I know – that’s a sensational title, but I couldn’t resist. Thought I’d post a little burger review after gulping down a few of them this week!
Since The Boy is off to Sweden this weekend for the holidays, I took him out on our last full night together for a makeshift Christmas dinner. I knew he had been wanting to go to a new place in town called The Counter. He had been once and liked it and I wanted to check it out even though a couple of trusted friends had already told me it overpriced. And, they were right, but let’s get that Pound of Cow tale eh?
The Counter is a very trendy, upscale burger lounge. Full bar, very modern, heavy on the white & glass clean bright decor. They have Happy Hour drinks and sliders. They have a pre-set menu, but you can build your own burger too. And the first thing you start with is the size of the burger. I went for a 1/3 pounder, but Alex had his eye on the full pound slab. Mind you – this is AFTER cooking! When he ordered it the waiter launched into his standard warning on the size and Alex just said “Bring it on!” Of course I reminded him that he could always take it home and he even said it might end up being the “4 hour burger” if he ate half in the restaurant and then the other 1/2 later. He tried out adding some grilled pineapple since he loves that on his pizza and he declared that a huge hit.
We should have put something next to this as a frame of reference, but let me assure you this thing was HUGE. I did not think there was any way he would eat it all no matter how long he stretched it out.
He’s 2/3 done here and starting to slow down. Taking deep breaths between bites. Somewhere in the process he got it in his head to finish it all in one sitting & he refused to back down from that decision.
I told him I wished he was as single minded & determined about finishing his homework as he was at eating a burger!
Mind you, I’ve seen him wolf down a 4×4 (four burger patties) at In N Out so I knew he could potentially eat all this. Of course, the 4×4 was polished off after our 5k race so he had made room! He was not as prepared for this challenge. In fact, he’d had a Jamba Juice AND a large can of chicken noodle soup just a couple of hours before.
However, he did finish it all! Now, it took him 30 mins. Lots of slow chewing at the end. Plenty of drinking his sprite and burping a fwe times to push things down :-) I didn’t get an empty plate pic (fail!) because we ran into some friends right at the end and forgot.
Now, here’s the gist of it though – I’m not impressed. don’t get me wrong, our burgers were *good* – BUT – not $37 good (after tip). Also? They brought their rather overly generous plate of shoestring potatoes to the table well before the burgers – like an appetizer. So, in order to enjoy them HOT, you had to eat them right away. Which ruins your appetite for the burger and I personally love to alternate bites of burger with potatoes and by then, they fries were cold. Disappointing.
The worst thing is that with every bite all I could think was “not as good as a Double Double!”
By comparison, we went today at lunch to Smashburger – another recent entry in the burger house trend. This one is less upscale though. You still walk up to order, like The Counter they have build your own and a pre-set menu. They branch out into chicken and also offer fried veggies which are excellent. A server brings you your literally hot off the grill sandwich WITH the fries you order. To me, it tastes much better and it was only $41 for FOUR of us. I ate every last bite and was NOT dreaming about another burger while I ate ;->
Though, yeah, I still think In N Out is better overall – at least Smashburger has a) very very good burgers & fries & nice menu variety and b) beer. Plus, they are closer than any In N Out right now. Of course, back in the Old Days when I used to have to drive 30 miles to get to the nearest Double Double source – I did it! Sometimes, that is just all I crave.
That reminds me that one time Alex and I challenged each other NOT to say “mmmmmmmmm” while eating a Nothing Bundt Cake. We couldn’t do it. Similarly when we eat Double Double’s there is at LEAST one bite when we both say “Mmmmmmm….ahhhhh…so damn good” Gotta admit – I wasn’t inspired to do that even at Smash!
And my next blog post will have to be about running to counter balance all this food :-)