I was lucky enough to go with Marcie Taylor of Surf City Family last week and get a sneak preview meal at the new Stacked in Huntington Beach. Having seen a Stacked outside the Cerritos mall, I was familiar with the name but not the concept. Stacked focuses on American-style cuisine with the ability to highly customize. Using iPad technology, customers can create their own favorite versions of appetizers, burgers, flatbreads, pizzas, salads, sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and even shakes and desserts. So, if you want a veggie burger in a gluten free bun with roasted red peppers and chipotle mayo—you can have it!
Stacked has been around since 2011, the offspring of former BJ’s Restaurants co-CEO’s, Paul Motenko and Jerry Hennessy. Though they have deep local ties and even moved their Stacked headquarters here, this is their first location in Huntington Beach—poised to capture interstate and Bella Terra traffic, and with a huge patio perfect for our mild climate.
When I arrived, I was given a lesson in how to use the iPad menu by a friendly and knowledgeable server. It made the customization process very visual, though maybe took longer than reading it off of a conventional paper menu (which are also available) because of the ‘fun factor’ of wanting to look at everything available and in every combination. Prices also aren’t available until you have fully customized your order.
I finally settled on a burger, cooked to medium, on a brioche bun with pastrami, grilled mushrooms and onions, and swiss (every element of that was a choice). We also tried the sweet potato fries, a quinoa salad with chicken and avocado, a short rib mac ‘n’ cheese with roasted poblanos, a classic pastrami sandwich, and a peanut butter cup milkshake. Needless to say we had to take most of it home but would have eaten it all if our stomachs would have let us!
For being a soft opening with a packed house, the food came promptly and was cooked perfectly. No extra salt or pepper was needed. Meats were tender and juicy, bread was fresh, and presentation was clean and modern. Their motto is “Food Well Built” and they certainly lived up to it!
As we ate and enjoyed the warm-industrial patio atmosphere, we were greeted by a good number of the staff, all wanting to know how we were enjoying the food and if we needed anything else. The owner even came and sat with us for a while to answer questions and explain his hopes for the future of the business. The iPad technology at Stacked allowed us to control when to order and pay, and should prove an asset to the business—especially as return guests become more familiar with its use.
If you’re looking for the next great meal in Huntington Beach, try out Stacked: 7490 Edinger Avenue. Breakfast starts at 7 am (customized breakfast burritos, yogurt bowls, and more!), lunch and dinner until 11 pm nightly, and 1 am on Friday and Saturday. Full service bar, kids menu, family friendly. In a city with a lot of restaurant choices, this is still a welcome addition!
All photos: Marcie Taylor