The Counter Burger
It was a lazy Sunday afternoon and I didn't want to cook, and I didn't want to drive far to get something. I had been wanting to try out The Counter in Toluca Lake for a while, so I thought I'd head over there. It turns out The Counter isn't a burger shack as such, but rather much more of a regular restaurant, complete with a bar which, because it was so busy, is where I chose to sit.
It was busy. Very busy.
So busy in fact that I sat for about 20 minutes before my existence was acknowledged, and then only to have the bartender hand me a sheet of paper, allowing me to mark off what I wanted. That's because The Counter is a "build your own" kind of burger place, allowing you to explicitly choose the meat, bun, toppings and such.
I got a 1/3 pound beef patty cooked medium on a regular bun with roasted red peppers, Bermuda red onion, dill pickle chips, and a lettuce blend. I think that's Gruyere cheese, but I'm not 100% sure. I also got a red relish, which came on the side.
I also ordered a fifty-fifty plate of onion strings and sweet potato fries, but got regular fries instead of the onion strings. Likewise, when I got the burger, the patty was medium-well at best, with not the slightest hint of pink, even at its center. But because of the long wait, and my being real hungry at that point, I didn't complain and just started eating what I was given.
But in the end that was a mistake on my part. I ended up giving up halfway through. All the elements were really good, except the overdone (by my taste) patty was just too dense. Also, while the fries were okay, if too skinny, I wish I'd had a chance at those onion strings. The sweet potato fries were really good, though I was only able to make my way about halfway through. Also ordered, but unseen, is a draft Flat Tire ale, which is a favorite of mine.
So in the end it was a fine, if unsatisfying meal. I'll have to go back when it's not so packed. In fact, by the time I had finished, things were much quieter and the staff was noticeably more relaxed and attentive of the diners. Burger, fries, and beer, about $23.