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MEATBALL SPOT

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Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood

3663 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

702-331-5562

website

$7-$12

Mon-Thu 10am-11pm

Fri-Sun 10am-12am

Italian

B

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A quick serve joint that serves meatballs, mostly.

Where is it?

In the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood on the Center Strip.

What kind of food is served?

Like I said... meatballs. But also a few flatbreads and salads.

What is the atmosphere like?

It's more of a to-go kind of place so there is no real atmosphere.

How is the service?

Good and fast.

What are the prices like?

Pretty cheap overall, although it seems like a lot for meatballs.

What else do I need to know?

Britney Spears is a co-owner of the place.

What's the bottom line?

A change of pace from the typical fast-food burger joint.

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FULL REVIEW

There's an interesting cast of characters behind this little quick serve spot in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. The Chef behind the original incarnation, which was located in the Town Square Mall south of The Strip, was Carla Pellegrino who appeared on Bravo's "Top Chef" and was, for a time, involved with restaurants in Vegas like Rao's at Caesars Palace and Bacio at Tropicana. Her Bratalian in suburban Henderson continues to win plaudits from locals and visitors alike.

When Meatball Spot moved from Town Square to Planet Hollywood, Pelligrino stepped out but a new, much higher-profile investor stepped in. Want a clue as to who it is? Go to the restaurant and look just to your left. Do you see that big theater where pop princess Britney Spears is performing regularly now? Yes, Brit is now in the meatball business.

Why? Who knows. Should it matter to you? No, not at all. She isn't in the kitchen cooking and the chances of finding her noshing on a meatball in the middle of a Las Vegas mall are pretty low, so for the most part it's more of a curiosity than anything else.

As one might expect with a name like it has, meatballs are the main feature here. You can get chicken, turkey, pork, or "classic" (a blend of beef, veal, and pork) as a sandwich, on sliders, or in a cup. There are multiple sauce choices including tomato, spicy meat, parmesan cream, and mushroom gravy. Then you can add cheese and sides like pasta or salad. There's also a make your own meatball-free salad option and flatbreads that come with various toppings that are fairly pizza basic (think pepperoni).

Being the purist that I am, I decided to sample the meatballs in a cup so as not to muddle the whole thing up with bread. I chose a classic, a chicken, and a pork and then added tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. It comes with a garlicky breadstick.

They aren't big - about the size of a golf ball, maybe, so you'll need at least 3 to make a full meal unless you're in snacking mode. The classic was, by far, the best; a nice combo of spicy and tangy, but not too much of either. The tomato sauce added a nice sweet note. The pork was good but a little more crumbly than I like, which made it feel less substantial. The chicken went the other direction and was a bit too dense. Overall the execution and the flavors were good and satisfying.

Prices are probably more expensive than they should be for meatballs but not out of line for a fast-serve restaurant on The Strip. Three are $6 but then you have to add $1.50 if you want cheese and another $4 if you want a side dish. Add in a drink, tax, and a tip jar contribution and you're talking around $15. That still puts it in the "cheap" category but not by much.

It's worth noting that there are only a small handful of tables scattered about in front of the service counter, all of which are located along a busy mall main walkway and a loud bar. I wound up eating mine standing up with the tray precariously balanced on a trash can. I've done worse but I'm pretty sure Britney hasn't.

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