The Meatball Shop

84 Stanton Street
New York, NY

Every NYer has heard from a friend at one point or another that they have to check out the Meatball Shop. If you are anything like me, your instant reaction was probably some immature dirty joke followed by intrigue. What does this Meatball Shop have that makes it so special?

On an early Saturday evening, it was finally my time to explore the intrigue of The Meatball Shop. First things first, when I checked out their website I noticed they do not make reservations. When I got there, they informed me there was a 45 minutes wait, BUT they took my cell number and said they would call me when my table is ready. Let me apologize in advance as I digress.. why isn’t this the norm in NYC? I really hate when places make me stay within their crowded confines trying to hear a hostess call my name. Okay back to the point.

I decided to hit up Epstien’s (bar next door, which I promise to write up as a later moment) and within 45 minutes my phone was ringing. As I sat down and was handed a menu, I noticed a marker on the table. You get to draw on the menu! Okay not exactly, but you do get to mark up the menu with your order.

As you might expect the meatballs are the main focus of the menu. There are 5 types, Beef, Spicy Pork, Chicken, Vegetable, and the daily Special. How you want them is the real question. You can order them in many fashions, naked with sauce, sliders, hero, and smashed with cheese. There are also many options for salads and sides to make a full meal. You can even put the naked meatballs on one top of the sides, so for those more traditional folks who like their meatballs over pasta, the option is there.

For my meal I ordered the beef naked meatballs with the spicy meat sauce. The daily special salad and a risotto. I like that in additional to a daily special meatball, there was also a salad and risotto of the day. Gives you options for the future and a reason to return. The meatballs came 4 in a bowl drenched in sauce topped with cheese. They tasted like they just came out of the oven and were soft. A key note is that the portions are not massive. I actually felt perfect after the main course, that I had room for dessert.

Oh yes, dessert. The options were an ice cream sandwich or float. You can choose your cookie and ice cream, so essentially you are custom making an ice cream sandwich. I had the brownie cookie with vanilla! Excellent pick if I should say so. Overall, an amazing meal and very affordable at that. My total bill was about $25 with a beer in there somewhere.

And finally for those of you have had ditry jokes on your mind everytime I said Meat or Ball during this post, The Meatball Shop has the fix. Check out their ball jokes sections.

The Best Damn Beer Special in NYC

The Bravest
700 Second Ave
At 38th Street
New York, NY 10016

I have lived around Gramercy and Murray Hill for over 3 years now. I have been hanging out in this area for many years prior to moving here and I have really missed out on what I believe to be the best deal in NYC! The Bravest has $2.50 Bud Lights all the time! That is right folks, it might actually be cheaper to have 6 beers at the bar, then going to your local bodega for a 6 pack. But it does not end there. The Bravest takes it up a notch up for happy hour. Seven days a week, you can snag a $2 beer from 4pm – 7pm. On my visit they were offering any draft beer at this price. Now that I have gone over the beer special, there is more to add. They have a happy hour menu, which gives up 10 wings for $4 and few other reasonably priced options including nachos and tacos.

The ambiance might not be for all, especially if you are one who prefers the typical Murray Hill sports bar. I am not hating on the Murray Hill bars, but if you prefer a loud environment, shoulder to shoulder with fans yelling over each play, stay away! The Bravest is a no frills bar. I would describe it s a hole in the wall, with its tight interior, which to my surprise was not packed on my football Sunday visit. They have many screens and had every game showing. The staff is extremely friendly. The bartender even made sure to address us by our name as we gave him a credit card to open the tab.

In my opinion this has to be one of the best bars I have come across in NYC. It is a perfect spot to sit down watch football on a Sunday, have good affordable beers, eat some wings and enjoy your team. If you have come across a bar you believe provides the optimal football viewing experience, please share, I am always open to suggestions.