Just relaxing on an islet in the Caribbean

Friday, January 22, 2010

Burgers and Beyond!!!

I ask ya, who in the world does not love a great grilled burger?!! “The Counter - Custom Built Burgers” in Irvine offers the best ingredients for a fabulous burger. Located in a huge shopping center at the corner of Sand Canyon and Irvine Blvd., The Counter gives everyone from adults to wee lads the chance to customize their own burger.

I love what they stand for…all of their meat patties are 100% natural and certified humane raised and handled (although I’m not quite sure how one humanely slaughters a cow for its meat?). They also have chicken, turkey, veggie and vegan burgers and use locally sourced produce.

Once you enter the burger joint your server shows you to your table and hands you a small clipboard with a form attached at which time you begin the “steps” to build your own burger - from the personalized ingredients to the size. They have so many wonderful items to choose from and at times when I am really hungry I struggle to make a decision.

Some of The Counter’s great cheese options are Danish blue cheese, soft ripened brie, jalapeno jack and gruyere, just to name a few. Then you move onto your choice of toppings and some selections are Bermuda red onion, dried cranberries, roasted red peppers and grilled pineapples for the fancier burger connoisseur. Once you decide on your topping the next step is to choose a sauce. Oh geez, they have tons of yummy sauces to choose from: apricot sauce, chipotle aioli, ginger soy glaze, tzatziki sauce and hot wing sauce. Those are just some of the sauce options! A hamburger is not a hamburger without a bun and you get three types to choose from -: a regular bun, English muffin or honey wheat bun. If you are going carbohydrate free and for an added $1 you can order the “In a Bowl” option. Although, I do not quite understand why eliminating a bun would make you have to pay more. Hey, I don’t make the rules.

For and extra fee, they also offer “premium toppings”. How about some black forest ham, a fried egg, sun-dried tomatoes or honey cured bacon on your gourmet burger? “Heavens to Mergatroid”, the varieties are endless, where do I start??

Since I have heard so many wonderful things about The Counter’s veggie pattie I had to try it. Guys, it is by far the best veggie burger I have ever tasted…and I have tasted many! Homemade daily, the veggie patties are a scrumptious mixture of fresh brown beans, red peppers, mushrooms, onions, spinach, corn, zucchini, carrots and dried cranberries. Yes, dried cranberries, a great balance of sweet and savory! This veggie burger is my idea of healthy, low-fat, comfort food.

My custom built veggie burger consisted of sharp provolone cheese, Bermuda red onions, dill pickle chips, sprouts, tomatoes and tzatziki (diced cucumbers) sauce on a honey wheat bun. Yum-mee!!

My husband ordered a 2/3 lb. chicken burger on a regular bun with grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado, Muenster cheese, grilled green chilies and garlic aioli. The two skinless, boneless chicken breasts were pounded thin, grilled to perfection and piled high in his bun…it looked and smelled delicious. For starter appetizers you can order the “Fried Dill Pickle Chips” (I have never had them and they don’t sound good to me), “Hobo Pack” (mixed grilled veggies and fresh herbs), “Turkey Chili” or “French or Sweet Potato Fries”. They also have several sandwiches on the menu, a child’s menu and various desserts. The hubby and I split the “Fifty-Fifty”, half crispy french fries and half sweet potato fries. The french fries were lightly seasoned and the sweet potato fries cooked to a crispy perfection. You get a side of horseradish mayonnaise but because the fries were so good, my taste buds were happy without the accompanying sauce.

The Counter also has a great beer and wine selection. Their wine list has a decent variety of California red wines and white wines from New Zealand, Spain, France and the Napa Valley. I preferred a nice lager with my veggie burger so I opted for the “Organic Sam Smith Lager” from the U.K. Sam Smith is a small independent British brewery and they produce a very good lager. The Counter also has an “Organic Wychwood Duchy Ale” and four different Belgian beers in addition to several foreign and domestic beers. “Bitburger” brew anyone?

If you find the room to enjoy dessert after your delicious burger, you have four different choices from “Apple Crumble” to “Key Lime Pie” and a couple of other sweets in between.

Unfortunately, The Counter is at least a thirty minute drive for me (with no traffic) but once I got there, enjoyed my delectable veggie burger and lager, the drive was long forgotten and well worth it!

The Counter Irvine on Urbanspoon
Open Daily & Very Good Price Point
Outdoor patio for those balmy summer nights.
Many more locations throughout Southern California too!


  1. Patty don't cheat yourself, you must try the fried pickles! They are a specialty at Mimi's Cafe here in Ft. Myers, Fl. We love love love them!

  2. Hahaha!! Who wouldn't trust their childhood very bestest of friends? I will expand my horizons and try them next time I venture out to The Counter for my veggie burger. Thanks Viki! xo

  3. Great review! Definitely going there soon.