While I appreciate the wholeness of a portobello mushroom burger in the sense that it’s not a bunch of random chopped up ingredients, for some reason I steer clear of it. Portobello’s are big mushrooms and along the way I’ve come across big flavorless, chewy portobellos, so the The Habitat “Build Your Own” Portobello Burger was my big coming out. And it was big!

The last mushroom burger I had was at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park at least 5 years ago – and that was a cheese stuffed and fried mushroom burger with cheese fries and a strawberry shake. Needless to say I was left in a state of disgusting cheesy ecstasy.

You should have to prove that you’re not a guiltless glutton before being granted the decision making power to build your own burger.

Here is the deal:

For $12 you get a stuffed portabella mushroom cap with lettuce, tomato, pickle with choice of: brioche bun or english muffin and choice of: waffle or shoestring fries, side salad


Side salads add insult to injury because who in their right mind can think of a salad when the choice between shoestring and waffles fries are on the table? It’s a sick taunt that says: “we know you won’t order it, but it’s there just to remind you that you can’t make healthier choices for yourself.”

For $0.50 each add: sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, raw red onion, sliced pickles, pickled red onion, mayonaise, chipotle mayo, dijon mustard, bbq sauce, buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing

For $0.75 add: blue cheese, swiss, cheddar, havarti, feta

For $1 add: bacon, avocado

My behemoth ended up on an English Muffin with caramelized onions, chipotle mayo, cheddar cheese and avocado. Side of waffle fries, obviously.

Note: on a more desperate occasion at The Habitat I convinced the patient waitress to make my waffle fries into cheese waffle fries, but this is not on the menu and it took a lot of pathetic begging. I’m sayin’ – where there’s a will there’s a way.

On an even more remote side note: When I was a senior in high school we had “bowling gym” and we spent the last period of the day at the local bowling alley in Flushing eating waffle fries. Fond, fond memories.

Habitat’s Portobello burger was delicious, a punch in the gut of fatty and creamy and filled with portobello flavor, which had a great meaty and not rubbery texture. English muffins should be standard for burgers in general, as should avocado. The waffles fries were perfectly seasoned, crunchy and not greasy. I ate the shit out of this burger.

Afterwards I went to Miguel’s house, changed out of my cute vintage patterned dress with an elastic waste band that was on the verge of snapping, borrowed an over-sized t-shirt then passed out on the couch for two hours. Burger coma.

The Build Your Own Portobello Burger at Habitat is an entire afternoon affair. Plan ahead.

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  1. I hate when all your dinner mates order the side salad and then wink at you and say “I might just try one of your fries.” NO! Stop eating my fries. Be a grown up and order yourself the stupid fries.

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