I had a plan to go to The Habit Burger down in Rockville, Maryland for a few weeks. This was the weekend that the timing worked out the best.
The Habit has been in the news recently, since it was bought by Yum! Brands. I used to work for Yum! Brands at the Taco Bell Corporate office in California, but my opinions for this are my own. I’m not sure if I’m happy about the change in ownership. I was working for Yum! Brands when they took over A&W and Long John Silver’s, and I don’t think they did things right. I’m hoping that they can sit back and let The Habit do what it does best, and not get too mired into trying to change the way they do things to the “Yum” way. If they support them in the background, it could be a mutually beneficial deal for both sides.
The first time I heard of The Habit was about 15 years ago. We used to visit my uncle and grandmother in Goleta, and I remember one time my uncle was talking about liking to go over on Hollister Street at a hamburger joint called the Habit. I never thought too much about it, but looking back, I wish that I would have recommended going there with him at least once.
It wasn’t until a few years later that The Habit started popping up in Orange County, and I enjoyed it. If you haven’t been there, think more along the lines of Five Guys or SmashBurger, not McDonald’s or Burger King.
Now that I live in Maryland, it’s not a place I can go to whenever I feel like It. I have to take the time to plan a day to go there. When I was in California, I could have driven by one of their restaurants any day of the week on my way to or from work, or visiting with family.
As far as the Rockville location goes, it’s right on Rockville Pike, but if you blink you might miss it. I’ve been there a few times, since it’s one of those places that reminds me of California. It’s close to CostPlus World Market, so if I time things right, I can get there right at lunch time.
They’ve got some paintings up, which pay homage to their roots. I think that’s pretty cool.
I decided to go with the Double Char with Cheese combo, which includes fries and a drink. The Double Charburger has two Chargrilled burger patties, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mayo, and caramelized onions on a toasted bun (and I got it with cheese as well). I ordered mine without the pickles and forgot to order without tomato. The buns had good flavor and held the sandwich together well. They didn’t get mushy and didn’t break apart. They were intact down to the last bite. The burgers had a nice, juicy flavor with the right amount of seasoning. The caramelized onions gave an extra layer of flavor that really elevated the overall experience. No ketchup needed for this burger at all. Everything in there worked perfectly. The fries were nice and crispy, but I should have asked for light salt. These didn’t have too much salt on them, I just prefer to have little to no salt on my fries. Compared to fries you can get in other places, these were still good. They were a nice complement to the burger. The bonus was that they have Mr. Pibb, so I had a complete meal.
This was a very good experience. The burgers are made fresh, but it wasn’t a long wait. It helped that I got there right at 11AM, but even when it got busy, there was still a good flow to the other customers getting their food.
I was happy to eat at The Habit Burger Grill today. The food was really good. It also brought back nice memories of California. It made me think of my uncle. Although he’s not here anymore, having these little reminders of the good conversations we used to have makes it easier to focus on the positive side of things.