We waited so long to try the Meatball Shop that yet another location opened close to home! We went to the Greenwich Ave. location in the West Village and opted to try it at lunchtime. We arrived right at opening time to find they’d already let the line in, but there were two seats left at the bar. Our server, Jennifer, was very helpful and gracious. She told us it is best to come about 1/2 an hour after opening to avoid the rush. Everyone shows up at opening time and the kitchen gets slammed. She walked us through the menu which is laminated and you check off boxes with a dry erase marker. It’s like dim sum in Chinatown but with meatballs and a polite person.
The menu is pretty straightforward. The message is ‘We Make Balls’ and the whole menu is filled with sexual innuendo. Everything is customizable – pick your balls and your sauce. Naked Ball options are beef, spicy pork, chicken, veggie or the daily special. Sauces are Classic Tomato, Spicy Meat, Mushroom, Parmesan Cream and Pesto. Mix and match as you will and they are happy to tell you what sauce is best on what balls. Naked Balls are 4 in a bowl with sauce and foccacia. There are also sliders and heroes with the same options. There is an option called ‘Smash’ with two balls smashed on a brioche bun. There is even a salad with balls. There are sides of pasta, risotto and mashed potatoes available as well. The Green Market section offers salads and veggies.
We started with Naked Balls. Steve ordered the daily special – Jennifer highly recommended the steak, bacon and cheddar balls with Mushroom Gravy. They were truly outstanding and if they are ever offering it when you are there do NOT pass it up! I got the Classic Beef with the Classic Tomato Sauce just to get the basic flavor of their balls. I would definitely have them again, but I am now fixated with all of the other types and want to try every combination. We did sliders as well with the classic combo, chicken with mushroom gravy and spicy pork with spicy sauce. The mushroom gravy is to die for. I am thinking classic beef with mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes? For lunch tomorrow! Yeah, that’s it. The spicy pork is also excellent. I ordered the daily special Market Green salad to see how they did with veggies. It was made with pomegranates and roasted fennel. While it was excellent; it was a salad. Skip it and eat balls.
Also of note the prices are extremely friendly. This is by no means a fine dining experience yet it is. And it is cheap. Balls are $7 for 4, Sliders $3, Heroes come with a side salad for $9 and Smash does too for $8. Wines range from $6-$10 and beer is available in 3 sizes. A ‘glass’ is $4-$6 and they serve pitchers as well. They even make a Hot Toddy with Port for $6. Sangria comes in 3 sizes and pitchers are available too. It is not often that I am astonished at how low the check is. Trust me on that one. Being obsessed with food is an expensive habit.
So this is a ‘must do’. Excellent food, atmosphere, service and price. I wasn’t joking about lunch tomorrow.
And a big thanks to the guys below for coming up with this concept. We love it!
64 Greenwich Ave. – West Village