Sunday, June 24, 2012

I Love NYC, Especially the Meatball Shop -- Spicy Pork Meatballs

New York City... ever since I was little this place has fascinated me. It's somewhere I've always seen myself living. Maybe not yet, but someday. I've lived in its little sister, Boston, and feel that next time I venture from my little corner of the Western Mass Countryside, it will be for a big city. LA still tops the list, but if it's meant to be NYC next, that would be just fine.

Chinatown, where I may or may not have bought a purse
of questionable origin

Plus, there are far more publishing opportunities in NYC than LA. Who knows... maybe that's where I'll end up. Working in food publishing in particular would be a dream come true!

Me and my friends in a really random patch of grass outside Meatball Shop
in Brooklyn

The first weekend was to visit my friend Tori, the next weekend I returned with my mom for a bus trip through her work. It was definitely an experience, to see NYC from a local's point of view (something that happens when I visit my friends these days) and then immediately after returning again to do the tourist things. 

Me and Tori, picture taken  by a wicked cute bartender

Goat cheese Bruchetta at a Tapas place with a terribly
gross bathroom

Next time, I will sample jackfruit. It's too bizarre to not try.

My mom and I love getting the street-food noodles.
I am aware of how gross they actually are.

At the Tapas bar, I got a beer. Because reasons.

Caprese salad at the Tapas bar

Cute bartender suggested this lovely, fruity beer.
I seriously wish I'd been cool enough to leave my number on a napkin...

Whiskey milkshake from Meatball Shop!

Fries we got at the cute bartender bar while waiting for a table at
Meatball Shop

Sliders from a random pub we found. The name is escaping me
at the moment.

But by and far the best place I got to eat was The Meatball Shop. As my friend Eric described it: "it's kind of a foodie place. And I guess that's what you do now, foodie stuff. So I think you'll like it." He couldn't have been more right. I LOVED it. For one, the drinks are fan-freaking-tastic--WHISKEY MILKSHAKE, need I say more?? I am happy I chose to get a few meatball sliders, it was the best way to get a few different samples of meatball and sauce in on one trip. I got three sliders: beef with marinara sauce, chicken with parmesan sauce, and spicy pork with mushroom sauce. The chicken was a tad dry but the flavorful sauce made up for it. The beef and marinara was juicy and amped up the traditional meatball just a bit. And the spicy pork with mushroom sauce...

Om nom nom...

Holy (meat)balls was it good.

I was thrilled that on my way out I was handed a card with the recipe for the spicy pork meatballs. They are fantastically easy and equally delicious and I feel like they will be a new favorite in my house. I almost halved the recipe in order to just make 12, but after tasting them I knew I made the right decision making a full batch--next time I'll make double! I even was able to google a solid mushroom gravy recipe to re-create my delicious little slider.

You can be sure I'll be frequenting The Meatball Shop when I finally do make the move to the city. Whenever that may be. Not to mention I'm going to swipe up the first copy of The Meatball Shop Cookbook I see!

 Recipe for Spicy Pork Meatballs 

(From a card I got at The Meatball Shop, and The Meatball Shop Cookbook)

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 pounds pork shoulder, ground
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 jarred hot cherry peppers, minced
  • ¼ cup hot cherry pepper pickling liquid
  • 4 slices fresh white bread, minced
  • 3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Drizzle the olive oil into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.

Combine the ground pork, salt, cherry peppers, pickling liquid, bread, and eggs in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
Roll the mixture into round, golf-size meatballs (about 1 ½ inches), making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.
Roast for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165 degrees F.
Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish before serving.

Note: I served these with the Mushroom Gravy but I'm sure any number of sauces would be great!


  1. I have heard fantastic things about the meatball shop! I have got to check it out the next time I'm in NYC!

    1. I know! Next time I visit I'll be torn between going here again or trying somewhere new!

  2. It all looks so good but that WHISKEY MILKSHAKE!?!? Awesome.

  3. Aw you were in my neck of the woods!! I've started hearing some great stuff about The Meatball Shop-I suppose I'll have to find my way over there now :D

    1. I was! And hopefully in the future I will be for longer than just a weekend :) I highly recommend The Meatball Shop. So so good. I want to get their cookbook now!

  4. The Meatball Shop is definitely high on my list of places to go when I finally get a chance to visit NYC again. Might have to get the cookbook in the meantime!

  5. I adore the meatball shop!! Actually it's probably more like i'm addicted to the meatball shop... but who needs the details!! And I love living in NYC - you should move here ;)

    1. I want to! My degree is in Writing, Literature, and Publishing and there are so many publishing houses in the city... I send out my resume whenever I see an opening. I would LOVE to live there someday soon.

  6. So great to see your view of NYC. I've never been but it's on the list.. Love the beer stops punctuated with food! That, without a doubt, is my kind of weekend. Should have left that number on the napkin... :)

  7. I am so making these! How cool that they hand out the recipe! Some restaurants are so secretive. Everything looks yummy - even those noodles!

  8. wow these look fab and i want to go there :-)

  9. Haha, it looks like that bartender was doing everything he could think of to get that number on the napkin! The food all looks delish! :)

  10. Those meatballs sound SO good, especially with the kick :)

  11. Spicy Pork Meatballs will be a recipe I will try soon! They look delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  12. This recipe looks delicous-who doesn't love a good meatball? I am going to NYC in a few weeks, I am def going to have to looking into going to the meatball shop...i mean delicious food and a cute bartender-what more could you want"?