Last Thursday, some of New York City’s finest dining spots surrendered their culinary artists to gather at the Brooklyn Brewery and square off against one another for the title of the city’s tastiest meatball. This competition brought out the best in the competing chefs as they delivered some amazingly original creations in hopes of taking home the meatball trophy. The selection included unique creations that would put your Grandma’s traditional meatball to shame and gave my taste buds a lot of happy sensations.
While sipping on a cold one from Brookyn Brewery’s awesome selection of homebrews, event-goers were welcome to sample as many meatballs as they could stomach from these city hotspots: BrisketTown, Brooklyn Brewery/Humbolt & Jackson (joint venture), Brooklyn Star, Ducks Eatery, El Comado, Emily, Lorimer Market, Market Table, Martha, Mile End, River Styx, and Saltie.
An amazing moment for my mouth was when I tried El Comado’s zesty pork meatball. Topped with a sweet cucumber slice and a drizzle of white sauce, this pork ball had a fiery kick that was cooled by the flavor of the cucumber and it was absolutely delectable. I was also crazy about River Styx’s meatball which had a pulled texture, crispy outer layer and was coated in a spicy and sweet sauce. BrisketTown was another contender to turn out an impressive meatball with their–you guessed it–brisket ball. The peppery barbecue flavor pushed their submission to stand out from the rest.
Saltie ended up snagging the title of runner up; they distinguished their meatball by pairing it with sweet raisins and a dollop of tzatziki style sauce. But the restaurant that got to hold the trophy in all its round glory was Brooklyn Star. Their meatball was of the traditional persuasion but its red sauce was an out-of-the-park home run. The sweet tomato flavor was enough to send me back for seconds. Maybe thirds. Judge me.
Another fun part (I know–how could there possibly any more fun beyond unlimited meatballs and beer?) was that all attendees were given a Brooklyn Brewery beer bottle cap to place in a jar held by our favorite meatball’s restaurant. The restaurant that received the most bottle caps would be dubbed the Popular Vote, which is an honor all on its own. The lucky fan favorite ended up being Lorimer Market. Similar to the judge’s favorite, Lorimer Market presented a beefy meatball in a tasty red sauce. Considering the long and steady line in front of their table for the majority of the night, this win came as no surprise.
I’ve never been so happy to eat the same thing over, and over, and over again and that is all thanks to the Meatball Slapdown. And now we can all rest easy knowing that when we have a hankering for the best meatball in town, we no longer have to wonder where to turn for the remedy.