Peanut-butter-cookie sandwich (Photographs: Caroline Voagen Nelson)
Typically, we don't buy into restaurants that run on gimmicks, and at first, the Meatball Shop certainly seemed like one of them. Offering a mix-and-match selection of meatballs (such as spicy pork and beef), sauces (two types of tomato), sides (fluffy polenta, mashed potatoes) and treatments (as a hero? in a slider?) presented on a dim-sum-style menu that requires check marks to order...it just seemed too cute. Boy, were we mistaken. The subway-tiled eatery is much more attractive than it has to be, the hoagie is a classic, and the place is run with a sense of humor that makes it irresistible. But perhaps the best thing on offer isn't even a meatball—it's the peanut-butter-cookie sandwich, a melty delight with rich caramel ice cream. The Meatball Shop84 Stanton St at Allen St (212-982-8895)
Craving a big, juicy burger but don’t feel like going to a greasy drive-thru? Hit up Burger-Burger. Go for the standard cheeseburger ($11), or try one of the deluxe options like the Berta with cheddar, ham and a fried egg ($13.25) or the New Yorker with caramelized onions, mushrooms, swiss cheese and sour cream ($14.50). The health-conscious can opt for a veggie ($12.50), turkey ($12.50) or bison burger ($16) on a whole wheat bun. Of course, they offer fries galore—regular ($5), sweet potato ($6), curly ($7), cheese ($5), chili cheese ($7)—and all kinds of other snacks like mozzarella sticks and jalapeno poppers (both $6). Not into burgers? They also offer New York–style hot dogs ($4.50) and chili cheese dogs ($7). Like any good fast food joint, Burger-Burger also sells milkshakes in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry (each $5) or Reese’s peanut butter cup ($5.50) to round out the meal.
Venue says: “So good we named it twice! NY style hot dogs, shakes, malts, healthy burger options & low carb platters to your home or office.”