What does it take for a burger joint to gain a nearly cult-like following? To hear Jacob Han, the owner of Loaded Burgers-N-BBQ tell it, the devotion of their customers is due in large part to the quality of their food. Loaded is known throughout the region for serving some of the best burgers around. The small restaurant was so popular that many nights Jacob would run out of food and have to close early. Mindful of the fact that inconsistent hours and food shortages made for a less than stellar dining experience, Jacob and his partners made the decision to expand. After months of hard work and numerous inquiries from customers, Loaded was able to reopen its doors on April 18.
The owners lucked out when the space next door became available, allowing Loaded to stay in its original location while also expanding. Loaded started off with 14 seats, but with the expansion it can now sit 40 customers. The new space also has plenty of storage so food shortages will be a thing of the past. If the only improvements were a larger space with more storage, that would be enough to satisfy Loaded’s fans. However, Jacob is always focusing on quality and he felt there were more things he wanted to incorporate into the bigger and better Loaded.
First, the restaurant will now be open 7 days a week, and will also open early in the morning. Starting in the next week or two Loaded will be offering coffee from Jersey Shore Coffee Roasters, located in Leonardo. The coffee drinks will be simple, and can be paired with the pastries Jacob plans to offer from Pinho’s Bakery in Roselle. In time, customers can also expect a variety of breakfast sandwiches to choose from.
The addition to the restaurant everyone is most excited about is the smoker, which will create authentic pulled pork, brisket, and ribs. Jacob makes a point of saying that the barbecue they’re making isn’t a specific style of barbecue – it’s just good. They use the best meat, the best equipment, and end up with what they believe is the tastiest barbecue around.
The star at Loaded is still the burgers, though. Customers can build their own burgers, choosing from toppings like sautéed mushrooms, avocados, caramelized onions, and bacon. In his quest to only offer the best products, Jacob turned to Cheese…Please!, a gourmet cheese shop in Cranford, to provide the cheese. Additional menu offerings include Fried Chicken sandwiches, BBQ chicken, and sides including french fries, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, and bacon and beans.
Loaded’s reopening has been eagerly anticipated for months, but it’s unlikely even their most ardent supporters could have predicted everything the restaurant had in store. Now with their doors open again, it’s only a matter of time before Loaded becomes the go-to place in NJ for burgers, barbecue, and whatever else the owners put their minds to.
101 Center Street, Garwood