Meatball Obsession: On the Frontiers of Meat Ball Merchandising

Hidden under there somewhere is a single beef meatball.

You'd think the city had reached its meatball saturation limit. Following in the footsteps of the Meatball Shop -- which itself has sprouted branches -- there are plenty of places now willing to make you a premium meatball sub with exemplary cheese on good bread. Someone had to come up with another formula. Now they have.

After delays, Meatball Obsession finally opened yesterday afternoon.

Meatball Obsession (clever to make it sound like a mental illness) is a stall -- just a window, really -- embedded near the PATH train entrance on the east side of Sixth Avenue just short of 14th Street. Inside is a stove with three variously colored La Creuset Dutch ovens, each filled with meatballs of a single composition: beef, pork sausage, or turkey.

Here's the fun part: The meatballs in ones, twos, or threes ($4, $7, $10) are deposited in a paper cup, with a sprightly tomato sauce, and your choice of toppings, some free, some requiring an extra $1-per-meatball charge. Plus a dry piece of focaccia you'll probably end up throwing away.

The idea, I guess, is that you can enjoy a meatball any time you want on a whim, just one meatball, which makes it a snack rather than a full meal. Who ever thought of selling just one meatball before?

The interior of the beef meatball, which gives you some idea of its size and composition. The cup is a normal coffee or soup cup.

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Hi Mr. Sietsema,

I have been trying to write a message through the Village Voice contact section but its not working! My name is Laura Rossi and I am currently a junior at Baruch College. I am a Journalism Major and as a final project for my Criticism and Review class we have to write a New York City based trend story. I have decided to do mine on meatball-themed restaurants in NYC. I read your review "Meatball Obsession: On the Frontiers of Meatball Merchandising" and I was hoping I could get you to answer a couple questions so I could quote you in my story. My assignment is due on Tuesday so if I could hear back from you anytime before then that would be amazing. You can email me at Thanks so much!


Now fucking meatballs? Is there any mundane thing that "New Yorker's" aren't trying to trendize.


But you gets no bread with one meatball!


Totally obsessed with meatballs. Been traveling the country for the best restaurant that serves it.