Owners of Manic Meatballs, Carrie Stalder (left) and Chad Stalder. (Photo by Cameron Sheppard)

Owners of Manic Meatballs, Carrie Stalder (left) and Chad Stalder. (Photo by Cameron Sheppard)

Federal Way family owns Swedish meatball drive-thru restaurant near JBLM

A Federal Way family owns what has to be the only Swedish meatball drive-thru restaurant in the area.

For Carrie and Chad Stalder, opening Manic Meatballs on 14815 Union Ave. SW in Lakewood just made sense.

Carrie said they felt like meatballs were relatively uncommon at most restaurants, let alone restaurants with drive-thrus.

She said meatballs are a special meal in her family and are often prepared for holidays, and her husband Chad’s Swedish heritage means he has an excellent family meatball recipe.

Chad said Swedish meatballs are unique because of their incorporation of both pork and beef, mixed with herbs like nutmeg and covered in a cream or brown gravy.

Before opening the day after Christmas last year, Carrie said she thought, “it should work, but will it?”

Carrie said business had been good since opening, as the restaurant has been able to double its staff.

The menu includes a variety of side dishes including cucumber salad, mashed potatoes, pasta, baked beans, rice pudding and homemade applesauce served warm.

Carrie said the menu is rooted in traditional Swedish cuisine, but includes twists that were developed in the Stalder’s own Swedish-American home.

“People are eager for something new,” Carrie said.

The restaurant is located close to Joint Base Lewis-McChord right off of I-5, meaning the venue will be frequently visited by hungry military families and I-5 travelers alike.

Carrie said Manic Meatballs can serve a whole military unit in a short time because of the restaurant’s quick service design.

But for those not in a hurry, the Stalders said they wanted Manic Meatballs to be a place where families could sit down and enjoy each other’s company.

The inside of the restaurant is decorated with framed vinyl records with tracks like “Manic Monday” by The Bangles and Prince.

In the center of the dining area is a large wooden ship crafted to resemble a viking longship and an homage to the family’s Scandinavian heritage.

“We wanted to be a little more special,” Carrie said of the decorations and centerpiece.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
Is cryptocurrency really an investment? | Guest column

Undoubtedly you have heard about the new form of money known as… Continue reading

Stock photo
Grocery store workers have right to wear Black Lives Matter buttons

National Labor Relations Board ruling against ban by Kroger-owned QFC, Fred Meyer

Courtesy photo
The Cove Apartments to host open house Sept. 11

Attendees welcome to view the newly renovated apartment units.

Rice and noodle bowl with marinated chicken and tofu from the newest Sizzle & Crunch location at 31448 Pacific Highway S. in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
Sizzle & Crunch Vietnamese Grill opens new restaurant in Federal Way

Grand opening weekend to be celebrated Sept. 3-5.

Rudi Alcott has been named publisher of the Daily Herald in Everett. In Federal Way, city leaders awarded him a Key to the City in recognition of his civic service and as the Mirror’s longest-tenured publisher. File photo
Rudi Alcott named publisher of The Daily Herald in Everett

Federal Way Mirror’s longest-tenured publisher was awarded a Key to the City in recognition of his civic service.

Photo by Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror
Federal Way Chamber CEO Becca Martin greets the audience before giving a “State of the Chamber” update during the membership luncheon Aug. 4 at the Performing Arts and Event Center.
Martin gives annual State of the FW Chamber address

The Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce celebrated a return to in-person… Continue reading

A Darigold dairy worker practices picketing as a strike is approved by the union. Photo courtesy of Julia Issa
Puget Sound Darigold workers on verge of strike amid contract negotiations

Workers cite lack of medical leave, outsourcing and bad-faith negotiations as reason for strike.

Courtesy photo
Curves reopens Federal Way gym at full capacity

The Federal Way all-women gym is located at 32020 1st Ave. S.

Dave and Buster's restaurant and entertainment venue looks to hire 130 people to staff its Bellevue venue, set to open in August. Photo courtesy Dave and Busters.
Dave and Buster’s hiring 130 for August opening in Bellevue

Dave and Buster’s restaurant and entertainment venue opens in downtown Bellevue on… Continue reading

MultiCare Tacoma General Emergency Federal Way is located at 29805 Pacific Highway South in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
MultiCare Tacoma General opens new emergency department in Federal Way

New 24-hour location provides care for illness and injuries as well as diagnostic services.

The Goodwill thrift store is located at 32521 Pacific Highway South in Federal Way. Photo by Anthony Sullivan
Goodwill store temporarily closed after fire damages building

A fire on May 21 caused about $20,000 worth of damage to the building.