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Jun 9, 2012 04:17 AM

Meatball Factory - eh at best

Went to Meatball Factory on 14th and 2nd last night.
Had the beef meatballs with the spicy vodka sauce. The meatballs were of the same level as you would get in 90% of the pizza places around the city. The sauce was standard jar variety.
Had the burger which was more like a meatball than a burger and the rigatoni with meatsauce which was also of pizza place quality. Nothing was bad and the service was fine, just no reason to make this your destination meal.

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  1. I feel like this has been a pretty open secret for a while. I've never tried the place because of what I've read about it on this website as well as other sites.

    1. 100% agree. Meatballs in general are good, so your meal will be good, but Meatball Factory is nothing special and definitely not a "destination."

      1. This is probably unfair of me but when I hear the word "factory" I don't associate it with good food - I think about suburban strip malls.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Bob Martinez

          Come on, you dont love Cheesecake Factory?

          1. re: princeofpork3

            I've never been. I can take or leave cheesecake - it's like ballet - a little goes a long way.

            I just did a little Googling around for "Factory" based restaurant names. This is one scary list -

            Sardine Factory
            Sunshine Factory
            Spaghetti Factory
            Hamburger Factory
            Sugar Factory
            Old Oyster Factory (this one is especially disturbing)
            Tortilla Factory

            I'll stop now.

            1. re: Bob Martinez

              Sunshine Factory ... Is that a tanning salon with a cafe?

              1. re: squid kun

                Gentlemens establishment with a lunch buffett

                1. re: princeofpork3

                  I thought that was the Sugar Factory.

              2. re: Bob Martinez

                Knitting Factory (the first one on Houston when it was good, in 80s early 90s) was the spearheader for this factory name thing. Since then the trend grew.

                The ceiling on the first floor had a huge knitted quilt.

                It had been a knittin factory decades ago.

                1. re: jonkyo

                  "Knitting Factory (the first one on Houston when it was good, in 80s early 90s) was the spearheader for this factory name thing."

                  I always thought of the Knitting factory as a music venue. At any rate according to Wikipedia the Cheesecake Factory opened in Beverly Hills in 1978.


                2. re: Bob Martinez

                  If factories make you think of things being made on industrial scale, i suppose San Francisco's "The Sausage Factory" would take the (cheese) cake. It is located in the Castro, but it is not a male nudie bar.

                  1. re: tex.s.toast

                    Does Fidel frequent it? Speaking of Castro, and Latin cuisine, I used to go to this small and down to earth local diner looking place way over on 14th St west. The food was latin, and the clients were 70% latin and 30% other. The food was cheap, delicious, and nice atmosphere.

                    These days those native born places are gone, and only can find upscale cuban places such as the one on 14th St, though I do not find the offerings of hybrid ethnic cuisine a good replacement for the more authentically ethnic.

                    At least Katz deli is not offering reuben sandwiches, and sticks to tradition.

            2. I found mysef wanting to check this place out, but looking at it from the street caused me to conclude that it was a copy cat and decided my trip to this shop would stop before entering.

              I do not know which came about first, but many good write ups on the Meat Ball Shop downtown on Stanton.

              Looking on the net for cheap beer manhattan and Meat Ball Shop is listed due to PBR, but try their house ale which is a few dollars more. I do not know the brewer who does it for them but it is delicious.

              The meat balls are really good. Visits have been confined to meat and beer, so can't speak for the entire menu, but promising place for meat balls.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jonkyo

                I've been twice. The 1st time was because the manager invited me hoping I would write a favorable review. I ended up getting drunk so I couldn't taste the food. The 2nd time I went was because I had an expiring Groupon (the entire bottle of wine that I drank helped the meat go down). The Turducken meatballs weren't bad, but I doubt I'll be going back EVER. Do yourself a favor & go to the Meatball Shop. Far superior.
                East Village Eats:

              2. I went the first month they opened, and we ordered a few of the underwhelming rubbery meatballs and the "roasted cauliflower." A server comes by and dropped off a plate of what looked like hummus, says "this is your hummus" and I told him we didnt order hummus, his response was "I dont know man, I was just told to bring you this" I told him we didnt order hummus, and a few minutes Dave Martin comes by just drops it on our table, and snips "this is the cauliflower, its pureed" in a tone as if we were supposed to know it was pureed and guess what it tasted like hummus.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Ricky

                  They closed for a while & are apparently under new ownership but it seems that nothing has changed... Anyone else think that the tables are way to high (or the chairs too short)? I felt like I needed a booster seat!