The Habit Burger Grill opened at the Mercer Mall in Lawrenceville, NJ, and held its ribbon cutting Jan. 10. The new location is the sixth Garden State franchise. The first two opened in Fair Lawn and River Edge in 2014. The food is freshly prepared, appetizing, and health conscience.
The staff is courteous and friendly — although it seemed to be just a bit slow on this late afternoon visit in January. Being as the restaurant just opened in the past month this will not be an issue for future visits I would suspect. The minimal menu has several healthy soups, salads, and sandwiches available. The specialty is of course burgers. Recently Habit Burger Grill was voted the best hamburger in the nation. They also have chicken, tuna (sushi-grade), and steak options on your choice of bread or bun.
Char Burger or Double Char is the signature and award-winner per the Huffington Post. It is 100 percent ground beef with lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, mayonnaise and pickles on a toasted bun.
“We cook everything on a char broil, you can taste the difference and all of our ingredients are fresh,” said General Manager Russ Caratenuto. “We prepare and cut all our vegetables and fries in the morning for the afternoon lunch crowd, and in the afternoon for our dinner crowd. We only cut what we need so we don’t have that carry over.”
Like many other upscale burger restaurants that feature a great sit down experience, once you place your order you are given a fob that rings when your order is ready. The eat-in restaurant is airy with an atmosphere I would characterize as “ California fun.” There are many large framed photos featuring the earlier restaurants in California, where Habit Burger Grill got its start.
If you want to order your meal ahead and pick it up, that is easily done at the take-out counter when you arrive. But beware – there is no drive-through at Habit Grill. Your order will be ready when you pick it up, and just as fresh as eat-in. The Route One Lawrenceville location has plenty of parking right outside the door, which seems to be an important part of Habit Grill location strategy.
This new chain to New Jersey is filling the niche of upscale simple soups, healthy salads, and sandwiches of all kinds that the office crowd in this area absolutely loves. There are several similar restaurants within a two-mile radius that Habit Grill is competing with directly, and it seems this location and the staff is ready to help satisfy the growing populations hungry palates.
The Habit Burger Grill
3371 U.S. Highway 1, Suite 38
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648