Wednesday, December 29, 2010


There was no better time than this week to indulge in some comfort food given the massive snowstorm NYC had just experienced. After stepping in one too many puddles, heartwarming food was in order.

The laid-back atmosphere, unpretentious staff and friendly service make
The Meatball Shop my go to place. The concept is great and the owners really honed in on what makes a good meatball. They're perfectly sized and the balls aren't simple little things of meat; you can taste the complexity within each one.

The Meatball Shop is a build your own meal kind of place. You are given a laminated menu and a marker and you can mix and match to your heart's content. First, you decide on how you want your balls served: with sauce in a bowl, on sliders or as a sandwich. Then you choose your meatball (beef, chicken, pork, vegetable) and the sauce (spicy meat sauce, classic tomato, mushroom gravy, pesto, parmesan cream). There are filling sides like polenta and risotto as well as light ones, like spinach and a salad. Be sure to check the daily specials on the chalkboard next to the kitchen as they usually have interesting options. The variety here is just another reason why I love this place.

I went with my usual of classic beef meatballs with a spicy meat sauce. The meatballs are so tender, well seasoned and the sauce has just the right amount of spiciness. This combination is my favorite because the flavors of the beef and sauce come together so perfectly in my mouth.

When you're done eating the meatballs, you really want to lick the bowl clean. The sauce is that good. You can't really do that in public though (but I wouldn't judge you if you did) so that is where the strip of focaccia bread comes in handy. It's perfect for wiping every bit of the sauce off the bowl.

Allison ordered the chicken meatballs with basil pesto, the special sauce of the day. She loved the lightness and moistness of the meatballs, its nice even consistency (chewy or chunky meatballs is not something both of us enjoy) and the delicious bread.

The mix and match ice cream sandwiches are not to be missed! The cookies and ice creams are all made in-house so you won't end up with stale cookies. I didn't get it this time (what was I thinking?!) but their caramel ice cream with gingersnap cookies is the ultimate combination. I should know, I've tried them all.

The Meatball Shop has since become my late night eating spot because it doesn't close until 4am on the weekends. On a recent night, I needed sustenance after hours of dancing and found myself craving meatballs. I couldn't finish all of them so I had the rest for breakfast the next morning. You know a place is worth coming back to when you can have their food cold AND a day old and still marvel at how damn good it tastes.