Burger Archive

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No-Bull Burger Purist, born and raised in NJ, the heart of the tri-state area and home to the oldest (and best) burger joints in the country. I don't need all the frilly toppings, happy servers or trendy decor, just a good burger...

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Habit Grill, Fair Lawn, NJ

The Habit Burger Grill, 3101 Promenade Blvd, Fair Lawn, NJ
(201) 475-3800

Golden Chicken Sandwich

Hand-breaded chicken breast filet, house-made seasoned flour and buttermilk, spiced red pepper sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles on a toasted bun.

Today's excursion to Habit was with my boss and fellow burger aficionado Steve, whose comments were spot-on, especially when it came to the chicken sandwich which he unequivocally states "is better than Shake Shack's."
I too enjoyed the not-too-overly-thick cutlet that Habit serves. Its seasonings create a wonderful depth of flavor and the breading is light, not heavy… it's so light in fact, it tastes like it could be a 50\50 blend of bread crumbs and eggs. Habit purports the chicken to be hand-breaded, and it tastes like it.

I would love to have my lettuce and tomato toppings on the "top" where they belong. I've still no idea why the trend is moving toward toppings on the bottom. I also would have liked a bit more of the red pepper sauce (you can see the lack of sauce in my photo).

All in all this is a great chicken sandwich that I highly recommend. Keep up the good work Habit!!

Our host, Jeffery, couldn't be more friendly....

The Habit Burger Grill, 3101 Promenade Blvd, Fair Lawn, NJ
(201) 475-3800

The Double Charburger

Two burger patties (3.2 ounces each), pickle, and raw red onions on a toasted sesame seed bun.

Habit is one of the only fast casual restaurants that’s in a hurry to put fast food chains out of business, and they're doing it with their value as well as their quality. A Double Charburger for only $4.45! And get this, the single Charburger with all the trimmings is only $3.45! You get fresh, never frozen burgers at fast food prices! Why would any mother bring their kid(s) to McDonalds? The burgers we ordered were fresh and delicious, and even though Habit's policy is to cook their burgers medium well, they are still juicy and tender. They were every bit as good as the photos show them to be.

This burger scored a 9.2\10 on the BC rating scale...

My soap box...
I believe Habit can beef up their competition with the FF chains by offering a Kids’ Meal (with toy of course). After all, they know how much this seemingly insignificant gesture of generosity pulls tons and tons of weight when it comes to the "where do you want to eat lunch" decision. And with prices where they are, and the food quality where it is, I believe habit has a shot at putting a dent in Ol' Mickey D's sales (among others) regardless of how strong their current brand may be.

Happy meals with toys override nutritional values more often than not. Do it.

Terrible photo of a great tasting burger... tastes much different (better) than it looks here...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Johnny Rockets

One Garden State Plaza, Sp. 1101
Paramus, NJ USA
(201) 291-1700

Rocket Double Burger
Cheddar cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomato, white onion, and special sauce.

Smoke House Double
Smoked bacon, sourdough onion rings, cheddar cheese, and "Smoke House" barbecue-ranch sauce.

Smoky Cheddar Pulled Pork Loaded Street Tots (Limited Time Only (LTO))
Tater tots topped with hickory smoked pulled pork, cheddar cheese, chopped scallions, and drizzled with Johnny Rockets special “Smoke House” barbecue sauce.


It's difficult enough to try to convey good tasting food vs. not-so-good tasting food considering how personal taste can vary so greatly from one person to the next. But when a fast-casual restaurant is thrown into the mix it makes my job even harder, for the simple reason that some folks automatically turn their noses up to these types of restaurants. In situations like this, I call them as I see them – no food snobbery here, folks.

Johnny Rockets does a great job bringing back that 1950s malt shop look and feel. In fact, those who were eating burgers in the 50s and 60s will feel right at home here. The effect of bringing back childhood memories is a simple but important one for those of us who lived back in the day. The bun tops are what did it for me. 
They are placed on the flat top grill in close proximity to the frying meat. This ensures a wonderfully glossy bun top when served. And the aroma of that rendered fat atop the bun is nothing shy of awesome.

H.G. Wells would be proud, for the aroma of the crispy, buttery griddled leather on these burgers combined with fresh bread and toppings all make for a hamburger time machine.

My vanilla shake was also outstanding and the side of pulled pork tater tots was exceptionally good. Too bad it's an LTO item (Jan to Feb). Definitely a hearty comfort food for a snowy day. Check my photos for shiny buns and if you've already eaten at a Johnny Rockets, I'd love to hear your feedback.

The Rocket Double receives an 8.5 on the BC rating scale.

Criteria for ratings:
Meat flavor 9
Juiciness 9
Size 8
Freshness 9
Burger to bun ratio 9
Bun Type 10
Overall taste with selected condiments 9
Eatibility 8
Correct Temperature (Doneness) 6

BC Rating Scale:
Fail to Boring 1.0 - 2.9
Boring to Okay 3.0 - 5.9
Okay to Good 6.0 - 7.9
Good to Great 8.0 - 8.9
Great to Bill's Best: 9.0 - 10

Smoky Cheddar Pulled Pork Loaded Street Tots 

Smokehouse Double

Smokehouse Double

Rocket Double 

Rocket Double