You know those salad and sandwich bars that don’t really have menus, you just pick your bread or lettuce then choose whatever you want to go on top? Well imagine that but with hamburgers, chips and mac‘n’cheese as a base, and more than 70 different toppings and ingredients to choose from to stuff in or have on top.
The idea comes from Bar Luca’s Sarah and James Robbins. They’re calling it Loaded by BL and, incredibly (considering Jack’s Newtown was trading in the same space just months ago), they plan to launch it on October 23. “We've had this idea for ages,” says Sarah. “It all started with mac‘n’cheese. I thought, ‘What would it be like to have a loaded mac‘n’cheese?’ It kind of went from there.”
Start with either a hamburger, hot dog, battered onion rings, mac‘n’cheese or various kinds of chips. Then choose from 70 different ingredients to put on top. There’s different types of slow-cooked meats, pickles, fried patties of mozzarella, tater tots, kimchi, peanut butter, five kinds of cheese and 20 sauces. And that’s just the regular menu. “We'll still do specials each week. We'll do a different base, maybe different fries, waffles or fried chicken. Same with the hacks, maybe Peking duck or something,” says Sarah.
Get it right and you can end up with something appetising like mac‘n’cheese with crispy pepperoni, pickled short peppers and fried garlic crumbs; or you could get something completely ridiculous and totally original – maybe waffles with pastrami, smashed avocado, bacon jam, a fried egg, peanut butter, scorched corn, truffle mayo and pizza sauce. Maybe it’ll be incredible. Maybe it’ll be horrific. Who knows? “We sent the menu to a mathematician to check how many different combinations there are. We were thinking of using it as a marketing thing but he sent the number through and I didn't even know what it was. It had 21 zeros in it, that's a sextillion. There were 19 sextillion combinations,” Sarah says.
The space will look different to Bar Luca. “We’re doing lots of pine, concrete and some gold accents,” says Sarah. We’ll also have a wall of flash tattoos. We’re not bringing in our same mural guy.” Both Sarah and James admit the massive menu may be overwhelming, so they’ll be posting premade combos to makes things easier. If anyone wants just a plain cheeseburger or a mac‘n’cheese, you can get that for just $6.
Loaded by BL is opening at 170 Missenden Road, Newtown on October 23.