You may or may not have heard about one of the newest darlings of the Manhattan food scene, Meatball Shop. If you haven’t, it’s about time that you do!! And if you have, but you have yet to go, I urge you to stop what you are doing and go immediately. Actually I recommend doing that either way. There is something so majestic and endearing about single food item-themed restaurants; for the same reason that I am utterly obsessed with Peanut Butter & Co and Macbar, I am enamored with Meatball Shop. Perhaps it is a combination of the assurance that you will be getting quality food (hey, if they are literally running an exclusively meatball biz, we can pretty much assume those are some rockin’ balls, right?), and just the sheer excitement of eating in a place that offers a variety of one perfect food staple. Whatever it is, I am all for it. Best thing about Meatball Shop? Co-owner Michael Chernow is the most attractive man alive. It is astonishingly cheap!
I went to Meatball Shop with a friend, and we decided to go splitsies on everything. We also were too hungry to be rational and got way too much food. What we had, however, was very reasonably priced and very delicious. The concept of Meatball Shop is genius—you get to customize everything from the meatballs to the sauce to the cheese and the bed upon which the meatballs lie. Vegetarians fear not, for there are veggie balls (I didn’t try them but have heard wonderful things)! My friend Jordan and I split four items in total: “Naked Balls,” featuring four Spicy Pork Meatballs in a velvety bowl of their parmesan cream sauce ($7), two beef and chicken specialty Sliders ($6), an “Everything But the Kitchen Sink” specialty salad topped with three chicken meatballs and pesto sauce ($9), and some breathtaking freshly-milled creamy polenta ($4). For those counting, that is nine meatballs between two people. Don’t get nine meatballs between two people. These things are large and in charge and drenched in hearty, flavorful sauces. Anyways, between the two of us, all of that food came out to just $13. Bear in mind that this is a nice, trendy Manhattan restaurant that uses the freshest ingredients and makes the highest-quality dishes. To say $13 was a steal for that food is a gross understatement.
I would definitely recommend getting the waiter/waitress’s input before ordering. That is what Jordan and I did, and we couldn’t have been happier. In addition to their mouthwatering selection of classic balls and sauces, they cook up a chef special every day. We had the honor of tasting a Moroccan-inspired chicken meatball in an exotic, tangy sauce. It was mindblowing. We also opted for the market-fresh salad of the day, which was a Middle Eastern ensemble of Israeli couscous, luscious hummus, a cucumber salad, and roasted sweet potatoes complementing the bed of arugula and pesto-drenched chicken meatballs. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong. The only issue is, there is simply too much to try, and unless you are an endless meatball abyss, you won’t get to try everything in just one trip. Thankfully, however, it looks like Meatball Shop is here to stay!