First Bite: Jeanne's Meatball Factory

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Sometimes it's nice to see a new eatery open up that really concentrates on its niche. Jeanne's Meatball Factory, at 5737 Nolensville Road near Old Hickory Boulevard, has exactly that sort of laser focus when it comes to meatballs. Well, plus cupcakes, but who's complaining?

Located in a tiny space next to CiCi's Pizza and Babies R Us in the same strip mall as La Terraza, Jeanie's Meatball Factory is primarily a carry-out sort of place. There are three to four tables inside and a few more on the sidewalk, but they were all full during my recent lunchtime visit. The dining area is quaint and unpretentious, and the ordering procedure is equally uncomplicated.

First you choose your meatballs from a selection of classic Italian (beef or turkey), spicy pork, spinach-chicken, Turkey Dinner (with cornbread dressing and dried cranberries baked inside) or the vegetarian falafel ball. The choose your sauce from marinara, Alfredo, creamy basil pesto, teriyaki ginger or poultry gravy. Finally you select whether you'd like your meatballs served over spaghetti, bowtie pasta, white or brown rice, mashed potatoes or steamed broccoli. They also offer three sizes of sandwiches including a slider, hoagie and panini.

You can order family-size meals with meatballs, sauce, salad and bread for two people or four people, or a deluxe meal that adds soda and cupcakes. Oh yeah, those cupcakes. Jeanne's is located in the former home of a gourmet cupcake shop, and the tradition continues with the very popular Strawberry Dream leading the pack of fancy desserts available in a case near the cash register.

Overall, it was a solid lunch for nine bucks. The salad had a tangy Italian dressing, and the three-meatball meal actually fed two of us. They were nice enough to let me sample three different flavors of meatballs with my spaghetti and marinara, with the spicy pork being my favorite. The meatballs are almost fist-sized and have an excellent meat/filler ratio. Like 99 to 1.

Jeanne's Meatball Factory serves hearty meals for healthy appetites, so go check them out and let us know what you think.

Jeanne's Meatball Factory
5737 Nolensville Road
(615) 454-4488

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