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Oct 15, 2009 02:59 PM

The Counter: Where YOU Decie (Burgers) [Review w/ Pictures]

Recently went to the counter in Santa Monica for the first time. Had a nice burger with all the fixings+more.

Formatted with pictures here:

Text Review:

We built the burger of our dreams (or what we think is our dream burger) that night at The Counter, a hip, futuristic looking diner in Santa Monica. More than your typical burger joint, The Counter offers "custom built burgers" that would whet the burger craving of anybody--from your carnivores to herbivores. Our panda mouths were opened.

Upon being seated, we had some decisions to make. The waitress handed us a pencil and a checkoff list. We had the choice of four types of meat: beef, turkey, veggie, and grilled chicken and how much extra weight we'd liked to gain. The Counter's burgers range from 1/3 lb to 1 whole pound after being cooked and we had to check off how heavy we want our burger. Ten different types of cheese were also available from Danish Blue Cheese to Horseradish Cheddar, to the good ol' Yellow America. We could choose up to four toppings, some of which include grilled pineapple, spicy pepperoncinis, and grilled onions. Premium Toppings ($1 extra) which included fried egg, black forest ham, chili, were also available. Last two steps involved selecting from their 18 different sauces and choosing a bun: English Muffin, Hamburger Bun, Honey Wheat Bun.

Topped with a fried egg (+1) and some mean grilled onions, Wesley's 2/3 lb beef burger ($10.25) with gruyere cheese, roasted chilies, roasted red peppers, honey cured bacon (+$1) and roasted garlic aioli was massive. To make his traditional burger even less traditional, the burger was wrapped in an English muffin. Juicy and to say the least, satisfyingly filling.

Evelina's burger was really too big for her. What was she thinking when she decided she wanted to consume a 2/3 lb burger?! Going crazy for horseradish that night, Evelina ordered a beef 2/3 lb burger, with horseradish cheddar, grilled onions, and Horseradish Mayo on a hamburger bun. The horseradish cheddar and mayo was delicious and really stood out against the juicy, thick burger. If she could do it again, she would order a smaller burger that could be eaten without being cut. Otherwise, she fulfilled her burger quota for the month.

On top of our burgers, we ordered a "Fifty-Fifty" of Sweet Fries and Onion Strings ($6.25). we didn't care for the onion strings, but the sweet potato fries were addicting.

The Counter would satisfy every picky eater with its juicy burgers and large selection of cheeses, toppings, and sauces. Such a versatile and somewhat affordable diner means repeat visits whenever we're in the area.

2901 Ocean Park Blvd Ste 102, Santa Monica, CA 90405

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  1. Nice review. I agree. I love the Counter's burgers. Some hounds seem to disagree, but I have always liked what I've gotten, and it has always been cooked perfectly.

    2/3 lb.? Are you kidding me? I find the 1/3 lb adequately filling, and still cut it in half. Mainly to check the center, but seems easier to eat that way, anyway.

    I always get: 1/3 lb beef, Tillamook cheddar, avocado. Medium Rare. Sometimes I vary on the rest... dill pickles, raw onions, grilled onions, tomato. But always get the roasted garlic aioli. And I love the onion strings. And fries. And all the ketchup you want. Unlike some other place that shall remain nameless. Nothin' I don't like about the place. Well thought out beer & wine selection too. I go to the MDR location, but will check out the ocean park one next. Thanks.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Phurstluv

      That sounds like a great combination!

      Yea I had to go big with the 2/3 which was huge and the 1lb was described to me as "cartoony big."

    2. Try the fried pickles. They are good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wienermobile

        Are they? I've been wondering, but didn't want to spend $5 for them, if I hated them & had no one to share with!!

      2. The problem I have with counter is that their meat is under-seasoned. As far as upscale chain burgers goes, Houston's does a much tastier patty, although I disliked their bun.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Humbucker

          This is the place that puts kung pao shrimp on a bun and calls it a "burger." Can't wait for them to come up with an egg salad "burger."

        2. wow this place sounds awesome are there any in new jersey?

          wth is a pepperoncinis? at first ithouhgt you made a typo but its on their site as well. is that small pepperonis?

          2 Replies
          1. re: RCTRIPLEFRESH5

            Pepperoncinis are small, pickled light green chile peppers, used in Greek & sometimes Italian food. Range from mild to hot. Doesn't your local Subway have them? Ours do.

            1. re: RCTRIPLEFRESH5

              They're mostly in CA...but the website says that they're coming to Baltimore.


            2. I tried The Counter last weekend. Thought the burger was very good and was impressed with the high quality toppings. Can't say the same about the fries or onion strings--maybe I was expecting too much, but I didn't think those were any better than Smashburger's. If I went back I'd try some of the other fries variations or maybe skip them altogether and just get a burger and shake.