Category Archives: Lower East Side

The Meatball Shop

Meatball Shop
64 Greenwich Ave
(between 7th Ave & 11th St)
New York, NY 10011
(also 2 other locations in Lower East Side and Williamsburg)

 

I was never particularly fond of meatballs before living in NYC.  Meatballs always reminded me of dry and limp cafeteria spaghetti – not exactly something I would seek out.  But after moving to NYC, I found that the Meatball Shop was the talk of the town.  As a very open-minded eater, I was eager to change my mind about meatballs and checked out the Meatball Shop as soon as I could.  The first time I went, we waited 2 hours for a table… don’t worry, this was before they had opened any other locations.  I’ve been to all three locations now and will say that the original Lower East Side one has been lacking in quality since the opening of the other two locations… not sure why.  The West Village and Williamsburg locations are great and much bigger.

Okay I know, I should really start with a meatball photo but one of my favorite things about the Meatball Shop is their market salads.  They switch it up… every week maybe?  The one pictured above is probably my favorite: butter lettuce, almonds, radicchio, sunchoke, clementines, and sherry vinaigrette.  If you think about each ingredient… they are all very intensely flavored and so the combination could either go really wrong, or so so right.  The butter lettuce was soooo tender and leafy!  I now know why they are called butter lettuce because in their prime state, they really feel like they melt in your mouth… like butter.  Almonds are always a welcomed addition to anything… it gave the salad a great crunch and nutty context.  Radicchio is slightly bitter and almost a little spicy sometimes.  I actually barely tasted them in this salad but I’m sure they added to the complexity of the salad.  This was my first time having sunchoke and wow, was it amazing.  Sunchokes are knobbly and funny looking… kind of like twisted ginger roots.  They were boiled or maybe blanched just so that they had the consistency of a very chewy potato.  They were slightly creamy… and had slight sweet and nutty undertones.  They went very well with the almonds and butter lettuce.  The clementines were the sweetest I’ve had (nothing like those awful sour and dry ones you find in most supermarkets) and the sherry vinaigrette just bonded all the flavors together.  I. LOVE. THIS. SALAD.

Here is a close-up of a classic beef ball with spicy meat sauce.  See how juicy and tender it looks on the inside?  You have the option of picking the type of ball you want and the type of sauce (see menu photo on top).  Having tried all of the balls and almost in every ball-sauce combination possible, I find that the classic beef ball and spicy meat sauce is my favorite.

Continue reading The Meatball Shop

Cocoron: Kimchee Pork Dipping Soba

Cocoron
61 Delancey St
(between Eldridge St & Allen St)
New York, NY 10002

 

Best soba I have ever had.  Hands down.  My issue with soba has always been that the flavors were too bland.  Cocoron is a tiny tiny Japenese soba restaurant (literally only seats 12) that serves up anything but bland soba.  The dipping soba comes with a very al dente, cold tray of soba and a pot of broth that sits over a fire.  You dip the soba into the broth for each individual bite.  At the end of the meal, you get a little pot of soba water (nutritious water that was used to boil the soba) to mix with your leftover broth and you drink it as a soup. Continue reading Cocoron: Kimchee Pork Dipping Soba

Clinton St. Baking Company: Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwich

Clinton St. Baking Company
4 Clinton St
(between Avenue B & Houston St)
New York, NY 10002

 

BEST buttermilk biscuit sandwich I have ever had.  We waited in line for an hour and a half (we also went at prime hour, Saturday at noon) to have breakfast here.  The biscuit is not overly buttery (unlike the one at Popeye’s, which I also really like) yet somehow still tastes so damn good.  It is slightly crumbly, which pairs perfectly with their homemade tomato jam (what ketchup tries to be).  The scrambled eggs are creamy and the hash browns are crisp on the edges and soft otherwise.  You can still taste bits of sea salt crusted on the crispy edges of the potato… mmm… Continue reading Clinton St. Baking Company: Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwich

Pulino’s: Funghi Breakfast Pizza

Pulino’s
282 Bowery
New York, NY 10012

 

Funghi Breakfast Pizza (eggs, mushrooms, pancetta, creme fraiche, grana)

 

Much better than I thought it would be because the reviews were very so-so!  I wish the egg was spread out better so I wouldn’t have to do it (then again, I wouldn’t be able to sneakily take more egg for myself either…).  Pancetta was a very good/necessary ingredient.  The saltiness of it cut the creamy creme fraiche, grana (a type of cheese… sometimes called Parmesan -french- or Parmigiano Reggiano -Italian- … pretentious much?), and eggs so it wasn’t so nauseating.

 

Crust was decent but tasted extra yummy because of the chili oil they had on the side.  After a few bites, I noticed that the chili oil tasted exactly like Lao Gan Ma sauce (a Chinese sauce every Chinese know/should know about).