Beef at The Counter – El Segundo

Since my first visit to The Counter in Marina Del Rey, the place has really grown on me.  Over the weekend, the husband and I went to the El Segundo location for dinner.

I tried their beef burger again, opting to use an English muffin as the bun and topped it with mixed greens, tomato, grilled onions, Gruyere and peppercorn sauce.  I have to say, this time around, the burger was better and tastier.  The peppercorn sauce is a real winner.  I am also a fan of the horseradish mayo.  It has a good kick to it and is a great dip for the sweet potato fries…or regular fries!  Considering I’m not a huge mayo fan, that says a lot.  I think I’ll be using the English muffin again.  It’s just the right amount of bread and the toasted state gives a nice crunch texture-wise.

I also got a shake.  I wasn’t in the mood for apple pie so I combined peanut butter and banana.  A classic combo and oh so tasty!  The peanut butter was a little heavy and masked the banana a little; the PB hit your taste-buds first but once that went away, you could taste the banana.

I have to say, a 1/3lb burger, shake and fries is really filling.  Two burgers, an order of fries and two shakes set us back about $36 and change.  It sounds a little steep but these aren’t fast food burgers.

And as extra incentive to go visit this place, every Wednesday night, this location offers 4 slider-beer pairings for $12.  I haven’t tried this as I’m not a big beer person.  However, if they ever offer up slider-shake pairings, you can be sure I’ll be there!

Apologies for the lack of pictures but I was starving and it was either die or eat.  I chose to eat….

The Counter – El Segundo gets 4 NOMs.

The Counter
700-A Allied Way
El Segundo, CA 90245
(310) 524-9967
http://www.thecounterburger.com
The Counter on Urbanspoon

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The Counter revisited

I heard The Counter had a Kung Pao shrimp burger as their Burger of the Month for September.  Being genetically pre-disposed to loving Asian foods and also being a seafood lover, this sounded nommy.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to try very hard to convince the husband to go with me for lunch one day.

The Counter - Kung Pao Shrimp Burger

The Counter - Kung Pao Shrimp Burger

The Counter - Kung Pao Shrimp Burger

The Counter - Kung Pao Shrimp Burger

I guess I’m a fan of The Counter’s non-beef burgers though I keep telling myself that I will try another beef burger again.  This shrimp burger was quite tasty – grilled jumbo shrimp topped w/ a pickled cucumber salad & fried rice noodles w/ lettuce, onions & a spicy Kung Pao sauce.

There were about 5 pieces of properly cooked large shrimp, enough to register with my taste buds in every bite.  The rice noodles gave a nice crunch to the burger and the sauce actually had a little kick to it.  It was a bit messy to eat and I had to, on occasion, use a fork.  But in my opinion, a good burger is going to leave you licking your fingers.

The Shake of the Month was a chocolate brownie coffee malt – Vanilla ice cream w/ real pieces of chocolate brownie, a hint of coffee, malt powder and topped with  whipped cream.  The husband ordered one so naturally, I drank about half of it.  OMG, this could give the apple pie shake a run for its money as my favorite.  The coffee was subtle and there was a nice balance of chocolate and vanilla.

The Counter is slowly growing on me and I’m figuring out combinations that I like.  If they made the Kung Pao Shrimp burger a regular item, I’d be happy.

This visit earned The Counter an upgrade to 3 1/2 NOMs.

Read about my earlier visits.

The Counter Marina Del Rey
4786 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey CA 90292
(310) 827-8600
http://www.thecounterburger.com/

Counter on Urbanspoon

The Counter – Marina Del Rey

Having heard of The Counter from Yelp, I finally had the chance to visit the Marina Del Rey location twice for lunch with the husband and some of his coworkers.

Based on the crowd inside, this was a pretty popular joint for the lunch crowd.  The first time, we managed to snag seats at the bar but on the 2nd visit, we had to wait about a 1/2 hr for tables to open up to accommodate our group of 8.

When you get seated, the waiter hands you a clipboard with a menu and a form.  The menu lists sides, drinks and some classic burgers and sandwiches.  The form is if you want to go the build-your-own-burger route.

First visit:

After looking over the menu, I noticed an apple pie milkshake.  SOLD!  This was an amazing milkshake.  Vanilla ice cream blended with real apples, cinnamon, graham crackers, it tasted like apple pie a la mode.  Rich, thick, creamy, this shake was everything a milkshake should be.  DELICIOUS!

Step 1 – Choose a burger.  You have a choice of various sizes of beef, turkey, veggie, and grilled chicken.  All beef burgers come cooked Medium unless specified otherwise.

Step 2 – Choose a cheese.  There’s a large selection of cheeses from Feta to jalapeño Jack to American.

Step 3 – Choose up to 4 toppings.  The list included the usual onions, lettuce and tomato but also had more exotic items like Roasted Corn & Black Bean Salsa and dried cranberries.  There is also a premium topping list which costs a little extra.  This includes guacamole, fried egg, bacon and chili among other things.

Step 4 – Choose a sauce.  From horseradish mayo to spicy sour cream to a sweet bbq sauce, there’s quite a large variety.

Step 5 – Choose a bun: English muffin, hamburger bun, honey wheat bun.  You an also opt to go lo-carb and have your burger served on a lettuce blend or mixed greens.

The Counter - My husband's breakfast burger

The Counter - My husband's breakfast burger

The husband did his usual – beef burger with Swiss, bacon and a fried egg on an English Muffin.  I call it his breakfast burger.  It’s actually really good but ugh, my heart always stops for a moment when I see it.  This falls very much into the “comfort food” category…not to be abused but used for those times when you need a hug via your stomach.

The Counter - my custom burger

The Counter - my custom burger

The Counter - closeup of my burger

The Counter - closeup of my burger

I opted for a 1/3 beef burger, Medium, with jalapeño Jack, lettuce, tomato and scallions, apricot sauce on a honey wheat bun.

When our burgers arrived, I had a mountain of a burger sitting in front of me.  There was no way I could pick up the entire thing and eat it so I had to cut it in half.  As you can see, the toppings all look fresh and the burger moist; however, it looks more medium-rare than medium to me.

The nice thing they do here at The Counter is serve the sauce on the side.

After my first bite, my first regret was not getting the regular bun.  The honey wheat bun was dry and the taste was akin to cardboard.  As I took more bites, pouring the apricot sauce prior, I realized that the burger itself was fairly bland.  Did they not season the patty?  When I commented on this to the husband, he agreed that his beef seemed un-seasoned to him as well.  Hrmmm…

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The Counter - Fifty-Fifty

We also split an order of the “Fifty-fifty” – sweet potato fries and regular french fries.  It also comes in an onion ring variation.  The fries and sweet potato fries were both good – crispy, not overly oily.  I ate more of the regular fries for some reason even though I’m a sweet potato fanatic.  The aoli sauce in the back was really good as a dipping sauce.

Overall, the first visit wasn’t as good as I expected.  The concept is smart but the resulting  burger just wasn’t impressive.  In-n-Out has a better tasting burger, I think.  However, I would come back here for that apple pie shake any day…

My first visit to the counter receives 3 NOMs mostly for the awesome milkshake.

Second Visit:

We returned a few weeks later.  This time, I decided to stay away from the beef and go with chicken instead.  I, of course, order the apple pie milkshake again.  I also noticed that they have monthly specials – a burger of the month, a sauce of the month and a shake of the month.  The burger of the month was a lamb burger and while looked tempting, I stuck with the chicken.

This time, I went with a southwestern flair, choosing Roasted Corn and Black Bean salsa as a topping and going with a regular hamburger bun.  I have to say, this 2nd burger was a lot better than the first.  The chicken had more flavor (is that salt and pepper I taste on it?) and was moist and the salsa was delicious.  I may give the beef burger another chance but I would probably try to pick more flavorful toppings as well.

3 NOMs still for The Counter.

The Counter Marina Del Rey

4786 Admiralty Way

Marina del Rey CA 90292

(310) 827-8600

http://www.thecounterburger.com/

Counter on Urbanspoon