Habit Lounge

Restaurant: Habit Lounge
Cuisine: American/West Coast/Comfort food
Last visited: June 21, 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC
Address: 2610 Main street (Main & 10th)
Price Range:

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 3.5
Service: 4
Ambiance: 4
Overall: 4
Additional comments:

  • Modern Canadian/American food
  • Contemporary diner
  • Specializes in modern comfort food
  • Sister restaurant to Cascade restaurant next door
  • Modern neighbourhood vibe
  • Homemade food
  • Homemade desserts
  • Breakfast/lunch/dinner
  • Weekend brunch/lunch
  • Reinvented cocktails
  • Beer/Wine
  • Casual
  • Ocean Wise
  • Open daily 9am – late
  • Open late

**Recommendations: Carrot & Brie Perogies, Fast Eddie’s Chocolate Brownie (I bet the meatloaf is good… it’s on my list for next time)

Habit Lounge is a restaurant, lounge and bar located in Vancouver, BC. It’s modern yet casual and comfortable. They specialize in American and Canadian comfort food with a West Coast twist. The portions are decent and the prices are very reasonable for gourmet homemade classics.

I came here with Nicole for a late night dinner and as usual we were unable to control ourselves with the ordering. We always manage to over order yet we always manage to finish every last crumb on the plate. This time wasn’t as bad as our back to back dinners at Terracotta Modern Chinese and Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie… or even our dinner at Vita Bella… that was a painful one – but oh so good. Our eating capacity always surprises the staff and it was no different at Habit Lounge. Both servers actually came to our table to tell us how much they loved that we were girls that could eat! It was hilarious…but this happens to me without Nicole too lol

I actually really liked Habit Lounge and I would definitely go again to make a bigger dent in their menu.

On the table:

**Carrot and Brie Perogies – 5.5/6

  • Chive sour cream, caramelized onions $11
  • DROOL! Damn these were good. They were recommended by the server and I saw several orders coming out of the kitchen so I knew it was a safe bet.
  • They’re homemade GIANT perogies! They give you 3 and one is the size of 2 regular sized ones. This could be one of my best perogies ever.
  • The only thing is that I wish they had a crispy skin since they’re pan-fried. The skin was too soft.

  • They’re generously stuffed with creamy carrot and Brie puree that tastes like mashed cheesy yams. It’s sweet from carrots and salty from the cheese. I was scrapping the leftover smudges of mash on my plate with my fork.
  • The caramelized onions weren’t the best though. They taste like they had been caramelized in the morning and then sitting there all day. It was almost like sauerkraut with a shredded texture and tangy flavour. I still ate it with the perogies but I would rather have them sweet (since the menu said “caramelized”). The sour taste is more traditional with perogies though.
  • All in all this was an excellent appetizer and I actually would order 2 plates as a main… I’d be more than happy with that.

Squash Gnocchi3.5/6

  • Kale, asparagus, mushroom sauté, brown butter sauce $15
  • It’s half a plate of salad saute and half gnocchi. The gnocchi is actually quite filling so don’t be discouraged that it’s only half a plate. They’re filling and I think worth $15.

  • The gnocchi is made from butternut squash and it was a great texture. It was chewy and fluffy and sweet in flavour. I liked how they pan-fried them to give it a crispy edge which also gave it a nuttiness. They had a very strong nutmeg taste to them though and I wasn’t too big on that.
  • The brown butter sauce wasn’t salty enough to balance the strong nutmeg so I found the dish slightly too sweet.
  • I like the brown butter sage sauce they use on the Butternut Squash Ravioli at Cactus Club much better. I would rather have that ravioli than this, although this was still good.
  • Eating the gnocchi with the fresh Parmesan cheese helps a lot.

  • This was the kale, asparagus and mushroom saute. It was really fresh veggies and perfectly cooked and tender.
  • It was sauteed with what I think was balsamic vinegar because it had quite the tang.
  • Kale has a slight bitter note, but I like it. It soaks up a lot of flavour from the sauce so you don’t notice it.
  • I don’t know how well it matched the gnocchi as a side, I think I would have preferred a saltier sauce rather than a tangy one.

Tuna Casserole3/6

  • Seared albacore tuna, penne, organic mushrooms, asparagus, parmesan panko crust $15 (Available as vegetarian option)
  • The tuna had a nice black peppercorn crust but it was way overcooked for me. Cute to have it on top, but I would like to have some flaked and inside the casserole too.

  • I would have preferred a slightly shallower and wider dish rather than a deep dish because the panko Parmesan crust is delicious and I always like that part. This dish did keep it hot though.

  • Underneath was just a creamy penne pasta with asparagus and mushrooms and that felt like something I could easily make at home. I mean it was good, but just too simple and too easy for what Habit Lounge is capable of.
  • The sauce wasn’t thick enough so it was all at the bottom of the bowl. It was almost eating plain penne on top and then a light mushroom cream sauce was on the bottom. It wasn’t a rich sauce – not like alfredo, but more like mushroom soup sauce.
  • I really liked that they give you tons of asparagus and it’s cut to the size of the penne. Perfectly cooked too… I noticed they really like asparagus here.
  • Good, but I wouldn’t crave or order it again. I feel like I could find this penne pasta anywhere. The only thing special was the seared tuna that also didn’t work.

Pulled Pork Sandwich2.5/6

  • House made bbq sauce, slaw. With your choice of shoestring fries, soup of the day, or salad $12
  • We went with the soup of the day which was a halibut chowder.
  • Halibut Chowder2/6
    • Lots of halibut chunks but the soup base tasted like cream of potato with halibut, celery and red peppers tossed in last minute. The flavours weren’t infused into the soup.
    • The broth tasted like potatoes and a little celery and it was also too thin.
    • The potatoes were the size of the halibut chunks and they were Russet – perfectly cooked Russet potatoes though. Nice, fluffy and tender – not falling apart.

  • I love pulled pork. I’ve had many pulled pork sandwiches, but this one didn’t stand a chance. It was okay, but I’ve easily had better. This is something I should order at a BBQ house or bar/pub though.

  • This is the homemade BBQ sauce and cole slaw it came with… on the side.
  • The pulled pork sandwich is just too “healthy” here. I like my pulled pork to be almost soaking in sauce. It’s a popular messy sandwich so this style was too fancy for me… fancy without the flavour too.
  • The BBQ sauce was too thin for my liking almost like the consistency of hot sauce. It was sweet and tangy but it didn’t have much of a kick.
  • The slaw was fine. Fresh, crunchy and not overly dressed with mayo.

  • The pork was good, but it wasn’t juicy.
  • My problem was the bun. The bun tasted like a cheap hot dog bun from Sports Day and I just KNOW they could have done better. It also wasn’t toasted enough so it wasn’t crispy although it looks like it is. I would have paid $2 more for a better bun.
  • One of my favourite pulled pork sandwiches is the one at Boonie’s BBQ & Sould Food in Langely. I also like the one at Original Joe’s or even Wings used to do a good one (before they took it off the menu to change their image 🙁 ).

All the desserts are made in house and they’re very reasonably priced. I couldn’t skip out even after 3 entrees and an appetizer for 2… the brownie has been on there the longest.

“Fast Eddie’s” Chocolate Brownie5/6

  • House-made brownie, mocha ice cream, honeyed walnuts, and whipped cream $7
  • It’s pretty big and definitely shareable although it’s not too rich for a brownie… so maybe it’s not shareable =p
  • The brownie is not the ultra fudgy chocolatey chewy brownie. It’s almost like a cake brownie. It’s quite moist and airy rather than dense. It sits on a bed of caramel sauce.
  • There’s some chopped walnuts and chocolate chunks in it so you bite into pieces of chocolate… real chocolate, not those cheap chocolate chips!

  • The honeyed walnuts were my favourite and I ate Nicole’s portion for sure… she was too busy tweeting. They were lightly sweetened whole walnuts and not candied so they weren’t crunchy. They were perfect!
  • The whipped cream was sweet and it tastes like Cool Whip! It doesn’t have a greasy feel and it’s really fluffy.
  • Everything together was great! The mocha ice cream was a great idea and all the flavours worked wonderfully. It was hard not to stop… and we didn’t.
  • As good as it was… it’s not as good as the Mascarpone Brownie from Coast though.

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11 Comments

  • KimHo says:

    Homemade food

    Whose home? 😛

    The perogies look… Strange… Just as you mention, given that colour, I would certainly expect it to be crispy. However, it is the size note that threw me off completely. Aren’t these supposed to be a two-bite size? (Of course, it depends on whose bite!).

    Doesn’t the casserole remind you of the duck confit mac-n-cheese we ordered in Bistrot Bistro? I.e., rather than have it “mixed in”, it was just something on the top. 🙂 Good pulled pork shouldn’t require sauce. It should be really moist “as is”.

    I ate Nicole’s portion for sure… she was too busy tweeting.

    While I don’t usually tweet while eating, I can vouch that, if you are not careful, she will grab your dessert! But, then again, I won’t have problem giving most if not all desserts to Mijune, she loves her desserts! 😛

  • Mijune says:

    Kim – The casserole TOTALLY reminds me of the mac n’ cheese from Bistot Bistro now that you say it! and you’re right about the pulled pork… but pulled pork still requires some marinade/sauce in the braising process… so I even wanted more of just that… not necessarily sauce per say

    and THANK YOU Kim for donating your portion of dessert to me!!! or just desserts in general! lol

  • Nicole says:

    I’m craving those carrot and brie perogies again!! I wish I could have them for lunch today, they are SO good! And the brownie was to die for. I’d have that again too. You know what would be awesome? If we spent one whole day having all our favourite desserts hahaha, the coffee ice cream and panna cotta from Bao Bei, this brownie dessert, I can’t remember where else we’ve had dessert but yeah, you know what I mean lol.

    We should go for pulled pork again though, elsewhere. I’m craving that too. The gnocchi was good, it had the crispy exterior that the perogies should’ve had. I say we go back for the meat loaf! Your photo of the front of the restaurant turned out really well! Looking forward to our next foodie+fashion date! xo

  • Mijune says:

    Nicole!! LOL I love the dessert tour you’re talking about…and there’s SO MUCH MORE that we could try that I haven’t had with you yet! Definitely another foodie+fashion date soon! So far none of them have been bad or disappointing meals… the only bad part is the tremendous pain I get from an overstuffed belly =p…well worth it though!! xo

  • Nicole says:

    Dessert tour! YES! I saw your post on that marscapone brownie, and it’s funny because when I was just looking at the dessert menu, I would’ve ordered either the brownie or the molten banana cake lol – great minds think alike! I’ve never been to Coast but it does look pretty nice inside. It looks a lot bigger than it does from the outside actually.

  • Mijune says:

    Omg that banana cake was also my choice but I was SO full already…AND the banana cake required 10 min… which we didn’t have time for. Next time we’ll attach that sh*t together =p

  • egirlwonder says:

    Damn that brownie looks amazing!

    Mijune – props to you for your photography – you’ve gotten really good at taking great food pictures (make me even more hungry!)

  • Mijune says:

    Elaine!! Really?!?!? LOL! Wow you totally made my day!! hahah it’s probably thanks to my humble new point and shoot lol…yes point and shoot 🙂 Actually you know what it is? I finalyl learned how to take photos when it’s dark inside…pull away and ZOOM IN! So I can still get the flash!

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