Day 299: Taste of Santa Barbara

The Habit's Charburger, Santa Barbara Style.

The Habit’s Charburger, Santa Barbara Style (double charburger served on toasted sourdough with avocado).

When I was a student at UC Santa Barbara, In-N-Out had yet to invade the area. Thankfully, The Habit was around to take care of my hamburger cravings. So was Cal Taco, another fast-food joint that served a charburger that tasted like The Habit’s signature burger. I’m not sure which came first, but The Habit was the restaurant that went on to expand locally and then nationally.

The original Habit was located a few miles from UCSB and students and locals love eating there. The charburgers were consistently delicious and made for a filling lunch or dinner. Rumor has it that the original restaurant still serves its delicious chili as an off-menu item. I used to devour their chili cheese fries on a regular basis. Not surprisingly, I weighed more back then.

While I don’t think The Habit has taken the throne of best fast-food burger from In-N-Out, they’re up there. I definitely prefer them over Six Guys and other contenders for In-N-Out’s best burger crown.

It’s nice having more Habits pop up around Southern California, though, since I can now enjoy a taste of Santa Barbara closer to home.

Day 209: Pop-Tart Milkshake

Slater's 50/50 Pop-Tart Milkshake

Slater’s 50/50 Pop-Tart Milkshake

We didn’t feel like cooking tonight, so my wife and I went to our local Slater’s 50/50 for dinner. Slater’s is a growing chain of restaurants that serve a “better” burger, with their famous 50/50 burger made up of half ground beef and half ground bacon. Yes, bacon! It’s something you should try at least once in your life.

I’ve had the 50/50 burger several times in the past, so I changed things up tonight. There was a special Test Kitchen Menu of not-yet-on-the-regular-menu items that I ordered from: Shmanimal Fries (basically, a fancier, bacony, and not-quite-as-good version of In-N-Out’s animal fries), Cheesesteak (meh; even the tri-tip used didn’t make up for a lackluster sandwich), and something I’ve never had before: the Strawberry Pop-Tart Milkshake pictured above.

The milkshake was good and worth trying, but it wasn’t mind-blowing like the Slater’s Maple Bacon Milkshake. Next time I go to Slater’s, I’ll stick with the ol’ reliable 50/50 and that Maple Bacon Milkshake.

Day 172: The Habit Burger Grill


I used to eat at the original Habit Burger Grill in Goleta during my college and post-college days. Thanks to a giveaway on the Mad Hungry Woman blog, I was able to experience some of the Habit’s tasty wares in Upland tonight.

My wife and I love the Habit and are creatures of habit whenever we dine here. For me, it’s the basic Charburger with fries; for her, it’s the Santa Barbara burger with fries. We always get a container of malt vinegar to dunk our fries. Tonight we considered ordering something different, but ended up ordering the usual.

It’s great seeing how much success the chain has enjoyed and it’s nice not having to drive a few hours for that delicious Charburger goodness. One day I might order something new, but I doubt it. As long as it tastes the same, I’m content with the same old, same old.