• Benji Sills

Hold My Knots

Updated: Feb 23, 2020

There are lots of things that would be considered conventionally romantic: flowers, chocolates and a nice meal out, for example. Not typically lumped into that group is smelling like garlic on Valentine’s Day, but Paige and I decided to switch up romantic convention by brunching at Hold My Knots - New Jersey’s premiere spot for all things garlic bread. Set up like a typical pizza parlor, Hold My Knots appears unremarkable at first glance, until a closer look reveals that almost every menu item incorporates enough garlic to kill a vampire.

The menu was not initially what surprised us though. We went to school in a college town and are fully accustomed to bumbling drunkards ordering the whole menu at three in the morning. What we were not prepared for was the hordes of children that packed Hold My Knots from door to counter. I thought we’d initially crashed a field trip but throughout our entire meal dozens of kids continued to storm in, scream a bunch and then leave without purchasing anything at all.

At one point, a few high schoolers approached Paige and I as we enthusiastically snapped photos of the store. They asked us if we had a YouTube and we told them about Map Our Adventures. Figuring they were a good resource for understanding the crowds, we asked “so, is this like the thing to do in Hillsdale?” They turned to each other pensively. “Yeah...yeah this and the Wendy’s” one replied. Another cut in quickly “yeah and there’s also a lot of kidnappings”. We stared back blankly for a moment. “So...the hot activities in town are eating Wendy’s and avoiding kidnappers?” I clarified. They all nodded emphatically. “Don’t worry” one of them continued, “it’s mostly just attempted kidnappings”. We didn’t point out that their willingness to approach strangers probably wasn’t helping the statistic.

After learning a bit about the town, we decided to place an order (it seemed like it was about time somebody in the restaurant bought something). We wanted as representative a sample of the menu as we could get, so Paige and I each ordered a garlic slider and split a tater tot nachos. My big belly then decided to tack on a garlic knot hot dog as well (thankfully the beautiful opportunity to name it the ‘Knot Dog’ was taken in stride). The food came quickly and was extravagant. We started by digging into the tater tot nachos, which were every bit as extra as you might imagine. It was a standard nacho bowl fare - lettuce, sour creme, hot peppers, tomato and ample cheese - except that instead of nachos, it lay on a bed of tater tots. One bowl could have easily fed the entire township. After a few delicious bites, I looked sheepishly over to Paige. “I don’t think I can take any more” I confessed.

We turned our attention then to the sliders, which were by far our favorite thing we ordered. Each one is a standard burger, except naturally the content is sandwiched between two thick slices of garlic bread. They were delicious and very potent. To further establish my reprehensible stench, I tried the knot dog. It was a standard hot dog wrapped in a sleeve of garlic bread. It was quite good although definitely odd to down a hot dog with no condiments. Usually I douse my hot dogs in ketchup but without, it turns out that hot dogs taste a bit like a small balloon. I was definitely a fan of the garlic wraparound however.

We washed each new dish down with a splash of delicious orange creamsicle soda. This got us in the mood for a dessert, so I went up to order the ice cream zeppole sandwich. As I was waiting at the counter, I caught a clear view into the kitchen where the cooks were preparing a heart-shaped pizza, complete with a garlic bread crust. I assume it was heart-shaped for Valentine’s Day, although it’s also possible it was serving as a warning for which organ would fail first after eating it. I also noted that for no apparent reason, if you didn’t feel like ordering food they also had a display of branded hair scrunchies for six dollars apiece.

Our ice cream sandwich came, and not a moment too soon. The warm zeppoles on either end were making quick work of the ice cream and it was very rapidly becoming a zeppole cream soup. We tried briefly to grab a lady-and-the-tramp style photo, but quickly gave up and went to eat before we lost it completely. It was very tasty, even melted, and surprisingly there wasn’t even any garlic inside. Overall, it’s a delicious menu of stinky treats and a great outing for the family. Almost as great as the Wendy’s.

Hold My Knots can be found at 134 Broadway, Hillsdale, NJ 07642. It is open for lunch and dinner daily - check Google for updated hours.

Prices vary but are standard for a pizza place. Make sure to budget for all the Listerine you'll need afterwards!

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