NJ: Thickburgers, hand-scooped ice cream shakes and Made-from-Scratch Biscuits are back. After a 20-year-absence in the Garden State, Hardee’s will open its first New Jersey location, in Somerset. The fast-food chain, which disappeared from the Northeast in the 1990s, is undergoing an expansion in the region, with more New Jersey stores planned, including Brick and Willingboro this year. Up to 200 locations are planned in the Northeast “in the next few years,” according to a company spokeswoman.
The Thickburger lives up to its name. It’s a split hot dog, kettle-cooked potato chips, American cheese and 100 percent Black Angus beef on a fresh-baked bun. The chain calls it an “all-in-one-bite-backyard-BBQ-in-your-mouth,” which seems a pretty accurate description.
You know, New Jersey gets a pretty bad rap most of the time, especially the Jersey Shore during the summertime. Some people call NJ the armpit of America. I don’t fully understand the metaphor, but it’s totally irrelevant now because we have jumped up the leaderboard. We still have the beaches and the white trash that comes with it, and jug handles at every intersection, but now we have a Hardee’s to completely overshadow all that negativity.
They do dope breakfast apparently, and by dope breakfast I mean grilled porkchop, egg, and cheese on a buscuit. The Thickburger El Diablo features jalapeno peppers and jalapeno POPPERS on the burger. They do a jumbo chili dog. They have curly fries and onion rings. They do milkshakes and malts. They do burritos and tacos too. They just do it right it sounds like. Now we just need to get In-N-Out over to the East Coast. We’ll send Dunkin Donuts over to the West Coast if we can get In-N-Out, I think that’s a fair trade and a win-win for all parties.
I don’t think people realize how big of a deal this is. The fast food game in NJ has plateaued for years. It’s primarily McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and BK with the occasional White Castle, Checkers (great fries), and Sonic. There’s a new big player in the game. I have an eerie feeling that 40 minute drive is going to become very common. I can’t even wrap my head around what Thickburger even means, but I’m moist just thinking about it. Foaming at the mouth, tongue hanging out, dry heaving, longing for a whole mess of Thickburgers.
Bon Jovi and Hardee’s, that’s what New Jersey does!
PS – People who say In-N-Out is overrated are absolute losers with some weird contrarian complex who don’t know a good thing if it smacks them in the face.