Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Emporio: A Meatball Joint


Emporio is a trendy little place in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh.  The walls are brick and the lighting is dim, but that makes it quite cozy.  They serve meatballs in different sauces and sides.

There are four different types of meatballs on the menu & one daily special meatball.  Only one of which is gluten free.  There are four of the sauces that are gluten free.  The salads, although don't say they are gluten free, can be made gluten free by omitting the croutons.  There are also soups and snacky things on the menu, but none of which are gluten free.  They did have some gluten free sides that you could get your meatballs on top of like mashed potatoes or gluten free penne pasta.

I ordered the spicy pork meatballs with an almond spinach pesto sauce.  Since I'm not much of a meatball eater, I ordered two balls ala carte. 

The meatballs arrived in a little silver basket.  They were bright green.  The pesto sauce was quite tasty, although I'm not sure I tasted any almond in it.  The meatballs were tender and moist, just as you'd want a meatball to be.  They had a heavy pork flavor with a bit of bacon and a nice kick of spice from the chili peppers.  Overall, these were some tasty meatballs and so was the sauce.

I also didn't experience any gluten related issues, so they did a good job of making this dish gluten free.  If you're in the mood for some meatballs, I'd recommend Emporio.

942 Penn Ave Downtown

Emporio: A Meatball Joint on Urbanspoon


  1. Just curious - did you read my urban spoon review of this place? The owner threw the waiter under the bus, blaming him for not telling me that the pork meatballs were the only ones GF, even though the menu is incorrect. Since I've been there, the on-line menu has been changed but I heard the in-house menu has not been corrected. I have never been so sick in the 8 years of being GF as I was after eating there.
    Jane A

    1. I did read your Urban Spoon review. I'm sorry to hear you got sick. I know how bad that sucks.
      I actually knew ahead of time that the pork meatballs were the only one of the four choices that were gluten free. I think the other meatballs may be deep fried in a non gluten free fryer. It doesn't exactly make sense to me why only one of their meatballs would be gluten free. You're right, they should have a few more gluten free options & your server should be aware that people can get very sick if they don't understand what gluten free means.
      I asked my waitress to go over the gluten free options on the menu before I ordered and she was knowledgeable about the gluten free aspects of the menu. It was marked on the menu with tiny **'s on which options were gluten free when I was there, but it wasn't clearly marked.