New York is known for its pizza.
Philly is known for its cheesesteaks.
New Jersey is known for...both?
Let me tell ya, Tony Boloney's in Hoboken is definitely not full of bologna. If you're a person who has trouble making up their mind, you may want to do some Insta-stalking or read the PDF menu before you arrive...they've got an extensive array of interesting pizzas, subs, and appetizers that are hard to come by anywhere else. And. Every. Single. One. Looks. Dank.
I noticed this place blowing up on Instagram; the photos were always screaming my name and urging me to go try it. Would it be another one of those places that's overhyped? Maybe, but looking at the photos of their food, I felt certain this place would pull through.
Walking in, I thought it would be super crowded and have a really long wait out the door. To my surprise, it was the exact opposite! I found seating immediately and got my food quickly. My friend Cara and I sat down at the window and marveled at our choices.
Let's begin with our appetizer.
Unable to resist when we saw the Vampire Knots staring us in our faces at the checkout counter, we both caved and each bought one. You can bet these garlic knots are top-knotch. I'm definitely kidding myself, but I felt healthier eating these since they weren't drenched in butter or oil. Instead, they're covered in their homemade pesto. The brightness of the pesto bursts in your mouth with its fresh flavors, with a hint of rosemary in there. The knots are also doughy, which I like. I'd rate 8/10, only because I wished the garlic flavor was stronger.
Now for the main event.
I have to say, my meal is the star of this post. I ordered the famous Cheesesteak Olé. This dirty sub has Mezcal marinated 10-spiced steak, chipotle house sauce, fried onions, lettuce, tomato, cilantro, and queso Oaxaca.
I will admit that I came into this shop with high expectations. Could a sub really be award-winning? After my first bite, it was obvious why it's won Food Network's Guy Fieri Cheesesteak Battle, Kelly Ripa & Michael Strahan's Nationwide Competition, and Star Ledger's Best Cheesesteak in New Jersey. One second I felt like I was eating a gyro, and the next bite tasted of nachos. Confused? Let me explain.
You've seen meat roasting on a spit before haven't you? Yes? Okay, so you automatically know how bomb that meat is. Although I didn't see a spit when I was there, it tasted just like that. The tender meat reminds me of succulent lamb you might find in a gyro, especially when I got a bite with onions. The marinated spices complement the meat perfectly, as if they are a separate layer on top of the meat. Think of the thin oil you might see on a slice of pizza before you dab it with a napkin...that's where all the spices are being held. Now you might be thinking, I don't want to eat something oily, but trust me, it doesn't feel that way. The marinated juice from the steak intertwines with the already-delicious queso on the sub, which is sensational – it tastes like melted fancy cheese turned homemade queso. Oque-so (okay so), you get where I'm going with how delicious this is?
You might get a bite that's strictly onion, cilantro, and sauce. Boom... a whole new flavor palette. This bite had lighter notes that reminded me of summer due to its bright and earthy taste – as if the ingredients were fresh from a garden.
Onto the bread. This sub was perfectly chewy. Not too doughy or soft like freshly baked pita, and not too tough that you've gotta rip and tear at it like a rabid dog, worried once it finally gives, your toppings will go flying everywhere. I enjoyed the second half leftover, choosing to toast it instead of just popping it in the microwave. I have to say, it was the best bun I ever toasted. Somehow, the bread managed to retain it's chewiness, but still have a perfect crunch. Just by looking at it, I could tell it would have that desired toasted crispiness, and not to the point where it hurts your mouth to bite into. Even reheated, it was just as delicious as the first time.
Another great thing about this sub? You won't feel gross after eating it. Or at least I didn't. Yes it’s huge, and I only ate half at a time, but still, there was no sluggishness to follow. I enjoyed a very satisfying meal for $12, and was ready to keep wandering around Hoboken. The need to release the kraken (aka unbutton my pants) after eating that cheesy meat monster was absent. Plus, it doesn't leave any bad aftertaste! Ja feel?
Cara got a Grandma Patti slice.
Basically, this is chicken parmesan on a pizza. Fresh mutz, parmesan, marinara, ricotta & basil. Chicken parmesan isn't necessarily my go-to, so I wasn't as stoked to try it as she was. Nevertheless, after I took a bite, I instantly regretted ever doubting it's greatness. The tomatoes from the marinara hit you right in the face. I swear, the ingredients must be hand-picked from the ground everyday, it tastes that fresh. The basil is crisp and vibrant–the second flavor that pops after the first pang of tomato. Besides Artichoke pizza, this is probably the best slice I've had in the city. Granted it's not in New York per say, it's still the best tomato pizza I've tasted... maybe ever.
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All in all, this place gets a 10/10. The pizza was excellent, the sub exceeded expectations, and the knots get extra credit. I will definitely be returning, as my curiosity has only increased since tasting these items on their menu.
Have you been here? What did you order? If you haven't, would you like to go? What would you try? Tell me your thoughts!
⬗ Alex ⬗