Saturday, January 5, 2019

A Bad Habit (a food review)

Doing food reviews is not a thing I've spent a lot of time doing, for no other reason than that I haven't spent a lot of time doing it. Any time I've had an urge to review a restaurant, I've always fallen back on "That's not a thing I do." I guess that's changing.

Mostly, I've had the urge to do reviews on places that I've enjoyed. Actually, that's completely true... until today, but I'll work my way back through the restaurants I think are really worthy of being visited.

However, today, I'm going to warn you away from a place, and I'm starting here because this is a chain place, whereas most of the places I'll be talking about are local spots. Which may not be the most helpful for most of you out there, but we don't (1) eat out all that much and (2), when we do, we don't visit many chain establishments.

But we went to Habit Burger, which is supposed to be a big deal; I was sorely disappointed.

See, my daughter is a bit of a burger fan, a thing that is somewhat related to softball and going to tournaments and getting her burgers on the road. It's only natural that she wanted to try Habit Burger when it moved into our area. As it happened, New Year's Day turned out to be a great time to do that because we'd been off doing other things, and I wasn't going to be able to cook dinner in any kind of reasonable time frame. Since we'd just been talking about Habit, like, the day before, I decided it would be a good time to give them a try.

Obvious disappointment #1:
They messed up the order. Despite the fact that the guy taking the order read the order back to me correctly and despite the fact that the girl who gave me our order when it was ready read off the order correctly, when we got home with the food, the order was not correct.

Less obvious disappointment #1:
Nothing was labeled, so I had to open every fucking burger wrapper to figure out who was supposed to get what, which is how I discovered the above disappointment because pickles had been left off of all  of the burgers rather than off of just one of them.

Obvious disappointment #2:
The food was soggy. All of it. We don't live very far from where Habit Burger is located and ate as soon as we got home and, yet, all of the food was soggy when I took it out of the bag. If this is going to be a problem with your food, you should warn customers, like the "microwave not recommended" warnings on some frozen foods. Soggy burgers are just not pleasant. Neither are soggy onion rings.

Less obvious disappointment #2:
The onion rings and tempura green beans weren't quite cooked all the way. Both had a doughy flavor which is common when the dough doesn't cook through. Not that the onion rings would have been that much better if they had been all the way cooked, because the batter was ill-spiced.

Less obvious disappointment #3:
The buns were common white bread buns that you can pick up in any grocery store. Don't offer me something that I can just as easily buy at Safeway. Including the American cheese that passed for cheese on the burgers. If I want to add American cheese to my burger, I'll buy a pack at the grocery store and do it myself, because why the fuck do I want to pay $0.60 for a single slice of fucking American cheese? So tell me upfront that your cheese option is only American.

Less obvious disappointment #4:
My kids got shakes because, you know, shakes, and the shakes didn't even meet approval. The shakes got shrugs of okayness. How hard is it to make a decent shake? Too difficult for Habit Burger, I guess. It made me want to drive them over to McDonald's and have them compare for me. Not that would have been any real help since I didn't try the shakes and I haven't had a McDonald's shake in... um... I don't think my fingers go that high.

At this point, the only thing I can say that Habit Burger has going for it is their pricing which, I think, isn't bad? I don't really know since fast food establishments are not places I frequently visit. All I know is that they were cheaper than Five Guys (but I'll get to them some other time).

On the one hand, some of these issues were specific to the particular Habit Burger we went to (like the order being incorrect); however, assuming all of those issues had been fixed, it still wasn't a very good burger, so I'm not sure what all of the hype is about. They didn't rise to the level of McDonald's or Burger King and, let's face it, those are pretty low bars.

Needless to say, we won't be returning to Habit Burger. As I said on FaceBook, they don't even rise to the level of emergency food.


  1. Ugh, soggy lunch is the worst. I haven't heard of Habit, but hopefully your experience was just a fluke and that mostly they do a great job. The best place for burgers and fries in my area (in my humble opinion) is 5 Guys. I have yet to get a bad lunch from them. I even asked my dear husband to take me there for our wedding anniversary.:-)

    1. Priscilla: I'll be covering Five Guys this coming Saturday, but they are not close to the best burgers in our area, though they are probably the best fast food burger.