I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. My parents came up from Miami and my sister and brother-in-law flew up from New York City. It was such a blast to be all together in Boston and enjoy the gorgeous spring weather all weekend.
This week I plan to share with you some of the amazing spots I visited on my most recent trip to New York. I was in town for a client event, but stayed two extra days to see my sister, one of my best friends from college and one of my oldest and dearest childhood friends.
With my college bestie, I made my first ever trip to The Meatball Shop. I'd passed their location in Chelsea a million times, but never went in. We decided to meet at the location in the Lower East Side.
I arrived just a few minutes before her and the chalkboard sign out front gave me a taste of what was to come . . . a whole lot of balls.
Inside, the bar was totally packed. We gave our name to the hostess and she told us it would be a 25 - 35 minute wait. We popped around the corner to another bar for a drink.
When we got the text that our table was ready, we downed our drinks and scurried back over.
As I always do when I sit down to eat at a restaurant, I checked in on Swarm (which I have set up to kick to Twitter as well). Then I got a notification that the Meatball Shop had replied to my tweet. It said:
Hilarious! I was giggling like a 12 year old.
The table we were seated at was in the front window of the restaurant. My BFF had a view of the bustling neighborhood outside (and a yoga class in the building across the street) and my seat looked out onto the dining room.
To begin our meal, we each ordered a drink - a glass of Montepulciano for me and a Moscow mule for her.
Moscow mules are traditionally served in copper mugs, but The Meatball Shop ups their game by serving their rendition in custom, branded mugs. I had to fight a serious urge to swipe that mug and take it home.
With drinks in hand, it was time to decide what to have for dinner. The Meatball Shop's ordering system is very interactive. Once you're seated, your waiter or waitress gives you a laminated menu and whiteboard markers. You actually check off what you want with the marker and then hand it back to them.
I loved this ordering system and checked off my boxes with glee.
I had decided on a meatball hero on wheat bread with veggie balls, classic tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.
As a vegetarian, it is so rare to have the opportunity to eat a meatball sub (or anything resembling one), so I was totally stoked. How good does this sandwich look?
The veggie balls had a great flavor and texture. They were way more satisfying than your average veggie burger patty.
My friend had selected the spicy meatballs with pesto and parmesan cheese. They came with two pieces of focaccia bread on the side.
She said, "These meatballs were advertised as spicy, but didn't really have a kick. I wanted more heat. The pesto was very fresh, but a tad oily. The parmesan cheese was a great addition and thankfully didn't make the dish taste overly salty."
In addition to our balls, we also ordered the vegetable special of the night, which was roasted carrots, ricotta cheese, mint and walnuts. This dish was fantastic. Easily the best plate of the night. The crunch of the walnuts was a great contrast to the soft texture of the roasted carrots.
We also ordered a side of broccoli. The presentation was plain and simple, but the broccoli trees were fresh and tasted quite delicious.
I absolutely loved this meal. I think The Meatball Shop's branding is hysterical and they really own that middle school sense of humor. The menu offers a wide range of choices and I think the mix and match/make your own element is super fun.
For a vegetarian, The Meatball Shop is a great way to enjoy a classic that can be pretty inaccessible to non-meat eaters. For the omnivores out there, the options are endless! Though we didn't order them, I've been told by many people that buffalo chicken balls are to die for.
The next time you're in New York City, definitely make the time to stop by one of The Meatball Shop's six locations.