August 22nd, 2006

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Burger of the Gods

It is vitally important that I tell you about The Burger. Specifically, The Counter Burger.

The Counter is a burger place which—up until yesterday—existed only in Santa Monica. Yesterday evening, they opened their second location in Palo Alto. It’s a bit expensive—although not more so than local landmark joint Kirk’s Steakburger—but that was a damn good burger. Good quality beef, and when they cook it medium, they actually mean it: a bit crusty on the outside like a good steak, some pink on the inside, and so juicy the bun’s liable to get soggy.

What the Counter’s claim to fame is—you’ll deduce this immediately from the menu—the choices. I had my burger with cheddar, grilled onion, roasted chile and baby greens, with garlic aioli on a honey wheat bun. Would you rather have a turkey burger with herb goat cheese, roasted red peppers, sprouts and ginger soy glaze on an English muffin? No problem. Carrot strings? Grilled pineapple? Horseradish cheddar? Sun-dried tomato vinaigrette? No problem.

The menu claims their weights are measured after cooking, not before; whether or not that’s true, it certainly didn’t seem like less than a third of a pound to me. The fries were also pretty good—not rave-worthy, but well-cooked, well-salted, and not greasy. They’re also pretty substantial—one order is enough for two people, I’d say.

Is it as good as the Quinn’s Lighthouse burger I wrote about earlier? Well… objectively, it’s better. I’ll still have a soft spot for Quinn’s, though, which is also damn good, ridiculously big, and comes on great sourdough bread—one of the few things the Counter doesn’t have as an option.

(N.B.: It’s also important that I note the place has a full bar with good beers on tap. Just so you know.)

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