Tonight we decided to ditch the Super Bowl fetes and chase a ball that means so much more to us: the good old meatball! Top Chef's last challenge at New York Italian institution Rao's seemed to have everyone craving hunks of beef smothered with tomato sauce, so Melissa, Ben and I trekked to The Meatball Shop in the Lower East Side for a fix.
I love how ordering is done in this joint. You each get a marker and are told to tick your orders off right on the menu. Genius!
Ben ordered a hero with three delicious meatballs smothered in cheese and tucked into a fresh baguette from Il Forno Bakery. He loved it. I didn't have the heart to snap a picture since he was starving while Melissa and I were still digesting the last of our three-course lunch. Our gene pool seems to include having a bottomless pit for a stomach so somehow, she and I still devoured the hearty meatballs with rigatoni and tomato sauce that we ordered, plus a few bites of side salads ordered mostly to make us feel "healthy" (see image above). Digging into those bowls of pasta and meatballs tasted like coming home. So delicious and absolutely worth every bit of the sick, stuffed feeling I was left with hours later.
After seeing several ice cream sandwiches pass us by, we had to have one. We ordered mint ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies to share. When it comes to best decisions ever made, ordering mint ice cream ranks up to there with Anheuser-Busch deciding not to kill off Corona. It was seriously the most delicious mint ice cream I've ever had, flavored with real mint and containing tiny flecks of real mint leaves in all that creamy goodness. I might have to come back for a weekly fix.
The Meatball Shop is a gem of a spot in the Lower East Side: really good food, a proper drinks list, great service and a cozy ambience. They do not accept reservations, however, and even on Super Bowl night had a packed house. I would suggest coming on slower evenings and in small groups.
For someone who attends Super Bowl Sunday more for the chili, wings and beer rather than to actually watch football, I'd say this was a awesome way to spend the evening! Football lovers or not, I hope you enjoyed your Sunday night, as well!
The Meatball Shop is located at 84 Stanton Street between Allen and Orchard Streets. You may phone 212.982.8893 to order takeout, get directions or maybe even have a chat, but The Meatball Shop does not accept reservations.