By Tina Cherrillo
If your favorite way to eat meat is in the form of a ball, then you’ve got to try out The Meatball Shop. Established in 2010, The Meatball Shop has been spreading its balls all over the city in their six NY Locations. Whether you’re uptown, downtown or anywhere in between, The Meatball Shop has got your meatball needs covered. I’m an avid meatballer myself and have been dying to try out these luscious lumps for years. Just last month I ventured out to The Meatball Shop’s Chelsea, NY location and boy, did I have a ballin’ experience!
Only a few blocks away from the ACE or 123 subway stations, the Chelsea location is super easy to get to. You can’t miss the red and white striped awning. It’s got a quaint little storefront and even offers outside seating for those of you who prefer to take your balls outdoors.
The inside is small, but what it lacks in space is made up for by the décor and of course the food, but I’m getting ahead of myself. There are old-timey pictures covering almost every inch of wall space that give the shop a homey feel. Another quirky feature I thought was unique is how every single piece of silverware is mismatched. The tables are pretty close to each other, but hey, what better place to make friends who share a common love for meatballs than THE Meatball Shop?
While it looks pretty simple, don’t be fooled. This menu is jam packed with options. They’re even laminated so you can check off exactly what you want with a dry-erase marker so the waiters don’t confuse your table’s orders.
The first thing you have to decide is what kind of ball you want. You have the option between three different types of meat: classic beef, spicy pork, or chicken. There’s even a veggie ball option for all those vegetarians out there.
Next, you pick your sauce. There are usually six so try not to get too overwhelmed. options include tomato, spicy meat, mushroom, parm cheese and pesto. Trust me, I was torn between classic tomato and the pesto. One of the hardest decisions I made all week.
If you thought choosing your meat and sauce was tough, then brace yourselves for this next sentence. Everyday each location their own daily ball/sauce special you can try. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!
Next step: choose how you want your balls to be served. If you’re feeling confident in your ball selection, opt for the “Naked Balls”. Yup, that was not a typo. You get four big, juicy balls topped with your sauce and some focaccia bread. If you’re shy, don’t worry. You can order a side of spaghetti or a salad if don’t want your balls to be completely naked.
The other option is to order your balls on a slider or in a sandwich. If you can’t handle two balls in your mouth at once, go for the slider. If you’re a true ball lover, go with the sandwich. It comes on a baguette hero with your sauce and three balls, all snuggled together and tucked in under a blanket of cheese. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
The ball mania doesn’t stop there! If you’re smart, you’ll leave room for dessert. Or even if you don’t save room, loosen your belt buckle or just unbutton your pants because you’re going to want to try one of the ice cream sandwiches. This time instead of choosing balls and sauce, you choose your cookies and ice cream. All the cookies are freshly baked in house AND they hand-make their own ice cream. Just when you thought this place couldn’t get any better…IT DOES.
My Meal Order: Hero Sandwich on a white baguette with classic beef balls, classic tomato sauce, and provolone cheese
Being an experienced meatballer, I knew I could handle the Hero Sandwich. The bread was crispy, the sauce light and tart. Provolone was the way to go cheese-wise. It was more flavorful than mozzarella would have been and held its own to the sauce and balls. Speaking of the balls, they were… AMAZEBALLZ. Not too firm, but not dry either. It came with a simple salad served with light oil dressing and apples that complimented the sandwich perfectly.
My Dessert Order: Cookie Sandwich with the special of the day, mint ice cream nestled between two chocolate chip cookies
The cookies were warm and gooey. That mint ice cream was THE FRESHEST ice cream I have ever had. It had little pieces of mint leaves mixed in so you can tell it was handmade.
My overall rating: 10 ballz out of 10
Hands down THE BEST meatball-parm sandwich I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. I left with the biggest food baby. I now know what it feels like to be five months pregnant. I was so pleased my whole experience that I swiped The Meatball Shop pen I used to sign my check.
If you haven’t tried The Meatball Shop, trust me it’s worth a trip!
Tina Cherrillo is a contributing writer for YourSitch.com