Nicklow’s Greek Meatballs

Nicklow’s, a signature Greek Restaurant in the Twin Cities, closed in 2014 after the loss of founder Bill Nicklow.  The Minneapolis Star Tribune (link: wrote about Nicklow: “Greek restaurateur Bill Nicklow came to America at 13, unable to speak English, with a boyhood that included living in a cave and begging for food after Nazis burned his village and killed his father.

“In his pockets, young Billy carried only $3. In his heart, he carried a rich love and devotion for his family that stayed strong throughout his life.

“Nicklow worked nearly all his free time in high school in Minneapolis to pay his sister’s dowry and support his mother in their tiny village in Greece, which he later helped rebuild. He worked to bring his two younger brothers and other relatives to America, where they built a string of restaurants that have served the metro for more than 50 years.”

Nicklow’s Executive Chef Andy Ortis provided this meatball appetizer to upscale grocer Lunds, who advertised it in the early 2000’s on recipe cards.

Nicklow’s Greek Meatballs
1 lb. lamb, ground
1 tbsp. mint, chopped
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Saucy Sweet & Sour Cocktail Meatballs circa 1975

Digging through mom’s recipes*, I came across these cocktail meatballs. One test to determined that this is a great appetizer:

photo 4

Last night, I doubled this recipe, using 2½ pounds of ground beef! These meatballs disappeared within minutes, honestly! And my guests were asking for more!

Saucy Sweet & Sour Cocktail Meatballs

1½ lbs. ground beef
3 tbsp. bread or saltine cracker crumbs
½ tsp. salt
1 egg
Sauce (recipe below)

Mix beef, crumbs, salt and egg and shape into meatballs. Brown in skillet or place in baking pan and bake at 350° F. until brown and firm. Remove from grease and place in a baking dish or Continue reading