Monday, January 24, 2011

Rate-A-Restaurant #238: The Counter

Restaurant: The Counter

Location: 5779 Wilshire Blvd. (Miracle Mile)

Type of restaurant: Hamburgers/Sandwiches

We stipulated: The Counter was offering free lunches to patrons in advance of the opening of its new Miracle Mile location. We've been a fan in the past -- so we decided to make the trek to the Miracle Mile on a Saturday (even though I do that same damn drive every day of the week)

They stipulated: For the test lunch, almost everything was available. Here's how the Counter describes its concept: "Step into The Counter and you’re greeted with a clipboard and an extensive list of fresh ingredients that allow you to build your own gourmet burger. Our 312,120+ different burger combinations make every burger as unique as each customer. Rarely is the same burger made twice in one day."

What we ordered:
MIKE: Turkey burger with jalapenos, roasted corn & black bean salsa, roasted red peppers and organic mixed greens, plus chipotle aioli and housemade guacamole, on a multigrain bun

MARIA: veggie burger with soft ripened brie, mixed greens and applewood smoked bacon

EVAN: kids mini burgers (plate of two with American cheese and pickles)

SIDES: sweet potato fries/parmesan fries

Apple pie shake

High point: That Apple pie shake was pretty amazing. We normally wouldn't have tried it, but seeing how it was a test lunch, we couldn't resist. Also, the sweet potato fries are a consistent winner. And Maria was surprised at how good the veggie burger was. (She negated it, of course, by topping it with bacon.)

Low point: I keep ordering the turkey burger at the Counter, and it always comes back too charred. On another, more recent, visit, I ordered the chicken sandwich and was pleased. It will be chicken for now on.

Overall impression: The Counter brings a much-needed sit-down alternative to the horrific Marie Callender's on that block of the Miracle Mile. And it's always a good alternative when you're looking to meet with a bunch of people, particularly with kids.

Chance we'll go back: Definitely, we're plotting a visit soon to the Pasadena location.

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