The etymology of Patchogue’s That Meetball Place (TMP) is just as you would guess: It’s both a place to meet, and a place to have a ball. That’s what senior editor Stacy Dermont and I anticipated as we walked into the hipster-chic locale on a chilly afternoon for lunch. We’ve heard rumors that people are calling Patchogue “Brooklyn East,” and if the vibes inside of That Meetball Place are any indication—low key but open and airy, decorated with wood salvaged from an old Pennsylvania barn, featuring local brews on tap—we can definitely begin to get on board with that comparison.
In addition to the meatballs, That Meetball Place offers salads, sandwiches, pastas, artisan fries and weekly specials, including a delectable-sounding pumpkin bisque that perfectly fit the cozy vibes created inside. But, as we were at a meatball place, we went with, appropriately, some ’balls. The restaurant has five categories of balls on offer—meat, chicken, vegetarian, fish and spicy—and each can be ordered a number of ways. Choose your balls, pick a sauce from a comprehensive lineup that includes everything from your classic marinara to cool tzatziki, pesto or mushroom cream, and then pick your style. Balls can be served over pasta, as a slider, as a sandwich, or individually.
Stacy and I both decided to go with the TMP sampler, which consists of three balls and three sauces—truly the perfect option for sharing, even better if we had chosen to indulge in one of That Meetball Place’s signature cocktails or bar menu. But alas, this was a work lunch. We went with the traditional meatball, chicken ball, Buffalo chicken ball, seafood ball, lobster risotto ball and vegetarian risotto ball. We enjoyed pairing some of the traditional balls with less traditional sauces—the chicken ball, which was packed with feta cheese and spinach, went nicely with the tzatziki sauce. In fact the tzatziki is a stand-out. The manager on duty told us that it’s made from scratch daily. Though Stacy and I were surprised that a few of our balls were served fried, we determined that fried balls were clearly the most effective way to round up such concoctions as the Buffalo chicken ball, which came loaded with ground chicken, celery and bleu cheese. The seafood balls were a welcome deviation from the traditional ’ball, with the lobster ball pairing best with the pancetta cream sauce.
Six balls were more than enough to fill us, and we were happy that we had both opted to start with salads. I went with the Arugula Salad, which was topped with goat cheese, roasted beets and crispy onions, and served with a shallot vinaigrette. The salad was fresh and colorful, the perfect option to whet your appetite for the smorgasbord of balls ahead. Stacy went with the TMP Salad, a classic made with cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, chick peas, celery, olives and served with a
In spite of all the food consumed, I was very intrigued by the dessert options, particularly because they could be ordered with schlag, “the ultimate whipped cream: rich, thick, creamy and dreamy.” I happily combatted the crisp December air with a vanilla milkshake to go. Pure bliss.
That Meetball Place is located at 54 West Main Street, Patchogue. For more information, visit thatmeetballplaceli.com or call 631-569-5888.