I have ventured many times into the belly of Brooklyn in attempts to procure what to me almost became the white whale of foods, some quality rice balls from Arancini Bros. (940 Flushing Ave., Brooklyn, NY) in Bushwick. There were rumors flying around that they were at Smorgasburg, but sadly I found no stand. Hints of possible food festivals appearances in the city, but still I found no balls. Twice I took a wander over to their store front to find that they didn’t open until 4pm and being that I don’t find myself in that area often had to walk away balless. Finally this past Saturday I found myself blocks away and an hour before the store opened, and this opportunity I would not squander.
After grabbing a pint at a local vegan bar, myself and my compatriots headed on over to the Flushing Ave location. With still a few minutes before the doors were cracked on the rice ball mecca we decided to belly up to the bar next door, the gloriously divey Wreck Room Bar. After grabbing a beer we sauntered back to the pool area and discovered to our glee this glowing door of light which was the secret outlet to the store front next door. Even before we could even order balls of wonder Arancini Bros was garnering high marks for the fact alone that it was accessible in the bar next door, nothing like some beer, billiards, and balls. After perusing the menu I went with the clasicc Ragu ball which had saffron rice, peas, and a meaty tomato based sauced, and the creamier béchamel based Al Burro with prosciutto, mozzarella, and saffron. Both balls were deliciously crunchy on the outside and oozing out the core sauce that made the necessity for marinara obsolete. The Al Burro gushed a bechamel sauce that hinted on a mac and cheese rice ball with a smooth deeper cheese flavor, while the Ragu ball’s beefy center harkened back to what one imagines when thinking of a classic but impeccable arancini. While devouring mine I also grabbed a bite of the basil blasting Bianco Rosso Verde with a herbaceous pesto pouring over the tender clusters of rice.
Overall I was very pleased with some of the best arancini I have had in some time; so pleased that when more folks joined our armada further in the day and wanted to venture back we decided to hit it up a second time in the span of a few hours. This time I went with the small balls consisting of a myriad of italian cheeses ricotta, mozzarella, among others. These proved to be the most scrumptious bites of oozing cheese while not consisting of rice they were divine. I this time also got a bite of what approved to be the hit of the day which was a buffalo chicken rice ball with a gorgonzola middle. It did buffalo riffing well, with a tangy spicy sauce that was complemented perfectly with the gorgonzola.
Finally I was able to catch my deep fried rice ball of a whale and I am very happy that I did. Hands down this is worth making the trip out on the L to the Montrose stop in Brooklyn for. You’d be stupid not to get your mouth on these balls!