a tale of two pork sandwiches


Two new restaurants offering pork sandwiches for me to try in one week? Things are looking good. That’s where the similarity ends though. In fact, these two new spots couldn’t be any less alike. First up, The Meatball Shop in the Lower East Side. I can already hear the haters whining about the service. Hey, the restaurant is brand-new. If you want perfect service in the first few weeks, go somewhere else. If you want pork meatballs from heaven, this is your place. They don’t let you order the sliders to go, but I have to recommend that you order a hero, even if you’re dining in… seriously.

I had a chance to watch the crew making the sliders. A dab of sauce, and that’s about it. Check out my pork meatball hero above. It’s dripping with the “spicy meat” sauce, with a nice blanket of cheese. The sliders look dainty by comparison. But what about the meatballs? I say they’re just about perfect. Remember how your mom used to pound the life out of her meatballs until you were left with something resembling a round brick? Well, this place is the opposite of that. Light, juicy, and they fall apart in your mouth. (That’s a good thing, trust me.) P.S. I almost threw away the spinach salad (with sliced apples) because, umm, who cares about the salad? That would have been a big mistake. I need the recipe for the dressing, because those were some good greens. P.P.S. I love the decor at The Meatball Shop, but I didn’t feel like busting out my camera while I was waiting for my order. Sometimes you just want to take it easy and enjoy yourself.

Next stop, Hoboken. If you live or work in the area, then you probably already know and love the Cuban-Latino restaurant Zafra. The same owners just opened Ultramarinos next door, and it looks like they’re doing prepared foods for lunch and dinner take-out. The full menu is extensive, and I imagine they’re going to be tweaking it in the months to come. For now, I have to rave about the $7 roasted pork sandwich. My photo is not doing this thing justice. They got the texture just right. What a treat for locals. There’s way too much here to talk about, and it would take a lot more trips to try it all, so here’s a little photo tour.




Cute, right? Definitely worth a visit, even if taking the Path train to NJ makes you nervous.

About justcooknyc

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20 Responses to a tale of two pork sandwiches

  1. Suzanne says:

    wow thanks for the tip. I like Zafra, so I'll be sure to check this new place out. I'm not a fan of pork, but I'm sure they'll have other goodies.

  2. Oh wow. Such sandwiches basically turn me into Homer Simpson. I am a sucker for a good Cuban. Sandwich, that is.

  3. stephchows says:

    WOW both places sound delicious! Now you have me craving a meatball sub!

  4. haha you had me at the title! I'm with Liz Lemon, basically what everyone wants is a sandwich :D

  5. One day… one day…places like Hoboken and Lower East Side will be a reality rather than just words in a blog. I so want to visit NYC and have a pork sandwich :)

  6. Justin says:

    suzanne: they definitely have some other stuffshauna: right, me toosteph: i'm craving one right now toolorraine: liz lemon, lolbelle: hopefully you'll make it here soon

  7. panda says:

    i'm planning a trip to the states for later this year, i'll definitely add these places to my itinerary!

  8. ooh that meatball hero look sick!!!

  9. Justin says:

    panda: definitely put the meatball place on the list. hoboken is a little out of the way if you're just visiting.morta di fame: it's awesome

  10. baconista says:

    Ooo.. now I really can't wait to try Meatball Shop! I'm particularly excited for the ice cream sandwich variety as well.

  11. Cynthia says:

    Life is indeed good when you have the opportunity to try 2 pork sandwiches in a week!

  12. Jeannie says:

    Just want to say thanks for dropping by my blog:) Love reading your blog and drooling over the delicious food photos here.

  13. May I please have the first sandwich? pretty please?

  14. reanaclaire says:

    where are all these places, Justin? the pork sandwiches looks good!!

  15. Brandi says:

    I LOVE pork sandwiches! And now I'm really, really hungry

  16. yum! i'll take a pork meatball hero please!!

  17. Eliana says:

    I am definitely going to give this store a visit soon. Looks great. As for a pork sandwich – never met one I didn't like.

  18. Justin says:

    baconista: if you're saying that they have ice cream sandwiches at meatball shop, i guess i have a good reason to go back nowcynthia: definitelyjeannie: thanks for visiting my blog tooolga: ha, sorry, i ate all of itreanaclaire: well, i posted links to addresses, but the meatball place is in the lower east side of nyc, and the other one is in hoboken, njbrandi: yeah, this post makes me hungrya.m.: hopefully you can check it out for yourself sometime

  19. Justin says:

    eliana: i hope you make it down there

  20. Lisa says:

    read about the meatball shop on another blog and I have to take my husband there. I think he'll be in heaven! It annoys me when people think service at a restaurant needs to be perfect right when they open. Always takes a minute to get in the groove!

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