Meatball Obsession: On the Frontiers of Meat Ball Merchandising

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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.


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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?


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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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