Bushwick Tongues Balls

04/05/2011 4:04 PM |

Similar, but different.

  • Similar, but different.

Buzzes about the neighborhood can take many forms in Bushwick. The buzz might be about a newish bar, for instance, or a new sushi spot. It might be about a forthcoming café. It could be about artworks, art-walks and arts-folks galore. Or it might be about interminable waits at certain pizzerias still drunk on heaping if not piping hot praise.

But of late there’s been a murmur of variable buzzings and chatter about two guys’ quite big, very warm and invariably dipped balls.

On a recent weekend, in the wee-morn-leaning hours of an almost balmy night that felt warmer than the sunny afternoon prior, I encountered a friend as content as I was to have a casual chat, out of doors, on the corner—at the juncture of Flushing and Wilson, to be precise.

It was early, it was late, it was something. Conversation at such hours can be of unforeseeable sorts. One might call both the hour and our shared states rather happy.

And that’s when some balls came out.

“Have you been over to Arancini Bros. yet?” inquired my friend.
“No, but you’re not the first to ask me.”
“Sicilian risotto balls! They’re incredible, all sorts of different fillings. I think that’s about all they make.”
“Can you recommend any ball in particular?”
“The ragu one is really good. And the sausage and broccoli. One of them has great mozzarella in it. Whatever, they’re all good. And big. And cheap.”

The fat balls under cross-examination, indeed, are very edible. And not in the Funny Farm-like manner of mountain oysters.

For they are fried. And made of rice. And Sicilian.

And they are the stars of the menu at the newish eatery attached to the hardly new Bushwick watering hole, Wreck Room.

Stars? These balls are almost the entire cast. And their crafty and well-trained directors, David Campaniello and Will Levatino, employ a host of fresh ingredients to mix up their actors’ fillings and accents in various ways.

So it’s no surprise that their balls are on the tips of many Bushwick tongues.

The night following the aforementioned encounter, in fact, a very friendly and skilled local cocktail maker told of some balls he had recently swallowed.

“Delicious, all of them. Meat, vegetarian. Savory, sweet. Some of them even have besciamella and taleggio. The spinach and ricotta one is excellent.”

A nearby patron echoed such sentiments, adding, “Seriously.”

And in subsequent days many others would join the ball club as well.

So many forms of buzzings about Bushwick. And all the things they might pertain to are well worth the trip out. But if you’re craving to put something perhaps creamily satisfying in your belly, come around for some fine Italian balls in your mouth.

Che palle! Literally.