The Miracle of Broasting–Toby’s in Meckling, South Dakota

For those of you as yet uninitiated to the joys of broasting–let me explain.  Broasting is the fine art of deep fat pressure cooking.

Having worked in the kitchen with one of these contraptions, let me tell you it is a little bit scary.  You have a pressure cooker at home, yes?  Try using one filled with beyond-the-boiling-point grease. But the food that emerges from these barrel-shaped contraptions is moist, tender, and full of delicious, greasy goodness.

Toby’s in Meckling, located in a corrugated metal building just off Highway 50 west of Vermillion, does not serve anything locally grown or produced that I can tell.  But every once in awhile we make the pilgrimage anyhow for their delicious broasted chicken or catfish (cornmeal-breaded–the only way, in my opinion, to serve catfish), along with broasted wedges of potato and a little paper cup of coleslaw.

Their dinners are served on styrofoam plates–paper napkins and plastic utensils are de rigeur.  And, oh man, is their food good.  Just don’t ask for a menu, because there isn’t one.  You order a 2 or 3 piece (say “catfish” if you want it–otherwise it’s assumed you mean chicken), and you specify your choice of potato.  That’s it.

Apparently they have chicken “fingers” for the kids–but because there’s no menu–you can just order an extra piece on your own meal, give your child a few pieces of your white meat if they’re fussy, and no one will be the wiser.

May I suggest, as a beverage, the traditional accompaniment–a “red beer” (that is–a beer with a side of tomato juice and a glass to mix to your own specifications) and you’ll be right in the spirit of this classic South Dakota eatery.


3 responses to this post.

  1. um. my mouth is totally watering…Toby knows how to do it right. a red beer does go quite well with such a splendid meal!!

  2. Posted by flyingtomato on July 10, 2008 at 11:48 am

    You know, we both ordered three-piece catfish and the waitress mis-wrote and brought us chicken. She made it right though–the catfish was done in a few minutes, and we had a nice to-go box of broasted chicken that I made into a chicken salad for last night’s dinner.

    And yes, I left in a few bits of the salty-flavorful skin.

    Oh, yeah.


  3. Posted by Randy on June 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I live in Tucson AZ. My wife is from SF/SD. I stopped going back to visit her family because they stopped taking me to Toby’s when I would visit.

    Two place are a must stop, Toby’s Chicken and Tea Steak House!

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