The greasy spoon diner is an icon of mid-century American culture, but it’s most prolific form is really a slice of Southern California. With home-style meals, cozy-booth settings and snappy service, freestanding kitchens slinging pancakes and burgers become important community spaces – where working-class folk from across the community could sit side by side at a formica counter and order a cup of joe.
Chains like Denny’s, Norms and IHOP all emerged during this post-war era, transporting SoCal’s white suburban dreams to international audiences. These days, though, the menus and ownership of the region’s classic American diners are more often reflective of SoCal’s working-class Latino communities than the mid-century whiteness of yore.
Often, this shift is subtle — a ranchero-sauce-slathered egg dish here, an expanded “South of the Border” menu there. Other times, like at Long Beach’s Loaded Cafe, it’s a natural move that resides at the very core of its being.
In six years, Loaded Cafe has grown from a new diner concept tucked into a former IHOP A-frame on PCH into a rapidly expanding breakfast chain that’s now found in Latino-majority cities like Bellflower and Santa Ana. It’s what happens when we finally admit that Mexican families buying up greasy spoons was the best thing to happen to the genre since its proliferation began almost a century ago.
Where else would you be able to get a fresh honey-infused jugo verde instead of orange juice with your coffee? Or load up on 99-cent jalapeños toreados, which are heavily suggested throughout the menu as a side option like fries or toast once were? Loaded Cafe also packages three chunky house salsas — green habanero, red habanero and yellow peron — that are permanently stocked on each table, while more traditional condiments like ketchup, Tabasco and maple syrup get dropped with the food.
Many of the dishes are familiar diner fare: strawberry banana pancakes; veggie omelets; breakfast combos with bacon, sausage or country fried steak and eggs. But then there are diner curveballs that reflect the ethos of Loaded Cafe: savory and sweet crepes swirled on site and filled with chicken, Nutella, and even Swedish-style lingonberries; spicy chilaquiles with thick hunks of carne asada on the side; an original creation called Surprise! Surprise! that’s almost an eggs Benedict but with some more vegetables piled on a piece of sourdough toast.
For fans of Denny’s Moons Over My Hammy sandwich, there’s also the ham and egg melt with all the thick buttery toast, fluffy yellow eggs and melty orange cheese of the original. Lunch and dinner — with its thick-stacked burgers, oversized chicken salads and honey habanero chicken wings — are secondary to breakfast but aren’t afterthoughts either. Menudo is made on site every day.
One thing that hasn’t changed at all from the nostalgic diner culture is the portions. As its name suggests, Loaded Cafe piles hefty amounts of enchilada omelettes, fruity waffles and biscuits and gravy on its ceramic plates. Every trip inevitably ends up with a box of leftovers in the fridge.
Over a soundtrack of classic rock and oldies, Loaded Cafe’s bilingual waitresses continue the great diner tradition for a new generation of Americans. Home-style meals, cozy booths and snappy service remain the norm at Loaded Cafe, a place that’s as iconic a slice of Southern California culture today as the original diners were in the 1950s.
Loaded Cafe Long Beach
1101 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach
We are honored to have such awesome customers. Thank you for the Yelp Love! If you are near Lawndale come enjoy
our newest Loaded Cafe restaurant. We will be happy to serve you with a smile! cheers : )
1st Annual – Instagram Photo Contest!
One Lucky family will be WINNING a pair of Disneyland Park Hopper tickets to enjoy the most magical time of the year at the Happiest place on earth! ( Besides Loaded Cafe! ) and It’s very EASY to ENTER!
1. Go to ANY Loaded Cafe to enjoy a delicious meal
2. Take a pic Enjoying your food with the fam!
3. Use #loadedcafexmas ( make sure profile is not private!)
4. WIN!! ( We will announce 1 Lucky winner on New Years Day!)
Must visit any of our Loaded Cafes, Must be a new picture ( cannot edit old pics! ) No limit on entries! 1 entry per visit allowed. Thank you and GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE ???
Breakfast is the most important meal we have every day, doctors all over the world stress on having a healthy and heavy breakfast with right nutrients that fuels you through your daily activities. Research says that protein should be an important intake as a part of breakfast, so kiss your quick donuts goodbye and think ‘‘what is a healthy alternate food near me?’’ You must consider on having a healthy breakfast food because it is important to start your bodily functions for every day and there are many breakfast restaurants to serve great food but there is nothing like home cooked food, here are some quick and tasty breakfast ideas:
- Cheese-Mushroom Scramble
Eggs are always the shortcut to the protein you need. Scrambled egg is a very easy dish to make for breakfast; all you need to add to the equation is a mushroom. Chop mushrooms and shred some low-fat cheese and add to scrambled eggs and cook till the eggs are firm.
- Bacon-Egg-Cheese sandwich
This recipe contains both cheese and bacon which is both yummy and healthy for a perfect breakfast serve. Cook bacon on medium till it is warmed and season the eggs with some salt and pepper and cook till it sets, places the egg on the bacon. Add some goat cheese and tomatoes to the toast and place the bacon and eggs on it, sandwich and eat.
- Huevos Rancheros
This is a Mexican breakfast that can be made within five minutes with scrambled eggs or a hard-boiled egg. Add the eggs to a medium sized tortilla add some pepper jack cheese and add two tablespoons of salsa to it. You can also add a slice or two of Canadian cooked bacon.
- Oatmeal Berry Pie
Whole-grain oats are a great choice for breakfast; this becomes tastier with some added blackberries. Top 1/3 cup of your favorite berries to your bowl of cooked oats, add a tablespoon of chopped walnuts and a crushed cracker. This makes the oatmeal a tasty food.
- Big Breakfast Burrito
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and then wrap the tortillas in foil and place it in the oven to heat it for 10 minutes. Whisk eggs, 2 tbsp water, salt together. Heat oil over a medium-low heat and add the mixture to the skillet and stir till the eggs form a curd. Then stir in cheese till it melts. Take out the tortillas and divide the eggs on to them, add a bit of garlic-pepper sauce to them and roll up.
- Salsa Eggs on Toast
This is probably the easiest recipe you can make for a restaurant like breakfast. Just poach an egg and make toasts, add the poached egg over the toasts and add some salsa sauce to the bread and you can add a little-flavoured cheese like Pepper Jack for added taste.
- French Nutella Toast
French toast is the love of breakfast table. Just beat some eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon and add milk to it and stir. Once done, dip bread in this mixture and cook it on medium heat till it is golden brown on both sides. Add a lot of Nutella between the pieces and have the sweetest breakfast ever.
Still wondering about food places near you? Well just visit your local Loaded Cafe Restaurants; Gardena, Long Beach, Bellflower, Santa Ana