The first Saturday of the month is 50% off day at all of our Hospice Thrift Stores, from Camino to Folsom. As if either of us needed more stuff, Russ Salazar and I meet somewhere and he drives his SUV from store to store because it holds more stuff.
When I called him last Saturday morning to see if the whether was going to be calm enough for us to go, I mentioned that I would like to stop for lunch at The Habit Burger Grill in Folsom.
What was interesting, Russ told me, that a friend of his had recently told him he didn’t like the food at The Habit. Ah, a challenge.
We planned our day to stop first at the Placerville Drive store and then work our way to the Folsom store. Camino, we figured, we would catch another time when the weather was better.
After all those stops it would be around 1 p.m., a perfect time to have lunch.
With a number of books, toys, videos and even a tuxedo coat we “absolutely needed and couldn’t live without,” together with some items we bought at the large “Dollar Tree” in Folsom, we pulled into the parking lot in front of the restaurant, parked and walked to the front door.
It would be an understatement to say it was busy. It was crowded. But, there seemed to be people leaving, so I got in line to order.
Russ told me he wanted an “Original Charburger” with cheese, fries and a drink. I ordered that and also an “Original Double Char,” with cheese, a drink and fries for myself.
I was hungry from our day of cruising the aisles of the thrift stores, and between the delicious aroma coming from the open kitchen area and the looks of the burgers on the other customer’s plates, I couldn’t resist going for the double.
A very pleasant young lady took our order and handed me one of those vibrating disks that go off when your order is ready (everything is cooked to order).
Starting to go looking for a table, I noticed a familiar face behind the counter smiling at me and recalled how I first found out about The Habit. It was Julie Harrington, the General Manager of that restaurant, who lives in Diamond Springs. She had given me coupons for two burgers a couple of years ago when I met her having lunch at The Shoestring in Placerville.
First Julie introduced me to her new Assistant Manager, Jacob, who was making sure the customers were immediately served and happy. She and I then talked a bit and she reminded me again that she had worked with my son, Steve, at the Jack in the Box on Missouri Flat Road too many years ago to mention.
Russ and I then found a table, filled our drinks and gathered some peppers (jalapeño, peperoncini and very hot yellow prepared ones) to enjoy with our meal. In just a few minutes our disk went off and I picked up our hot, fresh order.
As both of us often do, we headed first for our fries while they were hot and crisp, before taking a bite from the burger. They were great, but the burger was fantastic.
Let me describe the first bite. A fresh bun, the proper amount of veggies and sauce, and a delicious warm and juicy hamburger patty. Russ said that the first thing he noticed was that the delicious meat taste came through, not overpowered by everything else. As he did last time, he thought it was the coarseness of the grind of the meat, but Julie had told me they are very careful cooking the meat so that it remains juicy and not overcooked. That is why they cook to order.
At this point I have to comment that their burgers are some of the very best in freshness, looks and overall taste. As I mentioned before, they are made to order and ready for you immediately when completed, they look like the pictures of them (not like something recently sat upon) and it is the mission of the restaurant to make your visit memorable.
One of their mottos is “Respect the Burger.” That is why the burgers look so good and taste so delicious. Everything is put together carefully, not just thrown together.
Russ decided that in addition to the burgers, we should try something different. He ordered one of their new Portabella Char burgers, cut in two. Julie took his order, but wouldn’t take his money. She wanted us to try it and give her and Jacob our hones comment.
When it arrived at our table, we both immediately tried it. A Char Burger with a large, grilled portabella mushroom and roasted garlic aioli. Now, that is a burger.
The portabella gave it a delicious, slightly earthy, taste and the aioli made it even better. Russ had never had a portabella in a sandwich before, but both of us agreed it was spectacular.
You can have the Portabella Char without the meat, if you wish, and you can add the portabella to any sandwich or salad.
The menu at The Habit includes a number of burgers like the Charburger, Double Char, Teriyaki Char, BBQ Bacon Char, Portabella Char and Santa Barbara Style, a Double Char with cheese and avocado on grilled sourdough. like they made at their original restaurant.
Grilled sandwiches included the Grilled Chicken, Chicken Club, Tri-tip steak, Albacore Tuna filet, Golden Fried Chicken and the Veggie Burger.
If you opt for a salad, they have a number they make to order like the Grilled Chicken salad , BBQ Chicken salad, Superfood salad, Santa Barbara Cobb, Grilled Chicken Caesar, Caesar and Garden. To the last two you can add grilled albacore or tri-tip if you wish.
To accompany your meal, soda, shakes and malts, cones and sundaes.
For kids under 10, they have special Kids Favorites: a Charburger, Chicken Nuggets or Grilled Cheese including fries, apple slices or applesauce and a soft drink, apple juice or milk (yes, they have milk).
The Habit in Folsom is located at 1115 E. Bidwell St., #126. Going west, it is easiest to turn left onto Blue Ravine and then immediately right into their parking lot.
They are open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 until 10, and on Sunday from 10:30 until 9. For more information visit www.habitburger.com online.