Monday, January 21, 2013

The Counter (Los Angeles)

Living in LA for a couple months now has altered my eating habits to align with the healthy culture that is Southern California. From fruit smoothies to fish tacos my daily intake has become much healthier than what it used to be. Right now I am actually flirting with the idea of being a vegan for a couple of weeks to see what it feels like. 

But every once and a while I reflect on how liberal I was with what I put in my body and immediately want to return. Resisting this urge is very difficult and doesn't help when your friend asks you to go to The Counter, a burger restaurant that allows you to fully build and customize your burger. 

The Counter is a chain restaurant centered on the premise of allowing customers to have it their way. I found out about this place the same way I do with most restaurants I try by sifting through Yelp. When I looked through the first couple of pictures and saw a burger that was the size of a car battery I immediately decided to bookmark this spot to try. After consulting with a few friends who had visited in the past I decided to set up a date to try it myself. 

I visited to their Santa Monica location on a Friday night with a friend who had been a couple of times. Like most chain restaurants the atmosphere was a mix of a bar and family friendly dining hall. Once seated we were both given clip boards with the menu on them. You have one of two choices, you can take the safe route and order one of their menu burgers or be daring and make your own from scratch. 

(Parmesan French Fries) 

I started building my masterpiece while nibbling on some parmesan french fries I ordered to start with. While Scanning the bevy of options over and over again an insatiable fever of hunger began to grow within me. I channeled my inner Ron Swanson to exuberant levels and set out to craft a burger that symbolizes everything that is great about America. 

I started with a 1 pound beef patty which is the biggest they had to offer on a regular bun. I then added apple wood smoked bacon and a fried egg to make it a multi-anmial burger. I was in the mood for spice so I added jalapenos and hot wing sauce on the side. I thought about incorporating some fresh aspects of the food pyramid but decided to pass because they would just take up space. I topped it all off with a couple of slices of sharp cheddar to give it components of a classic bacon cheeseburger. 

(My Amurica Burger)

Surprisingly it did not take too long for my burger to come out and once it did I stared in awe. Once it was set before my eyes I took my knife and pierced it square in the middle declaring it the meat lovers Amurica burger. I teetered off my power trip and sliced the burger in half knowing full well I could only eat half of it. I thoroughly enjoyed devouring the half pound of meat heaven, the patty was seasoned well and cooked medium rare per my request, the spice level was adequate and the egg wrapped the whole meal up. 

In conclusion I can say that The Counter serves a respectable burger. While I will not go out on a limb and say that it is in the upper echelon of burger joints that I have tried they do a good job at serving you a burger however you please. Prices vary depending on whether you order one of their menu burgers or a custom burger. I paid around $25 for my burger, fries and a beer so it is not cheap. I can't wait to try it again to see what crazy combination my mind thinks up of next. 

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