Hackensack is the home of White Manna hamburgers, which I have drooled over elsewhere, but on the advice of my nephew Max - who has very strict and carefully researched opinions about Jersey Guy food - my sister decided to throw caution to the winds and took us to Cubby’s BBQ.
Cubby's is a bizarre little eatery in south Hackensack, nestled picturesquely amid used car lots and industrial garbage incinerators. The owner of Cubby’s is a Vietnam Vet, and the place is decorated as a testament to his obsession with American soldiers missing in action during our many wars. That’s an interesting theme for a restaurant, and one that you could really pull off only in New Jersey.
Cubby’s is about Jersey Guy Food: huge portions of meat, preferably in the form of BBQ Ribs or cheeseburgers. The obsession with huge portions explains why so many suburbanites around New York resemble those Belgomorphs I wrote about. If you finish this food, it finishes you. And if you have ever been to a place that does real Texas or North Carolina BBQ, you will look askance at the Damn Yankee obsession with slathering everything in a thick, sweet BBQ sauce, as if the meat isn't good enough to stand alone.Well, at least some people like it. And thus, even though I had been dutifully limiting myself to no more than five French fries a meal at any diner, I am now relegated to high fiber cabbage for the rest of the foreseeable future. Farewell, oh low brow fantasies of lunch at International House of Pancakes, where the boysenberry syrup stains my soul as well as my new shirt.