It’s a soggy, cold Monday. What a way to start spring. Maybe some hearty meat will help chase the Monday blues away. – Yvo Sin
The Meatball Shop84 Stanton Street
New York, NY 10002
Personal customization is the name of the game at The Meatball Shop. Kick your week off right by having things exactly the way you want them: ‘balls made from your choice of beef, pork, chicken, vegetable, or whatever the special of the day is (a recent special: the Reuben ball, made of corned beef, swiss, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing) topped with your choice of tomato, spicy meat sauce, mushroom gravy, parmesan cream, or pesto. Have these in a sandwich, on a hero, on brioche, or over pasta, mashed potatoes, risotto, even polenta; go crazy with the combinations, as the possibilities are almost endless. Start off with the classic beef meatballs served with the classic tomato sauce, and top classic spaghetti with that. Or get a little feisty and try the spicy pork with the spicy meat sauce on top of mashed potatoes, and add ‘the family jewels’ – a fried egg – to just about anything you please. When you’re done going nuts with the choices, don’t forget dessert, which is just as customizable: pick two cookies, mix and match encouraged, and choose your ice cream flavor to smush into the center. It’s almost like being a kid again… but better, because no one’s making you eat vegetables if you don’t want to – but if you do, you can have those ‘balls over a salad, too.
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue64 Fulton Street
New York, NY 10038
A trip to Hawaii whenever you want Hawaiian food probably isn’t a good idea for your bank account; however, eating at L&L Hawaiian certainly is. L&L is the McDonald’s of Hawaii; boasting 52 locations across the Aloha state, it serves up Hawaiian cuisine cheaply, abundantly, and quickly. Its sole location in New York’s Financial District stays true to this ideal, and offers such Hawaiian classics as the loco moco (white rice topped with two hamburger patties, two fried eggs, and brown gravy), kalua pork (shredded pork that’s been roasted to absolute succulence, mixed with shredded cabbage, and served with rice), Hawaiian BBQ chicken, and even Spam musubi (sushi rice topped with a slab of Spam that’s been fried and glazed with a soy sauce/sugar mixture, then wrapped with seaweed), which may not sound that awesome but truly is a taste to behold. Despite L&L being one of the few restaurants to serve Hawaiian food in the NYC area, the prices are more than reasonable as a plate lunch will run you in the range of $6.99 – 8.99 and be enough for more than one meal. Bonus: though L&L has a seating area, it is steps from the South Street Seaport. On a nice day, take your food to go and stroll over to the waterfront to enjoy the sun and pretend you’re in Hawaii. Please don’t feed the seagulls, though; they can become very aggressive.
Related: The Best Korean BBQ In New York
Bill’s Bar & Burger Rockefeller Center16 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019
Bill’s Bar & Burger Meatpacking District
22 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10014
Sometimes you just want to sink your teeth into a nice, big burger, and this place fits the bill. With a hearty menu of various burger styles – including the Bobcat, which boasts pepperjack cheese and green chiles to give it ‘bite’, a great Monday lunch can be found at either location of this burger bar. Other items on the menu worth a taste are the disco fries (fries smothered in liquid cheese and brown gravy), the jalapeno bombs (deep fried jalapenos with cheddar, cream cheese and ranch), alcoholic shakes and – just in time for Girl Scout cookie season, the Girl Scout Thin Mint ice cream shake. Have fun trying to eat your way through the menus… they vary slightly by location.
Yvo is the founder and head writer of The Feisty Foodie.