On the Road with…Daniel Holzman, Chef at The Meatball Shop

Daniel Holzman of The Meatball Shop


This week we’re On the Road with… Daniel Holzman, the man behind New York City’s favorite meatball. As the Chef and co-owner of The Meatball Shop, Daniel is constantly on the go, running from meeting to meeting and making sure everything is in order at all five of his restaurants. Between constant work and play (chefs like to eat out, too!), Daniel relies on Uber to get him where he needs to go.


Name: Daniel Holzman

Give us the Reader’s Digest version of what you do:  I am the Chef and co-owner of TMS (The Meatball Shop) in NYC. We run 5 (soon to be 6) meatball-centric casual dining restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Other than the boring stuff, I basically make meatballs for a living which is pretty awesome.

What’s the secret behind constructing the perfect meatball? Love, top quality ingredients, tons of bread and plenty of fat, patience, and discipline.  

How did you get started in your field? I’ve been working in restaurants for as long as I can remember. My first job was delivering burritos for a small Mexican restaurant on the Upper East Side when I was 13 years old. It was the only job that I could get at that age, but I soon fell in love with the energy and camaraderie of the kitchen and I’ve never looked back.

What does your typical day look like? I’m generally up at 9AM and out of the house by 9:35, headed to my first meeting of the day. Mondays and Wednesdays are office days and Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays are restaurant days. Fridays I work on the new restaurant construction. Part of why I love my job so much is that no two days are alike. But I almost always make it to at least one TMS restaurant, the office, the gym, and a dinner out somewhere. I’m usually home by midnight and in bed by 2:30AM.

What are your top 3 NYC go-to spots? Every Sunday I either walk across Central Park or visit The MET with my mother, so both of those are in my top three. As far as restaurants go — lately I am in love with Uncle Boons, an incredible home-style Thai restaurant in Nolita. I also really like Maison Premiere in Brooklyn. They make the best cocktails in NYC and have the best oyster selection of any place I’ve ever been.

How long have you been using Uber? Do you remember your first Uber trip? Ive been using Uber since the beginning. My first trip was in LA — I think — on the way to LAX from my brother’s house. I remember thinking, “Holy shit, this is amazing.”

What’s the most common Uber trip you take? Almost always from the airport because you get to skip the annoying taxi line, or from Brooklyn into Manhattan. And in the rain. I use it too often to pick a “most common.”

What’s the best experience you’ve had in an Uber? Uber in Sundance saved my ass when I was stranded on a mountainside. That was pretty awesome, thanks y’all.

What’s next for The Meatballers? We’re gonna keep on keepin’ on. We’re opening a sixth restaurant this summer and making sure to keep the ones we got rocking!


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