Monday, November 28, 2016

Burger Wars

Once again there is a new burger joint in the area. Habit Burgers has hit north jJersey, bringing with it cheery Californian interiors and a new way of serving burgers.Is it as good as any of the other burger joints like Jake's Wayback or even Wendy's? Yes  - and no.

As anybody who lives in the Garden State will tell you we have dozens of eateries that feature fast food. Many are diners such as the Bendix in Hasbrouck Heights that cook up any kind of dish, from breakfast to snacks. These also have an element of home cooking  to them. Burgers are not preformed patties that are shipped in from a main distributor. They're ground beef , usually made from  fresh chuck and zested up with chopped onion, parsley and sometimes butter or margarine There's a juiciness  to them,along with that pleasant greasy taste no one seems to mind, The fries are also plank style , some big and meaty; others crispy and golden,Some like the Windmill chain in Central and South Jersey give diners big piles of crinkle cut fries, all evenly fried and deliciously crispy. Their sandwiches, ranging from hamburgers to hot dogs to grilled chicken, are ample and are cooked on the grill like their diner cousins. To be honest the Windmill hot dogs are the best in the state. Charred, with crispy skin, they have flavor and the added bonus of texture. The burgers are OK, filling  but overshadowed by the huge kaiser rolls that they're served on.

So does Habit's famed Char Burger beat these Mom and Pop attempts at fast food? Yes and no.The burgers are nicely charred. The taste is reminiscent of those backyard burgers we grew up on. However, the high heat does dry them out a bit so the texture is not soft but dry and crumbly. There's no moistness there.It does pay to have lettuce and tomato added for some juiciness. The cheeseburger looks good with  the cheese melted and drippy. There are some other dishes that look tasty  such as the fried green beans in batter along with the grilled chicken. Will it beat out the reigning burger joint in the area which is Jake's Wayback? For one thing Jake's is much smaller and , even though it is a franchise, feels more like a Mom and Pop place. The servers know the regulars and make them feel completely at home. The burgers, especially the turkey ones, are so  moist and juicy. that you always need a napkin to wipe your chin. The fries are a mound of golden crisp goodness. Another plus is their  homemade potato chips which are perfectly crunchy and evenly fried.Wendy's is also in the local burger wars. It beats out McDonald's and Burger King for taste. Their burgers are not greasy like those other two. Neither the burgers or the fries have that greasy aftertaste.The chain also has more choice too. with the addition of bacon and different sauces .

Will Habit Burgers beat out Jake's Wayback and Wendy's? That depends on people's tastes. Locals may enjoy the novelty but eventually they'll return to their favorites. Eateries have loyal fans. They return to their favorites in the end.

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