On the 3rd of January during our trip to NY, Lex and I went to watch the New York Knicks play at Madison Square Garden. This was really an experience I’ll never forget. I decided to properly immerse myself into my second NBA experience (I had years earlier seen the LA Lakers play), so I purchased a Knicks top in the NBA store a few days earlier and was on my way to MSG. There was a little confusion in actually getting inside the stadium, although we felt a little silly afterwards when we saw the very noticeable entrance, and we had great seats. High up in the 200 section, but almost centre! Since we were a little rushed, I sent Lex to get me some popcorn during a timeout in the second quarter. Popcorn is so addictive and before we knew it we had ate too much. It was a 3pm game so we figured the popcorn would be our dinner. That was until the game finished and we decided it was 5.30pm and we simply had to have dinner…
The Meatball Shop was on my list of places to visit as I had heard the meatballs were delicious. There are a few locations around town and although they don’t accept reservations we managed to get a table. It was a Wednesday though so if you’re planning on going on a weekend perhaps allocate some wait time.
- Lower East Side (I actually love the LES and East Village, it has a trendy vibe to it. We walked past this location and it had a great atmosphere)
- West Village (this is the one we went to!)
- Upper East Side
- Upper West Side
Our waiter was really friendly. A young guy that deserved his tip (finally!). He seated us near the kitchen – which was cool as we could see the happenings and buzz. He also explained the menu to us. On your table is a laminated copy of the menu below. You also get a sharpie and basically put ticks next to what you want on the menu. The waiter then collects your menu and you’re all set! This was something I’d never experienced before and kind of a fun touch. The Meatball Shop definitely has a youthful and hip vibe to it. You can even buy merchandise there with slogans such as “Baller born and raised”, and “Meatballs vs. the World”.
What we ordered
Our waiter recommended we start with the Mini buffalo chicken balls which he promised would be mouth watering and served in no time. He was right on both accounts. They were bite-sized meatballs covered in redhot sauce and blue cheese dressing.
There were essentially three parts to the mains – the meatball (beef, chicken, pork or veggie), the sauce – tomato, spicy meat, mushroom gravy, parmesan cream, pesto, and the side – risotto, vegetable, greens, spaghetti, rigatoni, mashed potato, salad. You could opt for the sides on the side or underneath your meatballs. I went for the beef meatball with classic tomato sauce on a bed of risotto, and Lex went for the beef and pork balls with the spicy meat sauce on a bed of risotto. You get three balls included and these can be mix and matched (i.e. one chicken, one veggie, one beef).
This was a quick, affordable and tasty meal. It’s not the poshest of places, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s casual but trendy and I felt quite comfortable here in my Knicks top! I would recommend this for all budgets and taste pallets – there really is something for everyone and as you’re able to customise your meal you can really tune into what you’re craving. Next time I’d love to try my balls on a bed of rigatoni. Yum!