Food Fight: Trans Am Meatballs & Records

. February 27, 2015.
Trans-Am-0056

Trans Am Meatballs & Records

110 E. Sandusky St.
Findlay, OH 45840

567-525-8008

Hours: Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm
Friday and Saturday 11am-10pm

Find them on Facebook under Trans Am  Meatballs & Records, and on Instagram.

Catering and carryout available. 
Free delivery downtown.

Even though they are universally enjoyed, I never knew meatballs could be quite so exciting and novel until our family stepped into Trans Am Meatballs & Records.

Trans Am opened in late November and is co-owned by chef Michael Bulkowski and Renz Salanga, of Styx restaurant. Their goal is to provide quality, casual food especially aimed at the lunch market, but enjoyed anytime. The restaurant uses Bread Kneads bread as well as local meats and produce and is home to a modern, lively interior.

Records are also for sale at Trans Am, samples of which are played for dining entertainment. I can attest that during our visit, instrumental disco music had us truly dancing in our seats (though it’s debatable if you want to picture that).

Meatball options to make you melt 

There are five meatball choices on the menu made from beef, pork or chicken, and each can be eaten as a sub, as an entrée with polenta or rice, or as a salad. One menu option, the Bluffton, is meat-free, the sub containing roasted vegetables, chick peas, black beans, lemon and parsley.

 If you’re in for lighter fare, a chop salad or winter greens salad is available, as well as red Thai curry-coconut soup or roasted butternut squash soup. Extras can also be purchased – chips made in-house, Coke products, polenta (cornmeal boiled into a porridge) or extra meatballs. Beer, wine, cocktails and shots are also available, with drink and sub specials offered periodically.

Now we get to the part as to how I never thought a meatball could be so exciting. I ordered the Chiang Mai sub, which is made with ginger-chicken meatballs, yellow curry, cilantro and bean sprouts. Who knew?

First of all the bread was so soft and wonderful I could have almost just eaten that. Then I got to the curry, which was the perfect amount of spice and flavor with a little bit of crunch from the bean sprouts. As I sunk my teeth into a meatball, I was surprised by the soft texture and delightful flavor. It all was wonderfully unique – a delicious sub.

It was a lot of food for me, but for the sake of the article and my curiosity, I also ordered the winter greens salad with kale, pecorino, orange and radish with lemon vinaigrette dressing. I haven’t had much kale in my day, and the very slightly bitter taste was excellent with the contrasting sweet oranges and lemon vinaigrette. The salad was extremely fresh.

Accommodating kid’s palates 

There is no kids menu at Trans Am, but the employees were very friendly, and happy to alter things as much as possible to suit our kids’ taste. With major assistance, my 9-year-old son ordered the Potenza sub, which is spicy pork, shaved fennel, basil, arrabbiata sauce and pecorino cheese. They gave him a sample of the sauce to see if the spice level was ok, and left off the fennel for him.

I was delighted to see that my son really enjoyed the sub. He remarked that it was really nice that, “They made it how I wanted it.” He has really surprised me with trying new things and it makes me smile, seeing him grow and enjoy new tastes and foods.

My 6-year-old daughter was a little tougher to please this time. For her we ordered a side of Montrachet meatballs, which are made from red wine braised beef. She also had some rice and cheese. 

I was proud of her for trying everything, but she mostly stuck with the rice. She tried the meatballs of my sub (with the curry wiped off) and did fill up a bit on those. It wasn’t much, but if the kids try new things I chalk it up to a win.

My husband ordered the Potenza as an entrée, which came on a bed of polenta. He enjoyed tasting polenta for the first time and said the flavors were great, especially when he mixed each part of his entree to taste it all together. 

It’s also worth mentioning that the homemade chips at Trans Am are deliciously crisp and light with just the right touch of salt. I have never eaten such a light chip – they were outstanding.

Trans Am was yet another enriching dining experience for our family. The ingredients might be a little unfamiliar for some (we had a lot of questions and it took us a long time to order.) But trying new things and waking up your palate is always good, especially with staff as friendly as Trans Am’s.

THE SHORT COURSE

Kid-friendly: Aimed toward adults, but able to accommodate children

To avoid wait: Order ahead

Noise level: Moderate

Bathroom amenities: Clean and bright. No changing table.

High chairs: No

Got Milk? Not usually, but ask. Sprite, iced tea and water available.

Kid’s menu? No, but employees helped us find something that would work for the kids.

Food allergy concerns? Employees are happy to guide you to what you can eat, but it is not a custom menu.