Tag Archives: meatballs

Hester St. Market

In the late part of the 1800s Hester St. was home to largest pushcart market. Today New Yorkers have preserved some of that nostalgia by utilizing the park space for a variety of vendors. And, it is most noted for the artisan food stands! A few weeks ago was opening weekend and it was jam-packed with people out to sample the latest and greatest. By mid-afternoon many stands were already sold out of their signature dishes!
I did however get to sample some Mighty Balls and Shaved Ice!

Mighty Balls! Not yo Mama’s Balls takes my favorite concept of a few ingredients that you can use to build your culinary creation! I went with a pork slider with African onions and goat cheese. A mouthful of flavor, the spicy onions complimented the juicy ball with the sour/tart goat cheese. Even the slider bread had just the perfect amount of chewy and crunchy.

As we were chowing down on our balls we noticed these towering creations of fruit, ice and was that red beans?!? Inspired from the Taiwanese markets, The Shaved Ice Shop serves snowflake-like shaved ice drizzled with sweetened condensed milk, a scoop of ice cream and a crazy selection of toppings. We stuck with strawberries, mango and went on a limb with the bar nuts! Served with a side of green tea ice cream.

Here are some shots from last year that I never got to post. La Newyorkina is a delicious artisan ice pop company with a Mexican flare.  I had tried the Mango-Chili!

And here is a shot of the Sigmund Pretzels.  At the time I think they were offering an Asiago, current flavors range from regular salted to garlic parsley.  And of course choose your dipping sauce, how about some nutella or maybe beet-horseradish mayo?!

Check out the Hester St. Fair home page for a complete list of vendors and directions.


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Meatball Madness!!

Even though this was like a month ago I still wanted to document this glorious event!  The kick-off to the New York Wine and Food Festival,  hosted by the one and only Giada de Laurentiis.  I got the opportunity to volunteer through school and boy did they put us to work!  From about 2PM-5PM we transported the 30-some-odd participants meatballs, food warmers, table decorations and whatever else on hand-truck, and flatbeds to their designated booths.  The event space, la.venue really set the mood for meatballs with that old industrial factory-like feel.  The low ceilings, wood floors and paneling and some of the moldings gave a cozy rustic Italian ambiance.  And cozy it was!  Jam packed with the likes of some of my favorite chefs, Missy Robbins (A Voce), Michael Lomonaco (Porter House), Daniel Holzman (The Meatball Shop), and others I recognized, Nate Appleman, Spike Mendelsohn, Anne Burrell.

I had the distinct pleasure to work with Shea Gallante and his team at Ciano, which has recently opened on east 22nd St. and Park Ave!!!  Delicious non-traditional style veal meatball with onions, garlic, ricotta, parsley,  served with white polenta that had some chopped chives and rosemary with black truffle glaze on top that perfumed the entire back wall of contestants.  I must have plated about 200 of these little guys, pulling them out of the warmer burning my fingers each time. ‘Fingers were made for burning’ was the quote of the evening!

Right next to us was John DeLucie of The Lion with his friend and Chopped finalist Jason Zukas (I don’t watch that show despite my fascination with Scott Conant, but I kept hearing people make comments to him and I googled it later). 

One of my favorite volunteer moments was when John asked me to bring out a meatball to a guy out by the loading dock named Stan.  He described him as a big black man.  I diligently go out the door, meatball in hand yelling for Stan up and down the street.  To my dismay there are like 10 big black men…security I guess?  There is no Stan.  I go back inside slightly disappointed at my failed attempt and ask Jason about Stan.

In his Brooklyn/Queens accent he says, ‘Just yell Stan at least one of dem should turn ‘dare head, just give it to ’em.’


I go back outside and these guys now think I’m a little nuts and I try to hand it off to one of them.  No one is interested!  I say just take it because the chef will be very disappointed if I walk back in there with this meatball!


More on the event from Metromix

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The Year in Meatballs

After visiting the Meatball Shop I was completely inspired but their approach.  Do one thing and do it good!  Although I did tell the chef that the spicy balls needed some more heat.  Coming from a little white girl I think he took me seriously.

The Year in Meatballs.

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Great Food, Good Hearts

City Harvest has posted their 2010 Edition of Great Food, Good Hearts, a guide to New York’s most generous restaurants.  One of the great things about food culture in New York is that sucessful chef’s and restauronteours are so generous to those in need.

Download the full list here: http://www.cityharvest.org/restaurant-guide/Picture 1

Some of my personal favorites on the list:

Hearth – 403 East 12th St.  Great ambiance and focus on season, and locally sourced ingredients.

Scarpetta– 355 West 14th St.  Based on previous posts one can gather my slight obsession with this place.  A portion of the famous spaghetti dish goes to charity!

The Stanton Social– 99 Stanton St.  Creative menu with a great ambiance.  Awesome for sharing and big groups.

Rickshaw Dumpling Bar– 61 West 23rd St.  A neighborhood favorite, Anita Lo took a great product and adapted it to modern face-paced living.  And the truck is fun to follow on Twitter!

Tabla – 11 Madison Ave.  Solid Indian food (even my plane jane mother loves this place!) with awesome service and ambiance.

Dawat Haute Cusine of India – 201 East 58th St.  Another Indian classic.  Some Indian friends took me here and I was widly impressed!

Hudson Cafeteria – 356 West 58th St. I also feel so NY posh when I go into the Hudson Hotel.  And this restaurant has great food and the open kitchen pit makes for great entertainment.

Honorable Mentions that are on my hit-list:

Aldea – 31 West 17th St.  Has been getting great reviews and Mediterranean flavors sound great!

Annisa– Anita Lo is an awesome chef and contributor to the community.  Would love to patron her place!

Blue Hill– 75 Washington Place.  One day when the gods of reservations work in my favor!

Dirt Candy – 430 East 9th St.  Such an interesting concept on modern vegetarian, and always on the food blogs

The Little Owl – 90 Bedford St.  Joey Campanaro is another great contributor to the community.  Would love to stop in for the famous meatball sliders!

Locanda Verde – 377 Greenwhich St.  Right up there with Blue Hill and the gods of reservations.

Market Table – 54 Carmine St.  I met Mikey Price at the New York Wine and Food Festival Chef’s panel.  I real believer in educating kids about healthy eating.  My kinda guy!

Any of the Momofuku’s

Spice Market – 403 West 13th St.  I can’t believe I haven’t made it there yet!


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Not to be confused with…

Grandma Betty with her morning Bloody Mary.  Classy way to sart the day.

Grandma Betty with her morning Bloody Mary. Classy way to sart the day.

The name ‘Spaghetti Betty’ came rather naturally to me.  I did do a google check and found these rather odd looking dolls called Betty Spaghetti.  This blog is not about little plastic dolls.  Betty Spaghetti doll

Betty is actually the name of my grandmother who played an influential role on my food basics at a very young age.   I might have been the only 8 year old who brought cottage cheese to lunch table on the off chance that there weren’t any meatballs left over from the night before.  Some of her greatest hits were Italian stuffed peppers, potato pancakes (she grew up in a Jewish neighborhood), cream cheese and jelly on saltines, and her famous bracciole.  Her little sous chef, I always had the job of chopping the parsley, but she was sure to shower me with compliments and give me entire credit for the meal. 

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