The overwhelming success of a little restaurant, The Meatball Shop, specializing in uncomplicated but flavorful meatball dishes, in the heart of the Lower East Side has been followed by exactly what one would expect: a second location. This time, they’ve tackled Williamsburg, and despite having only opened two months ago, the Shop fits the hippest of Brooklyn neighborhoods like a glove.On a Thursday evening, the place is packed- the results of which are obvious, with a 20 minute wait for a table and patrons spilling onto the street out front. No one seems to mind, though. The crowd is mostly twentysomethings, content to order drinks or smoke outside. The full-service bar’s latest addition- a cocktail menu- is fun, with the option of concocting your own drink (virgin or otherwise) and a “Big Kidz Menu”, which gives you choices ranging from jelly shots and “Fool Aid” to whiskey floats.
The Meatball Shop does takeout, a popular option for those short on time. There is steady traffic to and from the takeout counter, which also has its own seating, though not as cozy as the closely packed tables in the rest of the place.Service is fast and friendly, with a laid-back attitude that fits in with the restaurant’s overall feel. Even the menus are no-frills. Mark them up with a dry-erase marker, and hand them to your waiter.
Now onto what this place is really all about: balls.
They’re hot, flavorful, not too mushy and not too tough- all in all, delicious. If you’re up on your NYC restaurants, chances are you’ve heard something about the balls here, and I can truthfully say that they live up to all the hype. Beef, chicken, and pork are mainstays, as is the veggie ball, but the Shop also has specials every day which are definitely worth trying. The menu isn’t very long, but there are more than enough options (including naked balls! exciting!). Don’t come here if you’re on a diet, though- you’ll instantly set yourself back a few pounds. The sides are as equally hearty as the main dishes, and pretty darn good. My personal favorite was the polenta.
Dessert, much like the rest of the place, is unpretentious. The floats and ice cream sandwiches make for a good end to any meal. The mint ice cream is something special; nothing like the expected green stuff, it’s made with real mint leaves and is decidedly refreshing. 170 Bedford Avenue (between N7 and N8). 718-551-0520. Sun-Wed 12pm-2am, Thu-Sat 12pm-4am. L to Bedford Ave, G to Metropolitan Ave.