Merry Early X’mas!!!
The Counter is a customizable burger chain from California, but according to my burger-loving boyfriend, all burgers are awesome, particularly if they’re from Cali. And especially if they have options for non-beef eaters like me!
I checked out some Yelp reviews and reviewed the menu, fully intending to get the burger of the month, an ahi tuna burger!!! Except…when we got there, The Counter was OUT of the tuna. 😦 We started off with the much recommended…
Sweet Potato Fries
Picture from Life on the Edge
Tastiness: B+. Honestly, I’ve had better sweet potato fries, but these were fine. They were cut up thin and fried till greasy, which is why I ate my fries sauce-less in order to get the flavor of the sweet potato. I will not complain about the value for money since this was a big dish of fries!! We had to bring half of it home. The fries came with some horseradish mayo, which wasn’t as popular as our little dishes of ketchup.
Giant Veggie Burger Salad with Caramelized onions, grilled pineapple…
My Toppings (4 free, others $0.50 each): Grilled Pineapple, Corn and black bean salsa, Sprouts, Roasted Red Peppers, Roasted Chilies, Caramelized Onions
My Sauces: Sweet BBQ, and Sweet Onion marmalade (hmm see a theme here?)
Tastiness: B+. The burger patty was the highlight of my salad. It’s homemade and stuffed silly with corn, black beans, panko bread crumbs, peppers, rice, herbs, shredded carrots and zucchini’s, which contributed to how crumbly it was. Yes, it was pan-fried and dredged with oil, but the flavor was great and I enjoyed the chewy bits of rice and veggies in the patty.
The additional fresh toppings I picked were fresh and tasty, except for 2 rants. 1) The pineapple was from a can and it tasted like it came from a can, 2) The caramelized onions were FAR too greasy and yet still undercooked, aka not caramelized NEARLY enough! Order the onion marmalade sauce instead (see picture above)
1/3 Pound Burger with Bacon, Egg, Cheese…
Nick’s Toppings: Cheese, Grilled Pineapple, Caramelized Onions, Roasted Pepper, Bacon (+$1), Fried Egg (+$1) (And others that I can’t remember)
Nick’s Sauce: Garlic Aioli
Tastiness: A-. Although this wasn’t my dish and I didn’t sample since I don’t eat beef, Nick said that it was ON PAR with the Kuma’s Corner classic Kuma burger (if you live in Chicago, you will know that this is probably one of the most famous burgers in town!) The egg was perfectly cooked so the yolks oozed all over the burger when you cut into it. Apparently this burger was SO giant Nick ALMOST couldn’t finish it. He said he’d totally order this again in a heartbeat.
Originality: Up to you isn’t it?
Plating: 2.5/5 (The white plastic plates reminded me way too much of dining hall food back in college)
Value: 4/5 (I had a buy one burger, get one free coupon. Our bill came out to be ~$25 including tax and tip)
Service: 3/5 (Our waitress was nice and came to check back with us twice to make sure we were fine)
Overall: We wouldn’t enjoy paying full price for the meal (shakes are $5+) but with a coupon this is definitely worth it. I would have hoped things were less greasy and more fresh ingredients were used, but the sheer amount of possibilities when it comes to making your own customizable burger (or huge salad in my case) are endless and way too fun!
Amusement of the Day…What type of Diner are you?
1) The “Entrees” do not want a lot of description, just the bottom line on what the dish is and how much it is going to cost.
2) The “Recipes,” on the other hand, ask many questions and want to know as much as they can about the ingredients.
3) The “Barbecues” share food and like chatty servers who wear name tags.
4) The “Desserts” are trendy people who want to order trendy things.
Are you one of these 4 types, or you somethin’ else?
I’m totally 65% Recipe, 20% Entree, 10% Dessert, and 5% BBQ.