Hamburger Havoc: The Habit Burger vs In-N-Out

The Habit Burger
Ando Muneno
A challenger appears!
This week we will be pitting relative newcomer The Habit Burger Grill against venerable In-N-Out in a patty-to-patty battle for hamburger supremacy.

The Burger: Double cheeseburger with all the fixings.

For the sake of equality, In-N-Out's secret menu items were omitted from our comparison.

The Habit Burger is up first in our battle of the burgers

In One Corner:The Habit Burger Grill
960 N. 54th Street, Chandler
480-705-0306

The Double Char
The Set Up: In the interest of consistency we went to The Habit Burger around 5 PM, just as the dinner time rush began. The menu was more complex than In-N-Out's but we stuck to our guns and ordered a double charburger.We noticed that bacon was an option so we disregarded our testing protocols and went for straight for the pork. 
Pros: We were satisfied by the heft and consistency of the hamburger. The bed of pickles was a nice touch and we appreciated the bacon option. 
Cons:Our two biggest complaints were the bun and the lettuce. The bun was odd to say the least, it didn't appear to be toasted and was neither pillow soft nor hearty and thick. It was just there, holding the rest of the ingredients in roughly the correct configuration. The burger also featured shredded lettuce that lacked the fresh texture that we associate with a good burger. The bacon was another weak spot, we had dreams of thick slices of bacon heaven but instead were faced with what can only be described as bacon shards.  


In the Other Corner:
In-N-Out Burger
1342 S. Alma School Rd., Mesa
800-786-1000

Double Double
The Set Up: If you have been to an In-N-Out, then you have likely had the exact same experience we had. We beat the dinner rush, ordered and got our food quickly.  
Pros: This is the archetype for the classic fast-food burger. The ingredients are simple but fresh and carefully applied. The difference between hand-leafed lettuce and shredded is incredible. While it isn't for everyone, we appreciate that In-N-Out isn't afraid to offer a full slice of onion instead of onion bits. The burger, taken as a whole, is completely integrated and each bite brings the right combination of texture and flavor. 
Cons: Unlike with The Habit Burger, you won't be able order avocado, bacon, or mushrooms on your burger. 

The Verdict: If The Habit Burger has fanboys, we're sure they'll cry for our blood. The Habit Burger has a great deal to be proud of but falls short of the In-N-Out burger experience. In-N-Out simply has a better base burger. At the end of the day The Habit Burger is likely aiming for a different core audience than In-N-Out and their varied menu is proof of that. We'll be back for their onion rings and to try their other menu items.

Disagree? Comment below!
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17 comments
redrock64
redrock64

In and Out for their burger, but there fries are horrid!

Concerned Fast Food Eater
Concerned Fast Food Eater

The main thing In-N-Out has going for it is it's remarkably mediocre.  You're guaranteed to never get a bad burger because they have average completely covered. 

Plus, marginally knowledgeable fast food eaters love to let you know they know of the "secret" menu..

In the Habit now!
In the Habit now!

Funny how critics are critics without correct information. The Habit serves everything fresh cooked to order not pre-cooked to hold burgers, on the VERY SAME BUNS as In and Out, because of the same supplier. And if you are going to do a "same" comparison... then you should do it that way. You may want to go back and try this one VS. the other again... and get all your facts straight before you lean on the side of which you are "just more comfortable" in what you know. I am a new The Habit fan, and will take them and their menu choices over In and Out ANY DAY!!!

TheCosmicJester
TheCosmicJester

I went to Habit fairly recently. The one I had got some toasting to the bun. I thought the burger was very good, about on par with a standard In-N-Out Double-Double, but couldn't hold a candle to a Double-Double Animal Style. the fries and onion rings were mere afterthoughts, likely from freezer bags.

And amen to your disdain for shredded lettuce! It can ruin an otherwise perfectly good burger. I was thankful the tomato slice was in between the lettuce and the burger patty, otherwise the lettuce would have all but dissolved.

sloppy joe journalist
sloppy joe journalist

 (Spell) Check the quality of your own ingredients, scribe. You're serving us some slop here (too many typos and grammatical errors). Just so you know.

Ando Muneno
Ando Muneno

That's my feeling. In-N-Out has consistency down to a science and I have a great deal of respect for that. It's not hard o make a better burger than they do but to make one consistently at that price point?  That's a bit more difficult.

Ando Muneno
Ando Muneno

In-N-Out serves sesame seed buns?That said, perhaps it was an off day but I review the food as it is served to me (anonymously, I don't exactly announce who I am when I walk in the door). I've been told that they do indeed toast their buns. I actually went back and checked my photos. It looks like they tried to toast the bun but it didn't have the "crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle" texture I adore as a matter of personal preference. All that said I thought they make a fine burger but the two burgers I sampled were just not the optimal burger experience I was hoping for. 

Juan Tublowme
Juan Tublowme

Firstly, calm the fuck down- this is a story about food, not abortion. I cannot imagine what your life looks like if you get this hopped up over a burger story. Go back to your house, your Mom wants you to clean your room- you know how angry she gets when your Star Trek collection gets dusty.

Ando Muneno
Ando Muneno

Huh, maybe it was an anomaly then. We ordered two burgers and the problem was the same on both of them. Maybe it was an off night in the kitchen or something. 

I actually really liked their onion rings. They lacked the ridiculously thick breading that I associate with fast food onion rings (I'm looking at you Burger King). 

Shredded lettuce only belongs in a handful of things... tacos being the only one I can think of right now. 

Oriahs21
Oriahs21

I was told about The Habit when coming back to visit my family in Cali. Here's what you do, first go to In-N-Out and get a packet of their sauce used to animalize your burger. Then go to The Habit and order a Double Char, but order it to be made like a Double Double. (I like to grill the onions) but that's just me. Tell them no pickle or mayo, then after you get it, put the In-N-Out sauce on it. To me, it was like eating a charbroiled Double Double. Honestly when done right, it's about as good as it gets and don't get me wrong In-N-Out is also about as good as it gets. Just a thought though. Oh, my bun was toasted too.

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