We were pretty excited to search out Toby’s Cup cruising through Jersey sprawl and had a couple of mis-sightings. When we finally spied the building, we knew it was the right place and all we had hoped it would be. It was tiny and non-descript, almost shack-like, but nicer than a normal shack. When we walked inside, there was that special sort of dank that you might find in a Jersey gas station.
The counterman (Toby?) was short on the responses, mostly business, but friendly enough. We each ordered up what we thought was the specialty, the deep fried hot dog. Toby fried them right on the other side of the counter and you could look over and check out the little hot oil bath the food was getting. We also ordered a cheeseburger, but that was cooked up in the kitchen beyond the counter. Toby’s strangely doesn’t cook french fries, odd because the place is definitely comfortable with using hot oil to fry things. There is a wide range of chip options, however. I saw a bag of Wise Cheez Waffies and knew that these would be a perfect accompaniment.
Toby’s is more of a “eastern Jersey” style dog, even though it is about as far west in Jersey as you can possibly be. They don’t roll with the Allentown/Bethlehem style of chili sauce on the dogs even though they are quite close by. The deep fried dog is popularized by Rutt’s Hut in the Newark area, though there are quite a lot of Jersey dog shops doing their dogs this way. We ordered ours with everything and that included mustard, onion, and pickle. It was going to include ketchup until Commish freaked out since he has a “thing” with ketchup and I’ve also been converted to the strict Chicago no-ketchup-on-hot dogs law.
Deep frying the dog crisps up the skin, adding quite a lot of snap. It also tweaks the overall flavor a bit and changes the consistency, making it a bit softer on the inside. The onions and pickles, made this a solidly crunchy item. The burger was delivered without cheese, so Toby must have misheard. I wasn’t terribly impressed, it tasted like a standard frozen beef patty burger that was cooked well done, but still a little juicy. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t amazing, though Commish actually preferred the burger to the dog. I’ll let him explain his rationale in the comments.
I’ve loved Cheez Waffies since I was in grade school and loved getting them in my sack lunch. These are made exclusively by Wise (there are no Waffie competitors) and are basically crisp waffle shaped chips with a thick filling of cheese product that glows a bright orange. Apparently there is some natural cheese in there, but it’s been powdered and changed to be something entirely different. The crunchy, salty, cheesy chips are incredible and complimented the dog and burger nicely.
Toby’s Cup has a lot of character and is serving up deep fried hot dogs very close to the Jersey/Pennsylvania border. All of us were impressed with the dogs and thought Toby’s was a great spot. I would definitely go back.
Tags: hot dogs