Category Archives: Lower East Side

The Meatball Shop

Rating:

Location: 84 Stanton Street (btw Allan & Orchard)

Price: $3-$12

I feel like The Meatball Shop & I have a long complex relationship ever since I heard about this place back in February.  Jenni had informed me about this great new meatball shop in the Lower East Side and I acknowledge its presence and told myself I’d go there VERY soon.  I knew I wanted to go there before all the blogs and media so that its not a zoo up in there.  I kept putting it off and scheduled a couple of gatherings there with some friends and it got canceled and simply just could not go there. More friends were going and telling me that its a great place and I have to definitely go…why didn’t they invite me?  At this point I was going to go on my own and sit at the bar but, the opportunity knocked to go with Sang, Joe, Young, & Theresa and I seized it.

Let me give you a warning, if you’re going with a larger party its best to go there really early or really late because we ended up waiting about an hour and a half to sit down when we arrived at 7:30.   Luckily we held back our hunger pains by taking a little walk to Vanessa’s dumplings and got some $1 dumplings and sesame bread.  Even with the long wait, standing out in the cold, & giving evil stares at people inside to finish their meals, I appreciated the cute hostess and being patient with us even though I kept bothering her about when our table would be ready. Also  conveniently they’ll take your number and call you when a table opens up.

The dining area itself isn’t that big but, has a decent sized bar, handful of two seater tables and a large communal table in the middle for large groups or to be shared with smaller parties.  After the attentive waitress explain simply how to order our meals for 5 mins we realize that this method is super efficient.  They have laminated menus with check boxes and you simply write the quantity of each of the items you want with magic marker… brilliant!

The food consists of essentially five types of meatballs (classic beef, spicy pork, chicken, vegetable, & the special) and four sauces (Tomato sauce, spicy meat, mushroom, & parm cream).  With the choices you choose the quantity of meatballs by the type of sandwich you want and the sauce…simple really.

The sliders which are $3 each probably gives you the most variety to satisfy your hunger.  I thought the best combinations were the Spicy meat w/ spicy pork and Chicken w/ parm cream.  I would go back to this place to get a large hero with those combinations.

My friend got the a la carte classic beef w/ spicy meat over spaghetti and he liked this classic combination.  We also got a side of risotto which I thought was surprisingly fantastic, a daily roasted veggies that had a sweet glaze which had a unique tasty flavor, and a steamed spinach that was fresh.

We could not pass up on the dessert since the choices are unique, and once again the matrix effect. You choose your cookie, your ice cream, and they make an ice cream sandwich out of it.  We got this ordering thing down so we got a chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream and peanut butter cookie with chocolate ice cream.  I was a big fan of the chocolate cookie with vanilla but some of us preferred the other.  Lastly, the two sandwiches seemed perfect to share for five people after a meatball meal.

After our meal we all pretty much unanimously agreed that this place is about a 4 out of 5 sporks in rating.  The beauty of this restaurant is that even though they specialize in meatballs they’ve managed to customize everything else so that you have control over size, sauce, bread, quanity, cheese, meat/vegetarian or whatever.  They have three beer sizes for heaven’s sakes!  As simple as meatball gets, they’ve manage to make this particular food special and tasty as it can get.  I’m not sure about rest of the group but, I can start a nice normal steady relationship with this place.  So, I’d definitely go back , just without the wait.

.:cL

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Filed under Dessert, Lower East Side, Sandwiches, Specialty, Under $10

Doughnut Plant

Rating:

Location: 379 Grand St. nr. Essex St

Price: Varies $2.00-$3.00 each

Okay so this is another posting resulting from me aimlessly watching No Reservations on the internet.  I really have to blame Tony for being such a good story teller and making everything look like it tastes so good.  This time it was the “food porn” episode and it started when he was eating that amazing bowl of pho (dang him and his Viet food).  So, as a result I biked down to Chinatown Hester St. to try out a new place (will post about that soon).  As long as I was in the area while craving some dessert food, I figured I’d go swing by the spot I’ve been thinking about for a while: Doughnut Plant.  I got some recommendations off my phone from a recent post by NYCfoodguy and decided to go with 3 of the popular doughnuts.

 

First off, yes I know I’ve admitted to myself already that I’m a super fatty for ordering 3 of these and inhaling them.  Second off, these were REALLY good and my favorite being the creme bulee.  The creme bulee is a bit small but, its almost like eating a handheld creme brulee.  The bottom has the hard caramelized sugar coating just like a real creme brulee and my favorite part and contains a delicious creme brulee filling.  The carrot cake was still great and had tasty candy like pieces on top of the doughnut with a pure carrot cake flavor throughout.  The tres leches was the sweetest of them all with a sugar coating and bits of creme filling inside for a nice surprise.  I think what I love the most about these treats were that they’re quite light and not overwhelming with just the right amount of sweetness.  $2-$3 is bit pricey for doughnuts but I think I just got too used to buying doughnuts from those midtown coffee carts.  I’ll take doughnut plant over those carts any day.

.:cL

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Filed under Bakery, Dessert, Lower East Side

Creperie NYC

Rating:

2 Locations: 135 Ludlow Street (LES) & 112 Macdougal Street (Greenwich village)

Price: Varies (Famous crepe $10)

Thinking back on my Paris trip a few years back, I don’t remember having many foods that were memorable.  Maybe I just didn’t go to the right spots back then or maybe I didn’t quite develop a foodie palette or craving to try all the best foods the French had to offer.  Regardless, I do remember some of the very simple eating memories…the home made dinner at friend’s place with cheap wine and coke mix, eating freshly baked baguettes with nutella in the mornings, and crepes.  I might sound crazy but, crepes just seemed like the most versatile food you can find there.  You can go to a street vendor and get a crepe and walk around eating it, nice breakfast/brunch sit down place & get a crepe, after dinner get a dessert crepe, & after a night of going out you could get a crepe to satisfy your hunger.

In NYC, it was nice to see a crepe place in the middle of LES on Ludlow run by a wonderful French woman (I think?) to satisfy the daily hungers for every aspect of New York life.   You could order a crepe that contains anything from variety of fruits/nutella to smoke turkey & bacon from early morning to late night (8am – 3am).   We had a “Famous Crepe” which had strawberries, banana, whipped cream, nutella, and ice cream which was perfect after a LES dinner.  Definitely going back and trying the Brie with pears & walnuts crepe.

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Filed under Dessert, Late night food, Lower East Side

Kuma Inn

Rating:

Location: 113 Ludlow St. 2nd flr.

Price: $7-$21

Ever since I went to a Filipino house party back last summer in Chicago I’d been looking for a good place for some Filipino noodles & eggrolls.  Those handmade dishes had a distinct flavor to them that hit a different note than other asian dishes I’ve tried.  I’ve never seen a Filipino restaurant in the city to except for the crappy one down the street from me so,  when my coworker suggested Kuma Inn for good Filipino food I was psyched.  First of all, the restaurant is pretty tricky to find if you’re not paying attention since it’s on the second floor with no signs on the dark block of Ludlow st. in LES.  The upstairs dining area was quite decent with ample seating and nice intimate lights.   Much to my surprise after glancing at the menu, this restaurant was more of a pan-asian food with tapas style dishes. *sigh*arg…I need my NOODLES & EGGROLLS!!

Despite my utter disappointment, I had to admit they had great selection of small plates (asian tapas) and apparently much of the dishes are inspired by Chef’s parent’s Filipino cooking.  So, pseudo-Filipino food.  We ended up getting the tiger shrimp, dorado fish, coconut rice, tuna tartar, & my personal favorites the Chinese sausage & fried pork belly. I would definitely go back to this place for my favorite dishes…big fat delicious juicy chunks of PORK BELLY, FRIED …SERIOUSLY?! Wow. Extra bonus for Kuma Inn is that they have BYOB with a small corkage fee. Nice.  Even after a good meal here, I haven’t forgot that I have to keep on searching for my noodles and eggrolls.  Suggestions are welcome.

.:cL

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Filed under Lower East Side, Pan-Asian, Tapas/Small Plates