The Meatball Shop


Total Bill: $25.00 for two

Labor Day is always one of my favorite long weekends for a staycation in Manhattan because it’s so peaceful in the city. So this past Monday, Jay and I stuck around and finally took the time to try out The Meatball Shop in the Lower East Side, free of the usual scramble.

It was 11 am and the lazy morning had some of the shop owners just unlocking their storefronts. But the Meatball Shop definitely garnered the most attention on its block, with a line forming ahead of its noon open. And within an hour of sitting down, it was easily the busiest spot around.

The menu is simple: pick the type of meatballs, select the type of sauce, and add a side of your choice. This can be done “naked” (i.e. free floating) or in the form of a sandwich.

Jay had the spicy pork in spicy meat sauce and I the sausage special of the day in bell pepper sauce. Jay has his on top of plain risotto and I in a bed of freshly-milled polenta.

To be honest, the meatballs themselves were flavorful, but nothing spectacular. In fact, they were a little dry and too tough on the exterior. Their saving grace was definitely the risotto and polenta they were swimming in.

And to be fair, these “sides” were good enough to rev up the overall dish. But it’s just a tad disappointing that the best part of a meatball dish at a specialized meatball shop is the surrounding carbohydrates.

For your money, you actually get pretty full off a single serving. It’s unique enough that I’m tempted to go back for another round, and it you have to give it credit for deviating from your everyday LES brunch.

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