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She's Got Balls Meatball Truck wins with a delicious 'cone'

Got balls? Meatballs, that is.

They’re the specialty of a food truck that hit the streets last year. But She’s Got Balls Meatball Truck ups the ante with its signature item: the meatball “cone.” Yes, it’s as hedonistic as it sounds.

Take a loaf of French bread and hollow out the center. Then pile in housemade beef and sausage meatballs, maybe some pasta for good measure and top off the whole thing with sauce, either marinara, Alfredo or meat sauce. Dig in and try not to make too much of a mess.

Following She’s Got Balls on social media or scoping out its online menu, diners will see meatball cones displayed upright in a cup. But it’s worth noting they do not come to customers that way but rather wrapped like a sandwich. Although some of the gimmick is lost in this presentation, I prefer the truck’s choice to reduce waste from takeout food however it can.

Even so, this is a winning concept, one that needs slightly more exposure to gain traction. She’s Got Balls moved around a bit in 2020 before setting up shop since December at a new food truck pod behind Medford’s Tinseltown. The lot at 719 Bennett Ave. has all the makings of being a major draw for street food fans. Hopefully, movies’ comeback will improve these trucks’ traffic.

Constructed specifically for mobile food vendors, the lot has a covered pavilion for dining at standup wooden counters with outdoor carpeting underfoot, in addition to several picnic tables arranged closer to the trucks. Look for multicolored pennants marking the spot, which is soliciting more trucks. Customer parking is a cinch in the massive lot behind the Medford Center.

Along with She’s Got Balls, there’s a truck serving tacos and other Latin fare, and another dubbed Cali Q’s that advertises barbecue. She’s Got Balls serves until about 7 p.m., but I’ve arrived at the lunch hour both times I’ve sampled from the menu, two carnivorous kids in tow, along with a partner enamored of my homemade meatballs.

Meatballs come in two types: the classic composed of freshly ground chuck from Medford’s Cherry Street Meats and the Schwetty Balls, which spice up the beef with hot Italian sausage. Specials are the “blue balls” with blue cheese and ground chicken balls. And don’t forget the sourdough garlic Parmesan balls, which repurposes the interior crumb of French bread — extracted to make “cones” — rolled into balls and toasted for dipping in meat or marinara sauces.

Cones run from $10 to $12. A plate of spaghetti and meatballs costs $12, and fettuccine Alfredo costs $10. Add broccoli for $1 more, chicken for $2 extra. She’s Got Balls also offers a bruschetta appetizer for $6. And when those snack attacks strike, meatballs can be purchased individually for $3.

Although the name made me cringe slightly, Schwetty Balls were a must. And just so there’s no confusion, this is a spoof on the “hottest balls in golf,” not the ones immortalized on “Saturday Night Live.” Call them whatever you want, but these hearty, savory, juicy meatballs were delicious in the spaghetti and meatball cone.

Strands of starch stuffed inside yet more complex carbohydrate were a bit too much for my tastes, so I requested the zucchini “noodles” Alfredo. I thought I was getting just the vegetable and sauce, but it also arrived in a cone. Wooed by the sauce-soaked bread, however, I tucked in and almost had enough stamina to finish the portion.

My kids, who had eaten lunch an hour or so before, contented themselves with dipping the toasted sourdough balls ($5) in meat sauce. This dish is better suited for little hands, which can barely span the meatball cone. I do think the cone’s presentation would appeal a bit more in a slimmer bread loaf, such as a baguette, but the truck’s meatballs are hefty enough that they may not fit so easily inside.

The flavor that stood out most on my palate was the Alfredo sauce, better than just about any I’ve tried at bricks-and-mortar establishments. She’s Got Balls’ version relies less on cheese and more on butter and cream, which keeps it from seizing up and getting pasty. And the rich emulsion doesn’t start to get tiresome, particularly with zucchini’s slightly vegetal counterpoint.

I’ve never been particularly drawn to zucchini “noodles.” Give me the real thing any day. But the truck’s far surpassed my expectations for a vegetable I usually consider bland and easily overcooked. The doneness — resulting in a tender chew, slightly more al dente than pasta — was impeccable at She’s Got Balls.

Still craving the Alfredo sauce, I returned a week or so later to order just the zucchini Alfredo, no cone this time. The combination is so satisfying that I skipped the offer of broccoli and chicken without a second thought. I would make an exception for the truck’s chicken balls, however, when they’re on special.

The only change She’s Got Balls could make is packaging the dish in a different type of takeout container. The sauce is so generous — and also liquid enough — that it seeps right through its cardboard box. Don’t set the box on your lap if you’re eating on the run.

She’s Got Balls offers delivery and online ordering at sgbmeatballtruck.com. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call 541-324-8508.

Tempo Tidbits

A “third wave” coffee shop known for its concise menu of artisan beverages has unveiled a breakfast menu that’s just as short and to the point.

Forage Coffee Company, near Medford’s Hawthorne Park, serves four breakfast items Wednesday through Sunday. Customers can choose from a housemade biscuit piled with roasted pork belly, a fried egg, fennel aioli and arugula ($9), scrambled eggs and chopped chives on rustic levain ($6), avocado with cured egg yolk and pickled red onions on levain ($7) and an organic, gluten- and nut-free parfait ($5).

Forage founders Jacob Terando and Mason Faulconer refurbished a former gas station at 529 E. Main St. in 2019. Their chic, upscale coffee house features locally roasted Case Coffee and Washington’s Little Wolf Coffee single-origin beans. The new breakfast menu builds on Forage’s baked goods: muffin, cookie, brownie, bread, cheesecake, vegan brownie and savory scone.

Forage is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. See foragecoffeeco.com

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Taste a “top chef” edition of take-and-bake paired with local wine.

David Georgeson, winner of the 2011 chef competition at Ashland Culinary Festival, crafted a take-and-bake menu to pair with Naumes Suncrest Winery, available from Ashland’s Luna Cafe. Priced at $48, including wine, the four-course dinner is available for purchase online and pickup between 5 and 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday. See lunacafeashland.com/family-weekend-take-bake-menu/

The first course pairs Naumes 2019 Pinot Gris with organic field greens, roasted golden beets, goat cheese, quinoa, candied walnuts, avocado and buttermilk dressing. The second course of green olive tapenade on crostini pairs with 2017 Naumes Syrah. Naumes’ blend of barbera and malbec pairs with the third course of chicken “coq au vin” braised with mushrooms, onions, carrots, bacon and herbs, served with grilled asparagus and roasted purple potatoes. A dark chocolate and ruby Port cake with mascarpone cream and raspberry-Port reduction finishes off the meal.

Each wine comes with corresponding tasting notes. Order another flight of three wines for an additional $20.

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The joy of pairing wines with food shines through in a new blog and video series from Del Rio Vineyard Estate in Gold Hill.

“Joy in Jolee’s Kitchen” features recipes from Del Rio co-owner Jolee Wallace, who also inspired one of the estate’s most popular labels. Follow along with Wallace’s preparation of Mushroom Toast, paired with Rock Point Pinot Noir, and Chicken Salad with grapes and almonds to celebrate the release of Del Rio 2019 Pinot Gris. See delriovineyards.com/blogs/all

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Have a Tempo tidbit to share? Email news about the local dining, food and beverage scene to: thewholedish@gmail.com

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Sarah Lemon has relished the Rogue Valley’s dining scene for nearly two decades as one of the original contributors to Tempo’s dining column. Her palate has helped to judge some of the region’s culinary competitions and festivals. The former editor of A la Carte, the Mail Tribune’s weekly food section, she writes a biweekly column, The Whole Dish, and blogs and podcasts under the same name. Listen at mailtribune.com/podcasts and read more at mailtribune.com/lifestyle/the-whole-dish. Follow @the.whole. dish on Instagram, @thewholedish on Twitter or see facebook.com/thewholedish.

The meatball cone at She’s Got Balls food truck can be ordered with or without spaghetti. Photos by Sarah Lemon.
Fettucccine Alfredo can be ordered with zucchini “pasta” in a cone or as a plate at She’s Got Balls food truck in Medford.{ }