Meatballs have become a thing in the past couple of years. Mighty Balls is usually at one of the Holiday Markets, and New York Magazine just highlighted The Meatball Shop in their recent Boom Brands edition. Not sure why Marky Ramone’s Cruisin’ Kitchen, who served up different types of meatballs, closed shop at the end of the 2012 season.
The latest one to enter the fray is the Mtblls cart. They have been around for a few weeks, generally parking on 47th St between Park & Madison Aves.
Instead of serving various styles of meatballs (Asian, Mexican, etc) like Cruisin’ Kitchen did, Mtblls is straight Italian. When we stopped by, they had beef and chicken meatballs, but we understand they have a veggie option some days.
The menu is laid out like a subway line map, and you can get The Local, The Express, a Pair of Balls or a Bowl O’ Balls.
Because of the name alone, we went for the Bowl O’ Balls. It’s 3 meatballs served with your choice of sauce and cheese, with a big piece of focaccia on the side for $10.
Three meatballs and a hunk of focaccia for $10 seems a little overpriced, but everything seems to be like that these days.
For sauces, there are 3 choices – marinara, romesco or francaise. There are 2 cheese options – parmigiano reggiano or ricotta.
All the bread comes from Amy’s Bread, and we are regulars at their Bleecker St store, so we know how good Amy’s Bread is.
We weren’t sure what romesco was, and they told us it was a somewhat spicy red pepper-based sauce. That’s what we got on the beef balls. We got francaise on the 3rd ball, the chicken ball, and parmigiano reggiano cheese on everything.
The romesco sauce was good, with the taste of red peppers very evident. What they didn’t tell us was how garlicky the sauce was. We would say the garlic flavor was just as strong as the red pepper flavor.
The beef meatballs were nicely spiced, with some herbiness coming through the heavy sauce.
It’s rare that we like ground chicken or turkey, but the chicken meatball was better than expected.
While the chicken meatball was tasty, the francaise sauce left a little to be desired. It didn’t have that lemony snap you usually get from francaise sauce, and the sauce was kind of thick and glutinous.
The francaise sauce didn’t thicken up because we went back to the office to eat. On this day, we ate right ways, on 47th St.
One of the reasons we got the bowl o’balls (besides the name) was to have bread to sop up the sauces at the end of the meal. Thsi worked just as expected – a great way to end the meal.
While the food at the Mtblls cart was pretty good, especially the romesco sauce, it was a bit pricey. At 3 balls and bread for $10, we would at least expect a drink to be included.