Meatball variations are on a roll in Denver

Braised lamb meatballs at Lucky Pie.
Braised lamb meatballs at Lucky Pie.
Mark Manger

Despite what we learned as kids, meatballs don't always come on top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese. Sometimes they come with greens and hot chicken stock in Italian wedding soup, or slathered with gravy alongside lingonberry jam in Swedish meatballs. They can be dropped in beef stock, along with rice noodles, lime wedges, bean sprouts and jalapenos in Vietnamese pho bo vien, or made of lamb and stuffed with fresh mozzarella, as they are at Lucky Pie.

See also: - Photos: Behind the scenes at Lucky Pie Pizza - Guess where I'm eating duck meatballs? - Cafe Byblos Mediterranean Grill is now open

Kibbi aras at Cafe Byblos.
Kibbi aras at Cafe Byblos.
Mark Manger

Or, as chef-owner Sam Khechen does at Cafe Byblos Mediterranean Grill, meatballs can be made with a blend of lamb and walnuts and coated in a crisp shell of more lamb and cracked wheat, and called kibbi aras.

Find out if his meatball variant is good enough to inspire its own song when my review of Cafe Byblos is posted here tomorrow.

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