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Mad for Meatball Shop

April 26, 2010

Though Meatball Shop opened in the Lower East Side two months ago, the crowds were so daunting that I didn’t visit the place until recently. After weeks of hearing how amazing the house-ground balls were, I had to check it out. Keith and I braved an hour’s wait on Thursday night, and finally (FINALLY!) had our meatballs.

Keith got the spicy pork with parmesan cream, while I got the classic beef with spicy meat sauce. Both were light and flavorful, and the focaccia that came with it was delicious. To go with our meatballs, we ordered the risotto and the polenta. The risotto was underwhelming — it was a little nutty (not in a good way) and could have been cooked a few more minutes. The polenta was perfect though, creamy and slightly sweet. We also got collard greens braised in garlic, which were slightly flavorless. But nothing could detract from the meatballs.

I devoured the meatballs too fast to take a picture, but at least waited to eat the ice cream sandwiches on Saturday.

To end our meal, we got an ice cream sandwich. Meatball Shop has a few different options of cookies and ice cream flavors, and you can build your own sandwich. We chose ginger snap cookies with caramel ice cream, based on a tip from the Mouthing Off blog from Food & Wine magazine. The ginger snap cookies had real ginger in them, and the tangy-ness paired well with the sweet caramel. The only problem? I don’t like to get my hands dirty and the cookies were tough to eat with a spoon.

We liked the place so much we went back on Saturday. I got pretty much the same thing, except instead of collard greens, I ordered roasted cauliflower with rosemary and saba oil, which the waitress said was made from pressed grapes. It was so good I had to order another plate, and I will for sure try to make it soon.

There’s no doubt I’ll be going back to Meatball Shop — and often!

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