball Cafe. I can’t wait!

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I like to consider myself a “Jack-of-all-trades”, an “apprentice of everything, master of nothing” type of guy. I’ve dabbled in many a profession. You name it, I’ve done it. My colorful professional past includes stints as a chef, banker, license stockbroker, restauranteur, day trader, and everything in between. Alas, my zeal for food and my interest in the future of the web outweighed my liking of every other industry.