Ever had Sicilian Rice Balls? Well, one of the veterans of the food truck scene is Jiannetto’s. They had 2 Italian food trucks in the city, one in midtown and one downtown, but now they only have one, and it alternates between the two neighborhoods.
Jiannetto’s is basically a mobile pizzeria, with high-temperature pizza ovens in the truck. They serve “Grandma”-style pizza, which has some sauce, and even less cheese. We’re not big Grandma pizza buffs, so we generally go for chicken or meatball parmigiana heros, or what we recently got, a Sicilian rice ball.
Jiannetto’s has 3 types of Sicilian rice balls they get from Papa Perrone’s: meat, spinach and 3 cheese, which are $5 each. As if often the case, we went for the meat option.
People who have been into New York street food for a while will remember Papa Perrone’s. They were one of the food truck pioneers, known for their Sicilian rice balls.
JohnPaul Perrone closed up the truck last year, and is trying to build a business as a Sicilian rice ball wholesaler. He makes the product, and it’s sold at some pizzerias and Italian delis around the city, including Jiannetto’s truck.
A Sicilian rice balls are small balls of rice (duh!) about the size of a softball, with any number of goodies in the middle. Here it’s ground beef, spinach or 3 cheese, but the possibilities are endless.
Once the rice ball is made up, it’s breaded and fried. Then you can eat it as is, or broken up and topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Guess which way we had it?
As we said, the rice ball is broken up, topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, and put into the oven for a few minutes.
When it came out, the mozzarella cheese was melted, gooey, and browned in spots. That’s what we’re talkin’ bout! The sauce was a good quality, Italian tomato sauce.
The rice ball was a pleasant mixture of rice, ground beef, a few peas, and lightly-fried breading. With the tomato sauce and cheese added, it was a hot, gooey, delicious mess.
For $5, this is a fairly heavy and filling dish, which is perfect for the cool weather heading our way.
Jiannetto’s has a twitter account, but it’s been inactive for almost a year. That’s fine, because the truck spends Mon-Wed downtown on Wall St & Front St. On Thurs & Fri, they are on 47th St between Park & Madison Aves.
What more do you need to know? Oh yeah, here’s the menu.