“Overall, the food served at The Habit was worth the price, and I was glad to finally try this deviation of the traditional burger. Although I would not characterize this meal as anything especially notable, I am still curious to try the other specialty sandwiches on the menu.”
Kristine Xu is a journalism freshman and Mustang News food columnist.
Along with the many unique and diverse restaurants downtown San Luis Obispo has to offer, there is also the satisfying convenience of having ordinary fast food restaurants. The Habit Burger Grill is just one example of those fast food restaurants that satiate the basic burger craving everyone has once in a while.
Located on the main strip of downtown at the intersection of Higuera and Chorro streets, The Habit is the perfect place to bring a group of friends for a late night meal. In addition to the typical array of burgers found at a fast food chain, The Habit also serves specialty beach-inspired sandwiches and shakes.
Because I had never eaten at The Habit before, I decided to order the Charburger, The Habit’s most popular sandwich, along with fries and a drink. According to the menu, there are other variations of the Charburger, including a Double Charburger and even a Teriyaki Charburger served with grilled pineapple. I wanted to stick to the basics and decide if I liked the original before trying out the other options.
After a very short wait, the buzzer I was handed at the cash register went off and signaled me to retrieve my food. I grabbed the cafeteria-style tray with my food and returned to a vinyl booth seat at the back of the restaurant to enjoy my meal.
I unwrapped the burger from the familiar paper wrapping and held the burger in two hands as I took my first bite. The grilled patty was made from 100 percent ground beef, paired with shredded iceberg lettuce, a slice of tomato, sweet caramelized onions and pickles. Topped off with a dash of mayonnaise and served on a toasted sesame bun, the burger had just the right amount of flavor and was not too bland.
The repetitive use of Charburger in the names of all of The Habit’s burgers is explained through its unique cooking process. The burgers were named after the chargrilling technique used to create the unique and smoky flavor, which is achieved through grilling over an open fire.
Unlike other fast food restaurants, The Habit puts in the extra effort to toast the buns, providing a satisfying crunch to the burger that contrasted with the tenderness of the grilled patty. I particularly enjoyed the attention to detail that The Habit employs in each of its burgers. Unfortunately, the side of fries in my meal was not as satisfactory. Although they were not awful, the fries lacked salt and tasted ordinary.
In addition to having multiple chains up and down the coast of California, The Habit also offers service of their famous food truck, which claims to bring the full mobile food truck experience directly to their customers. Perfect for any social event, the food truck is fully equipped with a complete kitchen, digital menu board and sound system.
Overall, the food served at The Habit was worth the price, and I was glad to finally try this deviation of the traditional burger. Although I would not characterize this meal as anything especially notable, I am still curious to try the other specialty sandwiches on the menu. The next time I come I will also make sure to trade out the side of fries for a handmade shake made with real ice cream.
The details put into the quality of the Charburger stayed true with the restaurant motto and ensured that indeed, “There’s no substitute for quality!”