Now, for those of you who follow my blog, you’ll know that I absolutely love food and am constantly eating. I’ve written about my love for everything from ice cream to sandwiches to cookies, and much else. One of the foods that I haven’t gotten to mention much, however, and this is a food that holds a special place in my heart (and my arteries) is the glorious meatball sub. A well-made meatball sub can put a smile on anyone’s face. It can turn the worst of days into the best of days. It can make even the strongest nonbelievers, like myself, into full-fledged, die-hard meatball maniacs. I love meatball subs, and thank goodness Charles Village is chock-full of great places to pick one up. I’ve had the opportunity to try a meatball at five different places around Hopkins, and I think I would be doing a disservice to not just myself, but any sandwich lover reading this blog, if I didn’t do a comprehensive ranking of them all. So without further ado, here is my ranking of the best meatball subs in Charles village, based on bread quality, store hours/convenience, sauce, size, price, and of course, meatball quality.
#5. Maxie’s Pizza and Pasta
Bread Quality: 6/10 – very average sandwich roll with a slight crunch from the oven, which don’t get me wrong, is a nice touch, but other than that this bread doesn’t really offer much
Store Hours/Convenience: 8/10 – being open till 2:00 AM is nice, but out of all the places on this list it’s the farthest away from my dorm. This is somewhat evened out by the fact that its directly on the way to my girlfriend’s place, but in the end, I can only give it an 8/10.
Sauce: 3/10 – I have a serious gripe with Maxie’s marinara sauce, it has little to no flavor, it doesn’t taste fresh and earthy, it doesn’t have herbs or seasoning to balance out the acidity from the tomatoes. Plain and simple, It’s just a bad marinara.
Size: 4/10 – The smallest sub on the list, not tiny, but small compared to the competition
Price: 7/10 – it’s around 8 dollars with a side of fries, which, even for its size, is still a good deal.
Meatballs: 1/10 – these were just awful…. can’t say too much more
Overall Score: 29/60
#4. Potbelly Subs
Bread Quality: 8/10 – Standard Potbelly sub roll, nothing extraordinary but never disappoints – chewy with the perfect crunch
Store Hours/Convenience: 7/10 – Open till 10 every night, and only a 2-3 minute walk from my dorm
Sauce: 5/10 – Truth be told, I don’t remember this sauce, which means it wasn’t particularly memorable one way or the other.
Size: 5/10 – Very average size
Price: 5/10 – for 8 dollars, this is an okay deal for the size, but there’s better ways to get good bang for your buck
Meatballs: 3/10 – Slightly better than Maxie’s, but still pretty bad,
Overall Score: 33/60
#3. Carma’s Cafe
Bread Quality: 6/10 – Again, yet another average hoagie roll, though this time some good chew gives it the extra point
Store Hours/Convenience: 5/10 – Carma’s is open pretty late, though not as late as Potbelly. Additionally, it’s an extra minute or so away from my dorm compared to Potbelly, so it gets docked a few.
Sauce: 7/10 – A very good, flavorful, and hearty marinara sauce that makes the whole sub better.
Size: 5/10 – Again, very average size, slightly smaller than Potbelly
Price: 6/10 – it’s around 10 dollars and comes with a side of sesame noodles, which are delicious, and take this from being a total ripoff to being a solid deal.
Meatballs: 6/10 – Good texture and perfect size, and while the flavor leaves a little to be desired, it’s still leaps and bounds better than Maxie’s and Potbelly
Overall Score: 35/60
#2. Eddie’s Market
Bread Quality: 8/10 – The best chew you’ll find in Charles village, complements the texture of the meatballs very well, doesn’t try to do too much or be too fancy, just good bread.
Store Hours/Convenience: 3/10 – Eddie’s is open till 9 ever day but it only serves the meatball on weekdays
Sauce: 7/10 – Another good sauce, doesn’t have herbs or seasoning but the quality of the sauce itself makes up for that. You can taste the tomatoes, which is more than can be said for other places on this list
Size: 8/10 – Not very long….but this sandwich is THICK…like I’m talking Wendy’s Frosty thick…if you can take a bite without making a mess then kudos to you, I know I can’t.
Price: 9/10 – it’s around 6 dollars which is an insanely good deal for how large it is.
Meatballs: 9/10 – Best meatballs on this list, hands down. They’re huge, they’re not overly meaty, they’re seasoned well, and my gosh they’re delicious.
Overall Score: 44/60
Bread Quality: 6/10 – Very average sandwich bread that gets an extra point for its extreme variety
Store Hours/Convenience: 10/10 – This location is 24/7…enough said.
Sauce: 6/10 – Good flavor which can quickly be made better with the variety of seasonings that Subway offers. The issue is that I really don’t know if I’m eating real tomatoes or not.
Size: 10/10 – IT’S A FOOT LONG Y’ALL….12 INCHES FAM…IT COMES WITH LIKE 10 MEATBALLS
Price: 10/10 – 5 dollars for this gutbusting monstrosity is almost unfair
Meatballs: 7/10 – a bevy of very solid meaty pockets, not “knock your socks off” good, but pretty darn solid.
Overall Score: 49/60
So as you can see, there’s quite a difference between the best and worst (in my opinion) meatball subs in Charles Village, and I hope this will help make your decision easier as your go prowling the streets for that saucy, tender goodness late at night.