Thursday, May 19, 2011

Food Field Trip NYC: Cloudy with a 100% Chance of Meatballs

The Meatball Shop's tasty balls (get your mind out of the gutter!) keep their cozy East Village storefront dining room jammed.  And like NYC's many other one hit food wonders, the Meatball Shop's popularity indicates that the city's single-food-restaurant trend is not slowing.  On an April Friday afternoon, the wait for the small dining room clocked in at over an hour. 

A large communal table occupies the middle of the tiny one-room restaurant, which also includes a ten seat bar, where we were able to snag two seats and bypass the completely unorganized hostess.  Hipster waitstaff sported the requisite fedoras and turtle rimmed glasses, so I immediately knew that I was not cool enough for this shrine to the meatball.  But the fabulously handcrafted balls and excellent sides were fit for this relatively unhip DC'ite.

Ordering is simple.  You mark off your choices on a laminated menu with a dry-erase marker, so one would assume food would arrive swiftly.  Somehow our order of "naked balls" got lost (or was submitted with delay); our wait for food was almost an hour (so much for our luck in snagging those bar seats!).

Our traditional and spicy pork ball orders were both fork tender, moist, flavorful, and covered in just the right amount of sauce.  And the biggest surprise was the delicious and fresh green sides--we went with an exceptionally crisp, peppery arugula and apple salad and the bitter-and-sweet seared sugar snap peas with mustard greens.

Be prepared to deal with a fair share of annoyances that go along with the any NYC "it" place du jour, but this mecca to all things meatballs is worth a trip.  The Naked Balls are $7 an order and the sides average about $5.

The Meatball Shop on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Favorite book as a kid! However, I hated meatballs back then. Now, they seem to be having their own renaissance with me. I can't get enough. I kind of want to drive to NYC. Right now.