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Master Meatball Maker Rolls Into Fairfield

Mike DiStassio's bright red Smart car tows his "street gourmet" business, The Local Meatball, around Fairfield.
Mike DiStassio's bright red Smart car tows his "street gourmet" business, The Local Meatball, around Fairfield. Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Mike DiStassio calls himself a “meatball connoisseur.” From his days as a kid in his grandmother’s kitchen, the Fairfield resident has been addicted to well-made meatballs.

So after seeing meatball-centric restaurants pop up in New York City, DiStassio thought he might be able to bring the idea to Fairfield County. That idea eventually became The Local Meatball, a food cart he will roll out Saturday.

“I just fell in love with the idea,” he says.

DiStassio got started by making different meatballs for his twin sons, who are now 1 year old. He didn’t want to feed his own boys standard supermarket fare, so for his creations at home he bought high-quality, local ingredients. He has carried that idea over to his business, using meat from Saugatuck Craft Butchery, farm-fresh eggs and bread from Il Forno Bakery.

“I said to myself, ‘I’m not going to feed my boys stuff with pink slime and that sort of thing,’” DiStassio says. “So I really started taking extra care into what I did.”

The Local Meatball’s selections include The Jewels, a “breakfast ball” made with ground beef, sausage and bacon and topped with maple syrup; and “In the Buff, a chicken meatball covered in buffalo sauce. But DiStassio says his personal favorite is Serious, a classic-style meatball with ground beef and tomato sauce.

He decided to take his business idea mobile after seeing hot dog trucks at birthday parties and other events. He will now sell meatball grinders out of a cart attached to a brightly decorated Smart car, which will help him stay local and “keep a low profile,” he says.

The Local Meatball has popped up at different events around town recently, but will officially debut in Fairfield Center this Saturday. After that DiStassio plans to post a schedule of times he’ll be available in Fairfield Center or other locations around town.

The food cart is also available for bookings for birthday parties and other events. Visit the company’s website for more information.

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