I’ll be flat out honest here. My family is not in the “habit” of eating out at fast food restaurants. The quality of food never lives up to our expectations and the prices never match what we are getting. Not to mention, dining at a fast food restaurant with food allergies can be a dangerous game we don’t like to play. Then I had the chance to spend an afternoon with some great friends at a fast casual restaurant in central Florida and realized I could actually make a habit of visiting this particular place more often.
The Habit Burger Grill was first established over on the OTHER side of the country ~ in Santa Barbara, California ~ in 1969. With its inception, there was one simple philosophy the owner wanted to follow: “always deliver high-quality food and great service at reasonable prices.” From there, a glorious menu of deliciousness was born and, through the years, has evolved into something very attractive.
ENTERING THE “HABIT” EXPERIENCE
Disclaimer: I was invited to a local media event for The Habit Burger Grill. All opinions, however, are my own.
So, here I am walking into this restaurant and it’s clean and bright with an attractive layout. It smells delicious, but I have no idea what to expect. I had taken a glance at the menu days earlier, knowing I was heading there soon. However, I had no idea the amazing tastes I was about to encounter.
I linked up with my blogger friends and we were fortunate enough to have the manager, Dave, there to share with us what we were about to experience. Dave’s personality was vibrant and engaging! He had us laughing, excited and eager to see what was next. He made each and every one of us feel at home and was so eloquent in how he explained everything from the philosophy to the menu.
SO, WHAT’S ON THE “HABIT” MENU?
By the time I had arrived, they had already started in on the appetizers. There were regular fries, sweet potato fries and onion rings, but I have to tell you that I was hooked on the tempura green beans!!! People ~ this is the new french fry! It is delicious and I could not get enough. I am lucky they just put a few in front of me because I could have munched on those all – day – long!!!
From there, we were introduced to their main menu items. We went from the Charburger and Charburger with cheese to the more unique menu items such as a Chargrilled Tuna Filet sandwich and Veggie Burger. My boys would have loved everything, but I am 110% confident they would be most fascinated with the Golden Fried Chicken sandwich. The “boom boom” sauce has a kick, but my boys would drink it by the cup!!
Of course, there are other options on the menu, as well. The salads are gorgeous, generously portioned and full of delicious ingredients. My favorite taste was the Santa Barbara Cobb (crisp shredded iceberg & romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, avocado, blue cheese crumbles, crisp bacon & egg, tossed in a red wine vinaigrette, topped with grilled chicken breast). There was a ton of flavor in there for me to enjoy. For those into quinoa, they even have a Super Food Salad that tastes magnificent!
Not only was the food fantastic, but the prices are so reasonable! An Original Charburger is only $3.39 on its own…..$7.49 with fries and a regular drink. I will tell you the quality of these sandwiches beat out the big named fast food competition! Upgrade options include a double Charburger, Teriyaki Char (teriyaki sauce and grilled pineapple), BBQ Bacon Char , Portabella Char (with roasted aoli and cheese) and a Santa Barbara Char (adding that delicious avocado to the patty, served on grilled sourdough). There are meals designed for the littles, too (chicken nuggets, Charburger or grilled cheese), that come with a choice of fries, apple slices or applesauce, as well as a drink.
The Sweet Tooth “Habit”
Another must-try at the Habit Burger Grill is the milkshake!!! Oh my ~ absolute deliciousness! Dave brought one of each flavor to the table and we all took a spoonful to sample. I don’t think there was a single face without a child-like smile. Flavor options include chocolate, mocha, vanilla and strawberry. They were so good. Now, milkshakes are not on my regular order because of a dietary restriction, but I was able to take at least a taste of the mocha and the strawberry milkshakes without detriment. I was ALL ABOUT THAT MOCHA!!!
Get this ~ a shake or malt is only $3.65!!! They are handcrafted and made-to-order. OH, and they have soft serve ice cream cones for $1.00!! Yes…people….100 pennies gets you a delicious ice cream cone!
One of the things I loved to hear Dave talk about was the variety of ordering options. Aside from the standard walk-in style ordering, they have online and phone ordering. The funny thing is that we never heard the phone ring in the restaurant. Odd? Nope ~ they have a service that takes care of all those orders. You call in or place your order online and the service delivers that to the restaurant. If you need to talk to the manager, no worries ~ they will make sure you are connected. Once the order has been placed, you can show up and go directly to the sign that says “Online Pick-Up.”
IN THE HABIT OF SERVING THE COMMUNITY
I found this fascinating. When a new Habit Grill is brought to an area, one of the first things they do is get involved with their immediate community. Dave spoke about charity events and fundraisers that supported local schools, youth community programs and non-profit organizations. “Doing our part” is ingrained in their culture and they believe in giving back to the communities in which they serve.
FOOD ALLERGY TIP: I spoke with Dave at the Orlando location about how they handle customers with food allergies. Since they believe in the “custom built” order, they are more than willing and able to accommodate most dietary restrictions. He says there is a designated area where they would prepare the food and they even do lettuce wraps for those who have gluten allergies/sensitivities or may be allergic to something else that their breads may contain. (such as egg).
Disclaimer: As of the time of this post, I have not brought my son, but should we go and he eat there, I will update the post. For even more nutritional and allergy information, click here.
MAKING IT A HABIT
To be honest, there is so much to share about this place, I could never fit it into one post! I don’t even know if I’ve done it justice with what I have shared. There are over 200 Habit Burger Grill locations in the US, including California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, New Jersey, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), Virginia, Maryland and Florida. If you have one nearby, go check it out and then let me know what you think!
Okay, I ‘m hungry again. I need to rally up the boys and go find me some good eats! Until next time, my friends….
You can follow the Habit Burger Grill:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/habitburger
- Instagram: @habitburgergrill
- Snapchat: @habitburger
- Twitter: @habitburger
Enter by 3/21/18 to win one of four prizes!!!
GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED!
A WINNER HAS BEEN SELECTED AND NOTIFIED!!!
HUGE thanks to Jennifer and Amanda from Bisbee and Company for arranging this event for us.