I wondered if maybe The Habit has replaced Fatburger in terms of what I want in a burger joint. So I suggested to Elizabeth that we go there for lunch. This was a little after noon on a hot Saturday (but at least I didn't have to worry about missing the UCLA football game, since Fox Sports delayed it by two and a half hours to show women's volleyball) and the place was absolutely packed. Despite that, we were only in line for less than a couple minutes and it took less than 30 seconds to place our order. The girl behind the counter was every bit as competent and friendly as my first trip there. We both ordered the same thing: charburger combos, with fries and a drink.
We took the only seats that were open (other than on the blistering patio) at a counter overlooking the kitchen. There were at least a half a dozen cooks working the grills and they were in constant motion keeping up with the orders. (Less than 5 minutes after we ordered the line was out the door.) But they were doing a damn good job and we got our food in just a few minutes. In my previous post about The Habit I mentioned the condiments they offer - A.1. sauce, malt vinegar, worcestershire, etc. I felt like having a burger a little more on the spicy side so I got myself some pepperoncinis and A.1. sauce. Elizabeth kept her burger simple - no condiments, just the cheese and grilled onion she'd requested.
The burgers were fantastic. Neither of us could finish our order of fries but they were definitely good, fresh out of the fryer. There is no question I prefer The Habit to Fatburger now. Our meal cost 13 dollars and change, a full eight dollars cheaper than Fatburger. Service at The Habit, at least this one, is much better and the restaurant is much cleaner. And the food is better and cheaper.
For years my friends and I debated whether Fatburger or In-n-Out had the better burgers. Although a decade ago I preferred Fatburger, there is no question now that I like In-n-Out's burgers more. The better argument these days should be The Habit vs. In-n-Out.