Dining: House of Meatball partners take a chance serving up high quality meatballs for local diners
Fast, casual, inexpensive restaurant located across from Cinelux Theatres
Published in the April 12 – April 25, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life
By Robert Airoldi
John Mcquaide and his three partners have a passion for food. After one of them returned from a stint living on the East Coast with tales of how great the meatball shops were, they decided to take a chance on something similar.
“He came back and said there’s lots of pizza parlors and taquerias but no great meatball places here,” Mcquaide said. “That’s how House of Meatball came to be. We all agreed and we put our passion into the food and started this meatball place.”
It’s not a franchise, and the partners decided to serve high-quality food at low prices. One way to do that was to not have waiters. Customers order from the menu, grab their utensils and find a seat in the clean, well-lit dining area adorned with reclaimed wood. An employee brings the meal to the table.
“We are a fast, casual, inexpensive place,” Mcquaide said. “The menu is a hybrid concept with more high quality and a more homey feeling than a McDonald’s but with McDonald’s prices.”
Customer and meatball fan John Webb agreed: “They take meatballs and turn them into traditions,” he said. “I’m having Shepard’s Pie with meatballs. They really get creative. The people are very friendly, very service-oriented and they want you to be happy with what you have.”
Hollister resident Jacqueline Medina was visiting for her first time with her friend Webb. “I was reading the menu online and it sounded very diverse and very inventive,” she said. “The chicken meatball with pesto was calling my name. Its very good. Very happy with my choice. I’d come back.”
Mcquiade said there are great places downtown, but they’re trying to provide high-end food without high prices.
“Customers serve themselves,” he said. “That’s what kept costs down. But the quality of food remains high.”
The eatery offers a variety of menu options, including a build your own where you select from the choice of meat, sauce and add a choice of one of three pastas. Other meatball offerings include spicy Thai pork; steak that includes beef, bacon and grilled onions mixed into the meatballs with steak sauce; a steak burger that includes beef mixed with bacon and smoked cheddar; and a classic with tender beef mixed with smoked mozzarella.
Diners can also select mini ballers and add truffle mac and cheese, creamy polenta, roasted veggies, soup, mashed potatoes, jasmine garlic rice and housemade bread, among other sides.
Mcquaide, 44, worked in the high-tech industry and as a real estate developer but wanted to find something different, he said. After the partners all came together, they decided to open the restaurant and selected Morgan Hill.
“We felt Morgan Hill was a community oriented place and I’ve heard what a great area it is,” he said. “It’s something we believed in.”
Upon opening they joined the Chamber of Commerce, helped sponsor little leagues, and after school programs. “We been here three months so we’re looking for the right partnerships to have a positive impact. When we find others we’re more than willing to help.”