Location: 84 Stanton Street (btw Allan & Orchard)
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.