Review of Isabella's in Baltimore
Whether it’s a place like Koreatown in New York City, Greektown in Chicago, or Chinatown in San Francisco, it’s always a place with unique culture and cuisine.
In Baltimore, the Little Italy neighborhood has a wonderful atmosphere and some delicious food.
Unlike many other parts of Baltimore, Little Italy feels like a welcoming community. With art painted on the sides of buildings, benches on the sidewalks, and events like the free movie night that takes up an entire block, it’s an easy place to enjoy spending time.
In a neighborhood full of Italian restaurants, the smells alone will put you in the mood for Italian food.
To quench our appetite during an afternoon of exploring, we grabbed lunch at Isabella’s.
Isabella’s is a classic, neighborhood pizza shop. You order at the counter, there aren’t many tables for eating in the restaurant,and many of the customers seemed to be regulars.
Once I saw the pizzas and sandwiches being prepared, I knew I wanted a meatball sub.
Because the restaurant was crowded, we ordered our food to go and made the short walk over to the water for a great view of the Inner Harbor.
It only took one bite of my meatball sub to know it was one of the best I’ve ever had.
In order to create a great meatball sandwich, you have to use quality ingredients in all three main elements - the bread, sauce, and meatballs. Isabella’s was flawless in all three.
The sandwich was served on fresh, toasted Italian bread. Toasting the bread gave it a nice crunch and it was sturdy enough to withstand the sauce and juice from the meat.
It’s always disappointing to take a bit of a meatball sub and watch it fall apart because the bread is too soggy.
Along with the great bread, Isabella’s also makes excellent meatballs. They were perfectly sized for a sandwich and had a nice, brown crust, which helped keep them from crumbling apart.
Finally, as if to bring everything together, the marinara sauce was a rich, spicy, flavorful blend with an ideal consistency. It complimented the meat instead of overpowering it, and the sandwich was well-prepared in that there wasn’t so much sauce that it was too messy to eat.
Sprinkle some parmesan cheese as the finishing touch and that’s how Isabella’s creates a fantastic meatball sub.
It’s not fancy, and it’s not expensive, but it was an awesome lunch and one of my favorite things about visiting Baltimore.