Joe's Superette in Brooklyn won generations of Chowhound love with its hero sandwiches, old-school Italian-American character, and irresistible fried prosciutto balls. Then, last May, it closed its doors after a half-century in business. But the love story didn't end there.
The sharp-eyed realjudywong spied an unexpected mention of Joe's prosciutto balls scribbled on a chalkboard in a Midtown Lunch report on newly opened Prince Street Pizza in SoHo. So she hustled on over to get the skinny. It turns out the pizzeria has brought in a longtime manager from Joe's to make prosciutto balls—as well as rice and beef balls—the old way. The exact recipe remains a closely held secret, but Joe's prosciutto balls contained ricotta, mozzarella, black pepper, and diced boiled ham (i.e., prosciutto cotto, not the prized dry-cured prosciutto crudo). Rolled by hand, they were coated with breadcrumbs and fried to order to a deep golden brown. So has the real thing resurfaced in SoHo in all its crispy, cheesy glory? "We ordered a dozen and do think it's the same recipe," realjudywong says. "Delicious!"
Prince Street Pizza, though just a month old, also has a history behind it. Its space was previously occupied by Ray's Pizza—not Famous Ray's, not Original Ray's, not World Famous Ray's or any of the uncounted, unaffiliated imitators—just the first one, open from 1959 until last October. No reports yet on the newcomer's signature square slice. Hounds are invited to try it out, post their findings, and write some pizza history of their own.
Prince Street Pizza [SoHo]
27 Prince Street (between Mott and Elizabeth streets), Manhattan
Discuss: Prosciutto Balls