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Dec 19, 2011 10:32 AM

The Counter coming to Downtown

just passed the building on 6th and G Street ( base of an apartment building--near Ace Hardware) where it will be opening). Very good burgers.

Also, just checked their website and they have plans to add a location (maybe 2) at San Diego Airport in 2013.

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  1. Can Umami be far behind?

    1. yum! the counter is GREAT

      1. I tried The Counter in Carlsbad. I found it to be pretty mediocre, not a place I'd try again.

        I'll stick to Burger Lounge.

        10 Replies
        1. re: gator28

          Guess it depends on where you grew up and what turns you on about a burger--the flavor of the meat by itself OR whether you need several other condiments such as lettuce, thousand island dressing, onions, sauce, etc. to add to the flavor. I am from the school that relies upon the flavor of the meat itself which is why I prefer the burgers at The Counter (though, one certainly has the option of adding many, many other ingredients to customize their individual burger) to Burger Lounge. Others are used to the In-N-Outification of burgers that rely on a myriad of condiments to add flavor to the overall burger....on a side note, my favorite burger at the moment is being served at Leroy's Kitchen & Lounge in Coronado where they use Neiman Ranch organic beef made from brisket. A little on the smallish side ( 6 oz) but the meat is very tastey in and by itself.

          1. re: El Chevere

            Really? I've tasted this burger at the Del Mar location a few times and I found it to be total crap- no body to it, no real deep meaty flavor, just mostly flavorless mush.

            1. re: chetatkinsdiet

              Yes, really., like chopped steak....definitely different from many burgers I find here in SD--such as Inn N Out, Burger Lounge, etc. which is meat masqueraded with salad dressing. Other places I like are Neighborhood and Tower 23, but then again I've gotten comments from others stating how can you pay $12 for a burger? Times are tough, I guess.

              1. re: El Chevere

                That's two shots at In 'n Out which is two too many. Let me point out the obvious...In 'n Out is a fast food burger which is hands down better than the competition. While I think their burgers are better than many, many "sit down" joints, they are not really in the same category as Counter and Burger Lounge and LeRoys etc. I can't get a cocktail or beer (or a salad or a myriad of ingredients) at In 'n Out, and prefer my Double-Doubler to go rather than eat on the plastic table. Also, if you don't want 1000 island dressing or tomato, lettuce or onion (4 ingredients do not equal a "myriad"), they will happily hold one or all. N'est ce pas? If you do you will find that the meat is very good quality....not grass-fed good, but very good.

                OK I was raised in So. Cal. and In 'n Out is part of my life experience, but they remain a quality alternative to others in the fast food category.

                1. re: eatemup

                  I know In n Out is a different category than some of the others and you CAN get a decent burger in this town, but that does not masquerade the fact that one would NOT order just a piece of meat and the bun with ketchup on it at In n Out. Truth is, the meat is only a small fraction of what goes into one of their burgers. Also, I have no issue with the ingestion portion of the meal; it's the digestion factor which can take 2-3 days on average to, shall we say politely, work its way through my system which prevents me from getting 100% on board.

                  1. re: El Chevere

                    Truth is, the meat is only a small fraction of what goes into one of their burgers.

                    How so?

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      it is overwhelmed by the onions, salt, and sauce/dressing that they apply on their burger. Could I eat just the meat at In n Out and be satisfied?--no. Could I eat the just the meat elsewhere (granted, we're probably talking about a different establishment category) and be satisfied?--yes....let me ask you this--if you took the naked burger from In n Out and served it 'McDonald's' style with a few chopped onions and a pickle--would you be able to tell you were eating meat from In N Out?...the point I am making is the flavor from an In N Out burger has more to do with the add on condiments than it does with the meat itself.

                      I liken this to other 'cousins' of the hamburger and use the analogy, what kind of pizza or hot dog lover are you?....are you the type of person who can eat a plain pizza and enjoy it or are you the type of person who needs 5 toppings on it (I tend to choose establishments based on the merits of their standalone, plain pizza--though I have been known to add on toppings but not 4 or 5)...are you the type of person who can eat a hot dog by itself of with just mustard or sauerkraut (you can do this at a Nathan's--not including the poor impostor at Lindbergh Field) or are you the type that must also smother and add on relish, chopped onions, and ketchup--in addition to sauerkraut and mustard-- to derive flavor?

                      1. re: El Chevere

                        You do realize that their basic burger is, what, 1.75.

                        By contrast the cheapest burger at The Counter starts at something like 8.

                        Comparing The Counter to In N Out is inapt.

                        In N Out is a fast-food burger. Sit down. Relax.

                        And, fwiw, I get the double-double with grilled onions, no cheese, no sauce. And it's a great burger for less than 3.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          The meat at In'n'Out has a horrible quality and taste.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            I am well aware of the cost difference and quality difference between a fast food burger at In n Out and other chains--which I duly noted in other responses above, but I was not the one defending In n Out-- you were. Throw in the fact it takes 2-3 days for an In n Out product to work its way through my digestive tract and I will glady pay the extra $5-7 for a premium burger (except at The Counter's new downtown location) that I can eat in any by itself and digest the same day or next day,

          2. Last night I went to The Counter in downtown for a salad to go (I know, it's a burger place...I wanted a salad). The staff was extremely friendly and enthusiastic. The service was top notch.

            The salad was SAD. I had the Counter Cobb. The greens consisted of their shredded, SHREDDED "blend." Sorry for the caps, but shredded lettuce in a salad? In a semi-hip and cool downtown restaurant? I am no fan of over-sized C-cake Factory crud, but this salad was woefully small. I mean, it was packaged in a large, square, cardboard box (the size you would get for a typical large to-go meal). The sad little shredded greens barely covered the bottom of the box. The freshly cooked chicken breast was placed on top of the greens and topped with the bleu cheese; turning the greens into small wilted bits and the cheese into a melted mush pile.

            And no utensils. ?? No return trip to the The Counter.

            1. I need very little--if any--motivation to defecate further on the downtown dining scene in San Diego....but here goes.

              Walked into The Counter--downtown, today, which was mistake # 1. First off, their exhaust fans were not working so that by the time I left 30 minutes later (I'll get to that shortly), I nearly answered one of those ambulance chasing attorney ads for victims of mesothelioma. If that were not bad enough, I placed my order with the waitress and not one but 3 people who placed their order afer me (one of which was a solid 10 minutes after I placed mine) got their food and my burger was still NOT on the grill. One of the managers came out and in the understatement of the year told me, after placing my order 30 minutes earlier, he understood there was a delay in my receiving my food....gee, what a Rhodes Scholar this moron is. Anyways, I stormed out of the place--black lungs and all--and will never return to this location and, quite possibly, their Del Mar location where I was a loyal and satisfied customer...way to water down your product worries--they will probably succeed with this level of service downtown, since half of the downtown population suffers from some form of substance abuse problem and is in a comatose state of mind 99% of the time they are awake and 80% of the remaining 50% are once a year or lifetime visitors here for a convention..

              7 Replies
              1. re: El Chevere

                "half of the downtown population suffers from some form of substance abuse problem and is in a comatose state of mind 99% of the time they are awake and 80% of the remaining 50% are once a year or lifetime visitors here for a convention.."


                1. re: Fake Name

                  Yes....I'm one of the few who lives downtown with a real non-Peter Pan full time job, graduated a 4 year college in 4 years, have traveled outside the SoCal/Vegas/Cabo/Hawaii bubble and have and no tattoos, Ed Hardy/Afliction T-shirts, or wallet chains. That puts me in the minority of downtown residents.

                    1. re: Fake Name

                      Well, I work on the SDPD Gaslamp Quarter Bike Team, and on the weekends, that is just about accurate.

                    2. re: El Chevere

                      I wouldn't have bothered to go in the first place, just not enough of anything to attract me. Your last sentence says it all.

                      1. re: El Chevere

                        Give it a month, they'll run a Groupon. It might still be terrible, but it'll be half off.