The Meatball Stoppe 7325 Lake Underhill Road Orlando.
From the moment you step into The Meatball Stoppe you are immersed in the world of Isabella and Jeff Morgia. From the beautiful photographs of their family that adorn the walls to the special warmth of the welcome from the server at the counter, their dream of making you feel like you are in a “Home away from Home” is well and truly delivered.
We were lucky enough to meet Isabella on our visit, but let’s use her full name Isabella Morgia di Vicari and to hear her say it is just like an Italian song and goes a long way in understanding the complex nature of her food or as she describes it “Untraditional” “Traditional” Italian food, handmade and with love like your Mamma’s and Nonna’s would do but with special twists and surprising creations.
Isabella is a larger than life first-generation American, and she attributes her love of food and culinary skills to her family teachings and traditions that are evident in her food today.
This quick service restaurant is situated on a rather innocuous strip mall on Lake Underhill Road, in an area not know for culinary excellence, but the Meatball Stoppe has changed that perception.
The restaurant is small with limited seating, but good news is on the way, Isabella told us that they will shortly be expanding into the space next door, that will not only enlarge the whole restaurant but allow the addition of a Cappuccino Café (we will keep you posted).
The menu comprises of Hand Rolled Meatballs with Homemade Sauces, Salads, Pasta and Focaccia and allows you pick your own style from a variety of Meatball options and then add your sauce and side of either Creamy Polenta, Stoppe Salad, White Bean Ragu or Penne Pasta.
Famiglia Favorites, Eggplant dishes and Lasagna varieties add to the menu options. Freshly baked Focaccia and some lunch specials complete the menu offerings. There are of course Cannoli’s and a dessert called Sfogliatelli (flaky Italian pastry filled with lemon Ricotta) if you still have room left.
Beer, Wine and Sodas are also on offer at reasonable prices
Such a great selection to choose from, we went for:
Nonna’s Traditional Italian Meatballs – Three Meatballs on top of Penne Pasta smothered in a rich Roasted Tomato sauce with a side of White Bean Ragu. The trick here is to eat a small portion of each of the elements of the dish all at once, the Meatball, the Pasta, the sauce and of course the White Bean Ragu. The end result? A “Party” in your mouth. The excellent, soft succulent Meatballs and Ragu seem to be especially well suited to each other and soon disappeared of the plate.
Eggplant Stack – Breaded eggplant stacked with imported cheeses and a Roasted Tomato sauce with a side of Creamy Polenta. Again, the same method applies, as the sum of the ingredients seems to be enhanced over the individual flavors, a testament to how good each element truly is.
- Watch out for the new space opening soon (we will let you know).
- Isabella has her own Cookbook “What Can I Bring” see the restaurant web page for details of how to get a copy.
- Happy Hour Special 3pm- 6pm see restaurant for details.
- Check out the recently launched brunch menu.
- Check out their website for special discounts for Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters, Florida Hospital Employees, Military and Central Florida college students, with ID.
We were overwhelmed by the obvious passion and genuine care for the customer experience here, backed up by Isabella and Jeff’s excellent food they must have truly made their ancestors proud. This is a small business with a BIG heart and one that will go from success to success. We wish them well.