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We’re all manic for meatballs

You won’t regret trying anything Manic Meatballs has to offer. Photo Credit: Manic Meatballs

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Manic Meatballs - located in Lakewood's Tillicum district directly across I-5 from Joint Base Lewis-McChord - has been serving the local community delicious meatballs since late 2020. 

The menu revolves around items that owner Carrie Stalder's husband had been making for their family for years. 

"We would bring ‘manic' meatballs to holidays or potlucks and they would be the first to go. People loved them," Stalder explained. "I always wanted to own my own business but was waiting for just the right thing. After years of having people request meatballs, it finally dawned on me that this could be a business. And I'm all about efficiency and not having to wait around, so I created a quick-service format."  

And boy are we glad they did because Swedish meatballs can be a hard find in the local area, and finding quality ones is an even larger challenge. But what exactly separates Swedish meatballs from other meatballs? We of course had to turn to the expert, Carrie Stalder. 

"Swedish meatballs are made with a pork and beef mixture in a brown gravy" 

If you're looking to stick with the classic dish, which is their best seller, the meatballs are paired with your choice of mashed potatoes, egg noodles or rice. Plus two sides of your choice including cucumber salad, coleslaw, green beans, baked beans, shells and cheese, side salad, deviled eggs, apple sauce or their seashore fries. 

Other menu items include their Chicken Apple Meatballs and Impossible Meatballs, which are 100% vegan and gluten free. 

Did we mention they have Bacon Wrapped Meatballs!? I mean come on. 

Manic Meatballs is a large supporter of service members and their families. "We are located close to the base, for the base" said Stalder. They're even in the process of working to get their food truck on base. All active duty members, veterans and their immediate families receive 10% off their meal when they show I.D. or arrive in uniform. 

Stalder has also offered her support of the free Salute To Military Kids events, donating her time and free small Manic Meatball mini plates to event attendees. These events are put on by the Ranger and Airlifter newspapers.

Ending on a fun note, we were dying to know what Stalder's favorite menu item is. And much like us, it was challenging for her to pick just one. 

??"Oh man. That is a tough question. I think I'll go with the Bacon Wrapped Meatballs dipped in our Sriracha ranch sauce. It's high in protein and the sauce is the perfect flavor pairing. The applesauce reminds me of my mother-in-law, who taught me how to make it. We serve it warm because we never waited for it to cool off before gobbling it up. And I think I'll go with the baked beans because I still haven't had a baked bean that is better. But, I can't forget about the deviled eggs."

Don't just take it from her, or us, head into Manic Meatballs today and give it a try - you won't regret it. 

MANIC MEATBALLS, open 11 a.m.- to 9 p.m. Sunday-Friday, 14815 Union Ave. SW, Lakewood, 253.584.9798,

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