Best. Burger. Ever. Those are the words uttered by many a patron who enjoyed a meal at Loaded in Garwood. The gourmet burger joint closed last year when its proprietors sought to expand their storefront. Well, guess what? Loaded is set to reopen its doors by March, so you can once again enjoy those truly mouth-watering burgers!
Owned by Jacob Han and Kevin Conti, the new Loaded will open in its old location at the corner of Center Street and South Ave. They’ve nearly doubled the size of the formerly humble restaurant to accommodate for much more seating and greater storage capacity for their ingredients. And boy, do these guys care about their ingredients. Everything from the bread to the meat to the spices is of the absolute highest quality.
Jacob–who was previously a line cook at the venerable Huntley Tavern–confirms that all the meat for the burger patties will be ground in-house, and only antibiotic-free, humanely raised meats are allowed through the doors of Loaded. The cheese for all the sandwiches will be provided by Cranford’s own Cheese…Please, and the spices by Savory Spice Shop of Westfield. How cool is that?!
If you hadn’t been to Loaded before, here’s what you can expect of the menu: standard and signature burgers (such as a French onion burger topped with caramelized onions and shredded gruyere heated with a blow torch); barbecue pulled pork, brisket, and ribs; fried and roasted chicken; and savory waffle sandwiches. Of course, that’s just lunch and dinner. The new Loaded will also be open early for breakfast (which will include their own house-smoked and cured bacon) and fresh roasted artisanal coffees. Are you prone to late-night munchies? Fear not–Loaded will be open late on weekends!
Jacob describes the atmosphere at Loaded as “fast casual,” with a large grill in the main room where you can watch your food be cooked. Jacob’s mantra is “good food at a good price.” But take a look at the photos of actual burgers served at Loaded. “Good” is an understatement! Just don’t dare ask for lettuce with your burger when you eat at Loaded–Chef Jacob believes its sacrilege to put lettuce on a juicy burger, so he refuses to stock it. And that’s fine by me!
Follow Loaded’s Facebook page for updates on the grand reopening. As for where to park when they do reopen: free on-street parking is available on South Ave. and Center Street; there is also a free municipal lot across the street, as well as another free lot down the block on Center Street.