Meatball Shop is a place that was on my bucket list since it opened. The concept is genius, an entire restaurant dedicated to serving various kinds of meatballs. Honestly I never order meatballs out… ever. I am bias, there are about four people in my family that all cook better meatballs than the ones I have had at restaurants. There is no reason for me to order meatballs except to be disappointed. When I heard about The Meatball Shop I thought maybe finally there would be a Manhattan Rival to my family’s version.
We arrived around 9pm on a Sunday and had to wait for 90 minutes to be seated. The interior of the restaurant is kind of small and the tables are long and cafeteria style so get ready to sit with strangers. The laminated menus are fun and you use a small marker to check off what you want to eat (this is a cool concept). There were about six of us so we each got something different and got to try a ton of the meatballs and sauces.
I ordered 3 sliders for myself each without cheese and with a different choice of sauce:
Classic Beef – Spicy Meat Sauce
Spicy Pork – Classic Tomato Sauce
Veal – Classic Tomato Sauce (the veal was the special of the day)
My friends ordered a couple of bowls of balls to split for the table including the chicken, vegetable and tried the mushroom gravy and parmesan cream sauce. We ordered a bunch of sides and I tried the risotto & spinach, which were both very good. My friends’ favorite sauce was the parmesan cream sauce (they raved about it but I don’t eat dairy).
The meatballs were okay but definitely did not live up to the hype. The sliders did not have enough sauce on them and I tried to compensate by dipping in the bowls of sauce that came out with the other orders but the bread did not soak up the sauce like normal Italian bread does. The meatballs themselves were the right size but the meat was not totally mixed through and contained large chunks of garlic and was not as tender as I like (I don’t think they use white bread in the mixture, probably just breadcrumbs). The beef was a bit bland and the sauce was not that spicy. The spicy pork was definitely my favorite and the tomato sauce was flavorful. I thought the veal would be my favorite when I ordered it but it ended up being my least favorite.
The A La Carte balls are served with focaccia bread and I did not like this choice at all! Meatballs should be served with a rustic Italian bread. The focaccia was not a good pairing for the sauce and everyone ate the leftover sauce with a spoon rather than with the bread. One of my friends ordered a hero which was served on what they call a baquette that by far looked like the best option.
I do commend Meatball Shop for the unique idea, affordable prices and charming atmosphere but overall I will not be back. If you don’t mind the long wait it is worth a try.
Nothing like homemade
Poor bread choice
LONG wait times
Overall Rating: 2.5/5 Stars (docked a .5 for the wait)
Recommended Dish: Hero with Pork balls & Classic Tomato Sauce on white bread--DBlock