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Review of Mama's Meatball

Mama's Meatball
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Ranked #12 of 304 Restaurants in San Luis Obispo
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $25
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Nipomo St.
Description: Mama's Meatball offers authentic, homemade Italian dining & catering, Our chef cultivates and harvest most of the organic produce to be used in our menu from our garden's rich soil. The idea of a garden in the city is fascinating and it allows us to keep in constant contact with nature while providing with a true Farm-to-Table experience. Furthermore, we are committed to preserve the land and its resources by providing agricultural produce, fishery and cattle livestock that adhere to strict sustainability practices. All poultry, fish, beef, and pork are sourced locally and must be, free range, organic, non-hormone treated. Just as Chef Nicola wants to pay respect to the culinary history of Italy, he is solid in his commitment to respect our land and water, with conscious usage of the resources available
San Francisco, California
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2012

Why a surprise? I LOVED the Vodka Sauce even though I rarely order tomato-based sauces. You can ask for it on any of the pastas.

Mama is in the back of a courtyard on the right. From the street you would never know it's there.

The small rolls are very tasty, so be sure to save stomach room for your meal.

Restrooms are outside ... on a cold stormy night this is inconvenient

The service can be slow - the staff is friendly, so we just enjoyed the opportunity for a long conversation.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank shinazy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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233 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Luis Obispo, California
Level 5 Contributor
24 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Authentic Italian”
Reviewed October 22, 2012

Excellent food, but a little on the noisy side (not much to absorb the sound). My favorite is the chicken lasagne - to die for!!!

Visited February 2012
1 Thank SLOduck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
23 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Mama's Very Happy at Mama's Meatball”
Reviewed October 14, 2012

My husband and I were famished after sightseeing all day at Hearst Castle and driving back to Santa Barbara area we could not wait to find a good restaurant. I searched Trip Advisor on my phone and found Mama's Meatball in San Luis Obispo. We didn't have reservations, but when we arrived, we were greeted and told it would be a few minutes to be seated. We were also advised that there were issues with their credit card machine and could only take cash that evening. Not a problem. The restaurant is small and the kitchen can be viewed from the dining area as the pick up window is near the front of the restaurant. It was bustling and full that evening, but a couple of large parties left after we entered.

After being seated and given the menu, we had a difficult time deciding because the menu was fairly extensive. We also had trouble reading the menu and had to use the lights on our cellphones to read the small print in the candlelit restaurant. Still, no huge problem.

My husband finally decided on the Eggplant Parmigiani, one of his favorite Italian meals. And I was torn between the Gnocchi di Zucca, (pumpkin gnocchi) and a salmon dish. When our lovely waitress mentioned that I could add chicken or another protein to the gnocchi, I went with the pumpkin gnocchi with chicken. A basket-full of mini-garlic rolls arrived and we dug in. They were warm and fresh and just right on the garlic and herbs. Our dinners arrived not too long after and looked and smelled divine. The pumpkin gnocchi was excellent -- with a delicate sauce and the pumpkin not overwhelming. Just perfect! The added chicken was good -- grilled a little dry, but the delicious sauce helped. I tasted my husband's eggplant parmesan and fell in love with that dish too. We were both very impressed and pleased with Mama's Meatball and wish we had a wonderful Italian place like it in our neighborhood. I could hear diners at a nearby table mention that they come there often and love everything they have tried.

We turned down dessert because we were still relishing our dinners and didn't want anything sweet after that. But it was mentioned that my birthday had been celebrated with our trip to California and our sweet waitress set us up with a huge slice of cheesecake with strawberries. How could we resist? It was wonderful and very kind of her to surprise me and we appreciated the gesture and the cheesecake.

I would not hesitate to recommend Mama's Meatball and hope we can return when we are in the area. the food and the great wait staff there made this Mama very happy!

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank vaustin08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A Lovely Meal”
Reviewed October 10, 2012

We visited here this past weekend mostly based on Trip Advisor reviews and it is close to where we stayed. We were not disappointed. While I had read that it would be a good idea to make a reservation, we were gone all day and arrived at 6:30pm on a Sunday night with no reservation, and we could not see a vacant table in the place! There is a nice ambiance we could feel as we noticed flickering candles on the tables and soft lighting. We were met at the door by Stephanie, who would be our server. She asked if we had a reservation and when we replied in the negative, she was very positive about fitting us in. I was prepared to be told it would be a 45-minute wait, but in a few minutes we were sitting at our own table quite content. Once we were seated, she was right there to see if she could get us something to drink, and suggested a wine we might like. Both my sister and I had their roasted beet salad which was as good as we had hoped it would be, and both had pasta dishes that we enjoyed.

A nice thing about their menu is that each dish is offered in a small or regular size. We both chose small of each dish ordered and had plenty to eat. I think you could also try additional dishes with such a menu. The service was exemplary in this busy, little place and we hope to try other things on their menu when we return to the area (this time with a reservation!)

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Great hidden Italian gem”
Reviewed September 10, 2012

We stumbled into this place and had a wonderful dinner. Its on the main street of SLO, but a block or 2 past the other places. Its in a semi courtyard....

For dinner we had wonderful calamari, nice Pizza Margarita, and some nice Perroni on tap.

I think for the money its perhaps even worth a 4. It was reasonably priced.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Daugman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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