Pizza and subs are nothing new in Hoboken. Which means it takes a set of er, meatballs, to open up here. But I guess when you're standing on a pile of accolades and putting potato chips on pizza, you've got some guts.
Tony Baloney's, famous for their Atlantic City flagship, opened recently on First Street with ambiguous signage, a super friendly staff and a brick-interiored Lower East side looking space. Oh, and like a million delectable sandwiches and pizzas that you've never heard of yet, and never will again.
These gimmick-laden menu items like the Miss 'Merica or the Meathead are indigenous to AC but entertain us here in Hudson County - and we are starting to get some of our own, like the 'Boken Boy.
But gimmicks only go so far. With all of the eateries here in town, the food quality has to support the comedic value. Well, the lines have been around the corner.
In only a few short weeks, guests are lining up and saying, "Hey Mike, what sandwich do I want?" - (Mike is the owner and founder). Every customer is treated on a first name basis, taking their pies home along with some TLC and feeling just a little more loved than when they walked through the door.
So what does Mike recommend? For me it was the Pancho Franko. Now, grilled chicken, cilantro, avocado, sharp cheddar, pickled jalapeno crema and jalapeno potato chips may not sound good...but this was hands down the most ridiculously delicious experience I have ever known. And I don't even like pizza.
This crispy California/Jersey hybrid of pure Italiexican cuisine was not just Instragrammable, it was culinary brilliance. And thankfully, Mike says it will remain on the Hoboken menu.
Since Tony Baloney's is known for their award-winning cheesesteak, the Cheesesteak Ole', which won Food Network Guy Fieri's cheesesteak battle - I ordered this too. And sadly, I inhaled my Pancho Franko so fast, I had no room left for its 10-spiced chipotle-smothered goodness. But the kind patrons next to me had no problem helping me out, and by that I mean they stole it.
The press and awards that Tony Baloney's has been blessed with can be seen on display in their store, on wooden pizza peels. The general ambiance inside is very fitting and par for the course, though one drawback is there is little room to sit. This place is going to draw in a constant flood of hungry Hobokenites, especially after the bars close. It should make for some pretty interesting communal seating this summer and many meet-cutes!
Check out their menu at http://www.tonyboloneys.com/ or check them out at 263 First Street.