Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Habit Burger Grill: Remember, what's starts as a habit, can become an addiction!

Often when I review restaurants, I wonder if it's a place where everyone has already been or it's so out of the way, that very few have been there. In the case of Habit Burger Grill, it's a new restaurant to Salt Lake, so no worries about it being overdone.

Habit Burger was founded in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. The laid-back, relaxed, inviting atmosphere has continued. You almost feel like you are in a surf shop based on the decor. They are promoting a fun, active lifestyle. Many restaurants in the "fast-casual" niche try to rush you out the door as soon as they can. Here, they make you feel welcome and will even refill your drink for you-more on that later.

The menu is intriguing and incredibly affordable; Charburger: $2.95, BBQ Bacon Charburger: $4.10, Fresh Albacore Tuna Sandwich: $6.25. The most expensive item on their menu is the Santa Barbara Cobb Salad for $7.15. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Mike Mirkil, Vice President of Marketing for Habit Burger. He said "We desire to feed a lot of people for a fair price." This is fair price indeed. He also told me that these are the same prices at all their Southern California locations. If you can make enough profit in California with these prices to then expand, you are doing something right.

One thing that they are doing right is the quality of ingredients. All the meat is fresh, never frozen. The chicken and tri-tip are marinated overnight. The albacore tuna is flown in fresh, 3 times weekly. None of the lettuce, tomato or onions come out of bags. It's all cut fresh daily.  The bread is from Puritan Bakery.

"You won't find fancy chuck, a brioche bun or special sauce, not even ketchup or mustard on our burgers. It's standard but high quality." Mike Mirkil.

You would think that a burger without all the extras would be boring but that's not the case at all. A Charburger won't leave you so full that you can't move but it will leave you satisfied and energized. Lite and Fresh are the two best words to describe it. The Caramelized Onions really add a delicious component to each burger; sweet, tangy and flavorful.

The sweet potato fries were introduced 2 years ago. They are delicious, crispy and overall a great side menu item.

One interesting thing about Habit Burger goes by the term "lapping." There are 2-3 employees who are ready to take your tray when you are done. They will even ask if you need ketchup or fry sauce. And best of all, they will ask if you need a refill on your drink. You sit there wondering if you should be leaving a tip; not so, it's all just part of the experience.

If you are not sold yet on trying Habit Burger, download "The Habit Charburger Challenge" App and play away. You will soon be so hungry working with all those delicious ingredients that impulse will take over and you will be on your way.

The Habit Burger Grill is the first business to open in the renovated Granite Furniture building in Sugarhouse. A wonderful change to a former eye-sore.

Habit Burger Grill
2121 South McClelland St.
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84106

Happy Eating

Habit Burger Grill on Urbanspoon

Photo Credits: Sarah Lyman, Panic Button Media

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