The Unvegan

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One if by sea, two if by truck.

When Great Balls on Tires first debuted last year, I was concerned that such a name for a meatball truck was a bit of a gimmick. Yet, now that GBOT has lasted through the middle of this year, I felt it was time I tried them out. When I walked up to the truck to see what they had to offer, I found there were only a few sets of balls to choose from. Yet, more than one of these balls looked attractive to me. Unfortunately, all balls came in sets of two, so I had to limit myself to only one ball type.

Plus, priced at 6-7 bucks for a set of two balls, I couldn’t really justify paying to try more than one. This was a shame, because had the balls been priced individually, I would have probably been willing to try three types. Instead, I approached the lady at the window to ask her to choose between two ball varieties for me. The first was the Ciao Balla (veal, pork, pancetta marinara, shaved parmesan and fresh basil on a toasted brioche bun) and the second was the Buffalo Ball (chicken, buffalo sauce, mac and cheese and blue cheese on a similarly toasted brioche bun). When I asked, she threw my ideas completely out the window and said I should get the IncrediBall. This was the most expensive, weighing in at 7 bucks. The only trouble was that this was not an unvegan-friendly ball. Sure, it had Kobe beef, applewood smoked bacon, gruyere and garlic aioli on that recurring brioche bun, but it also had arugula. And apparently I am a sucker, because I ordered the IncrediBall, but without the arugula.

The result was ready almost instantly and I found myself looking at two beautiful mini-sandwiches packed with meatballs. If nothing else, I must say how happy I am that GBOT didn’t stoop to inaccurately calling these sandwiches sliders. So thank you for that and on to the eating. I dug in and discovered a pretty tasty sandwich (or two). These guys were composed of a perfect balance of bacon, cheese, bread and meat. Plus, the aioli packed some good flavor. The beef tasted as though it were mostly seasoned with salt and pepper, and although it wasn’t bad, I felt like it might have been better with some more Italian seasonings. Also, I should clear up that although the menu said Kobe beef, this was more than likely American Kobe-style beef, which is pretty much as good, but can’t legally be called Kobe beef unless it comes from Japan. The beef was juicy, but eating it just reminded me of how much better Kobe beef is in steak form than in ground beef form. It’s better beef, but not so much better that it should cost a crazy amount more. Fortunately, these balls only cost a dollar more.

Wow, so there’s my usual Kobe beef rant.

In general, I really did like my IncrediBalls, but I was not completely satisfied. In this case, I can’t just limit myself to judging the taste and price of the food, because I think the practice of selling all these balls as doubles is flawed. I think GBOT should really split up their balls and allow people to order one-offs. This will give people more options and a better eating experience. I know I’d go back if I knew I could try more things without killing my wallet.