2610 Main Street
T: 604 877 8582
Brief Description: Trendy but not pretentious, Habit returns to feed West Coast comfort food to hungry Main Streeters. Prices are affordable, the crowd is relaxed but most importantly, the food remains as good as before.
After a looooong hiatus, Habit is finally back on the scene! I have eagerly been awaiting its return since a fire in the kitchen kept the Main Street favourite closed for over 9 months. I was beginning to fear that it wouldn’t be returning at all but in mid-September the newly-renovated Habit opened its doors once again. Since re-opening, B and I have been twice and I’m happy to report that Habit is back to its former glory.
The interior has been completely re-decorated but has stayed loyal to its former look and, thankfully, it still remains warm and inviting. Comfy booths line one wall, whilst mirrors, a funky carpeted wall and more seating line the other. The dining room is kept very dark, illuminated by not much more than some hanging lights over the booths and tea-lights on the tables. Overall, the space has been kept very minimal with a nostalgic 70’s feel.
The menu has also been re-vamped and a few cuts were made but, thankfully, some of the favourites remain. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that the Sweet Carrot and Brie Perogies and the Veggie Shepherd’s Pie are still available. The menu still focuses on simple West Coast fare with a real emphasis on comfort foods (just in time for winter!). The appetizer menu is varied with some lighter options, such as the Beet Salad or the Habit Hummus dip and fry bread, whilst the Pork Croquettes or the above-mentioned Perogies, offer a more substantial appetizer. B and I had to have the Sweet Carrot and Brie Perogies and they were just as good as I remembered. The caramelized onion and chive sour cream help make the dish one of the best on the menu. We also tried the Pork Croquettes but overall, I wasn’t a fan. The spicy tomato chutney was absolutely essential to add some flavour to the otherwise bland tasting Croquettes.
The problem with the main courses (if you can call it a problem) is trying to decide what to have. They have done a great job choosing their menu and so the task is a difficult one. The Tuna Casserole, made with seared albacore tuna, penne, organic mushrooms, asparagus and finished with a parmesan-panko crust, proved too tempting to look past and we both ordered it on our first visit. It was absolutely delicious. The tuna is delicately sliced and placed on top of the crust and the pasta was perfectly cooked and lightly coated in a creamy, vegetable-filled sauce. On our second visit, I had to try the Veggie Shepherd Pie. Full of tasty lentils in a gravy-like sauce and topped with a creamy potato-parsnip mash, the pie was still a winner. Even B, who normally turns his nose up at vegetarian meals, agreed that it was delicious. He had opted for the Lamb Meatloaf with pan fried potatoes, green beans and tomato provencal, which was more up his alley. The small taste of it that I had was good but I wouldn’t be inclined to order it on another visit. I caught a glimpse of the Pacific Halibut and that looked pretty impressive. Both times that we’ve been there we have been far too full to even contemplate dessert. Hopefully I can soon report back on the desserts.
On the drinks side of things, we were extremely happy to find that they had brought back their bento box cocktails. The way that this clever concept works is that you order a cocktail from their small cocktail list and all of the pre-measured ingredients are delivered to you in a bento box, complete with instructions and an individual sized martini shaker and – ta-da! – you become your very own bartender! It is such a fun thing to do! On the beer front, I am happy to see that they offer the Steamwhistle Pilsner, a Canadian beer that I have been thoroughly enjoying at the Irish Heather Long Table Series.
Final Thoughts: I, for one, am extremely pleased to see the return of Habit. The food, so far, has been well worth the wait, service has been friendly and competent and the drinks menu has won me over. The atmosphere is relaxed and inviting, making you want to linger. My one (very small) grumble is that the room could be better lit – we found it hard to see what we were eating because it was so dark (hence, the bad photos) but other than that I am, once again, in love with Habit.