Burger showdown: Let the battle begin

image-1_Habit

Take a look at the results of the face-off between Five Guys, TK Burger and The Habit. Which recipe took home the championship belt?

Earning first place in the Burger Battle is an Orange County newcomer, The Habit. The experience combines all the qualities you look for in a burger: a perfectly toasted bun, fresh produce, a juicy patty, and tasty cheese. At $3.95, my Double Charburger provided the best value out of the three in this one-man taste test.

During the time of my visit, The Habit was quite busy. While I had to wait about 10 minutes for my food, it was well worth the wait.

The first thing that struck me was the presentation. Even though The Habit is technically fast food, my burger was wrapped neatly and tightly and was served on a tray, something lacking at both Five Guys and TK Burger.

Cleanliness earned The Habit major points as well. The entire restaurant was well maintaned, and even though staff was busy there was nothing substandard in evidence.

The Habit was also the only place to offer me a cup for water when I declined to buy a drink.

But let’s get down to what really matters: taste. Everything about it tasted fresh and homemade. The toasted sesame seed bun was crunchy on the bottom, but still soft in the middle, creating a perfect texture.

While I’m not generally a fan of shredded lettuce on a burger, it was still crunchy. The tomatoes were perfectly ripe, and it had just the right amount of mayonnaise. The burger patty was perfectly charbroiled, and the cheese was melted but still solid.

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The Habit was the clear winner in this test of three local eateries, although In-N-Out was not included. The Habit  clearly established itself as stiff competition among Orange County’s burger shacks.

MEAT THE RIVALS:

Photo of a burger from Five Guys
FIVE GUYS
With all the hype behind these guys, this burger was disappointing. The hastily wrapped burger came off the line extremely quickly, perhaps quicker than it takes to actually cook a burger. The bun was smashed down, the cheese half melted. The patty was rubbery. The massive customization menu was the saving grace of my visit.
Photo of burger from TK Burger TK BURGER
A staple on the SoCal burger scene, TK Burger made its fortune in Newport Beach. The TK cheeseburger was fairly standard, with fresh produce, juicy meat and a soft bun. Presentation and service seemed to be lacking, but that’s what you get from a beach-shack kind of place. Nothing about it stood out, but nothing was disappointing either.

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