Downtown’s New Meatball Hero is Downright Fantastic

Downtown has an awesome new grab-and-go option, Meatball Hero.

The new offering is a food truck at the gateway to Fremont East. You sort of can’t miss it, and you definitely won’t want to miss the delicious sandwiches.

Insert “small truck, big balls” joke here.

Meatball Hero is yet another concept from downtown visionary Ryan Doherty, the owner and de facto mayor of Fremont East at this point.

Meatball Hero sits next to his Park on Fremont (which has reopened following a renovation), and he’s also responsible for Discopussy, Lucky Day, Commonwealth (and its top secret Laundry Room speakeasy), We All Scream, Cheapshot and La Mona Rosa (formerly La Comida). He’s also got Peyote at Fergusons Motel, farther east on Fremont East.

The sandwich we tried from Meatball Hero made our eyes roll back into our head. Not metaphorically. There was actual meatball euphoria.

There’s no seating at Meatball Hero, but guests can sneak into Park on Fremont next door. The view is fairly spectacular if you’re into the lights of downtown Las Vegas. If you aren’t, you are weird and reading the wrong blog.

We are fully aware we are living the dream.

The sandwich was directly in our culinary sweet spot: Hoagie roll, provolone, mozzarella, basil garlic sauce and Parmesan cheese.

For years, Pizza Rock has been the undisputed champ of meatballs in not only downtown, but Las Vegas and possibly the world. Right out of the gate, Meatball Hero is nipping at its heels.

Here’s a look at the modest menu at downtown’s Meatball Hero.

As we always say, at least for the purposes of this photo caption, “Do one thing and do it excellently.”

We tried The Hero, but the other sandwiches look tempting as well.

They’d probably serve two people, but the prices are reasonable, so no need to penny-pinch.

Guests can get a meatball slider for just $5 if you’re looking for something petite.

A bartender at Park on Fremont said it was probably good we didn’t order the Great Balls of Fire, as it is spicy even for those who like spicy food. Just the term “Calabrian chiles” makes us uncomfortable, as we are a super-taster and our face would probably melt. You’ve been warned.

If you’re a hippie, Zappos employee or Burning Man fan, there’s the vegan Impossible Italiano, with Impossible meatballs.

The helpful employee at Meatball Hero said his favorite is the Ballin’ sandwich, which we’ll probably try next, we just have no idea what a “creamy burrata cheese” is.

All the sandwiches at Meatball Hero are $12, and there’s also a small selection of beverages including Mexican Coke, which has a similar effect to that shot John Travolta gave to Uma Thurman with a giant needle in “Pulp Fiction.”

Our only qualm with Meatball Hero, which we won’t mention because it’s awkward, is the sign looks like it says, “Meatball Hers.”

If you call something out as awkward, does it make it more or less awkward?

If you visit, makes sure to use the hashtags at the bottom of the Meatball Hero menu, including #saucyballs, #meatballhero and, wait for it, #meatstick.

Which was also the name of our band in high school.

There’s a lot going on in the Fremont East district, mostly due to the ongoing investment and creativity of the aforementioned Ryan Doherty.

For us, it was love at first bite at Meatball Hero. Technically, it’s a soft opening, the official grand opening is May 24, but there’s no sense waiting.

At the moment, Meatball Hero is cash only (they’re working on it) and no bills larger than $20 are accepted. You’ll figure something out. Bring a few extra bucks, as there are always pandhandlers in this area, so help them out. Not for them, necessarily, for good luck.

Meatball Hero instantly leapfrogged to at or near the top of our quick, cheap eats list downtown. Our hero was nothing short of spectacular, and is on par with our other favorite sandwich in Las Vegas, the pot roast sandwich at Freedom Beat inside Downtown Grand.

Meatball Hero isn’t fancy, but it’s the perfect party fuel for your adventures on Fremont Street and beyond.