The Meatball Shop | 84 Stanton St. (bet. Allen & Orchard Sts.) | 212.982.8895 |

I AM GOING TO get straight to the point. I usually include some backstory in these posts; today I am so eager to let you know how good the food I enjoyed recently, that I'm going to skip all that.

Almost all that. I will just recouont that I had just eaten not one but two burgers at new downtown mini-diner called Mikey's Burger, and was walking my way back to the 6 train when I passed a restaurant called The Meatball Shop. I had made two previous attempts to eat there, both times being way too busy and requiring a long wait.

This time they had just opened for lunch, and knowing that I had just eaten, I figured this would be a good time as any to try out the generally well-received itmes off their menu.

The place is big, roomy, comfy, and cozily decorated, rare properties compared to all the other new, singularly-themed restaurants that have been popping up all over the East Village/Lower East Side seemingly every week.

Like those other restaurants, the Meatball Shop is a specialty restaurant, that, of course, being meatballs, made from proteins (beef, chicken, pork, and salmon) which they ground and prep in house—in their remarkably large, clean, and well-staffed kitchen—and offer with a variety of housemade sauces. I order a "flight" basically, of three meatball sliders—one beef topped with tomato sauce, one chicken topped with mushroom sauce, and one salmon topped with a parmesan cream sauce.

I'm usually better at editing the food photos, selecting my favorite few from a bevy of options; but I want to do everything in my power to convince you—if not with scant words, then with delectable images—to run—not walk—to sample, nay, enjoy, nay, revel in the extreme sumptuous goodness that each of these little gems reward you with, bite by ever-better bite!

I try to usually avoid hyperbole, but it is unavoidable, for me at least, to not relay how tender and flavorful the meatballs were, each showcasing its protein's flavor and texture qualities. The biggest surprise being the chicken which, in many ground versions that I have previously had, are either completely tasteless, or completely overcompensated by various herbs and spices. But here, it's rendered replete with layers of poultry taste, while maintaining more all of the proper moisture and topped with a mushroom sauce that was even more than just an elevated version of condensed soup. The salmon meatball was properly seafood and, again surprisingly, kindly served by the mild aromatics of smooth, mellow, parmesan sauce. The mini buns, toasty and buttery, rounding out each orb as a miraculous little meal.

They offer sides as well; I opted for the risotto, a dish that, from a cook's point of view, requires the most cooking skill of all the sides. I wanted to see if the folks in the kitchen were really this good.

Light, creamy, tasty, and "toothsome" (one of my favorite new culinary words!), the risotto offered a nice starchy compliment to the sliders, if not to my, at the time, confused waistline.

Confusing it more was my decision to let my very nice server convince me to try an ice cream sandwich. Lucky enough, I had a few other customers I volunteered to share it with. So we enjoyed a quarter each of caramel ice cream sandwiched on one side with a meringue and one the other, a chocolate cookie. Also outstanding, and by this point, I believe I was so overwhelmed by the greatness of this whole meal that I completely forgot that I had a camera and missed taking a picture of said ice cream sandwich.

But the weather is getting warmer, and as I look forward to bringing many friends to try the Meatball Shop out for themselves, I likewise look forward to have many future opportunities to make up for that slight oversight.

Bun Apple Tea!


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The Meatball Shop | 84 Stanton St. (bet. Allen & Orchard Sts.) | 212.982.8895 |