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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Counter in Irvine, California

Jeff Weinstein opened The Counter in Santa Monica, CA in 2003 as one of the first premium burger joints. Since then, The Counter has opened 39 locations including The Counter in the Woodbury Town Center in Irvine. This location opened on November 20, 2007 and is still going strong with a queue of hungry patrons during the lunch hour. Ralphs is the main anchor to this shopping center, but in the middle of the parking lot, is an island of food choices like Panera, Tutti Frutti, Niko Niko, to name a few. The Counter stands out with their diner look and aroma of burgers being grilled.

  • Tip: If you are headed here for lunch on a weekday, plan to get there at 11am when they open to beat the lunch crowd. You’re are almost guaranteed a table and be the first of the day to get your order in.

Chili Cheese Fries are topped with house made chili, shredded cheddar, chopped red onion, and sour cream. The fries were expertly fried with crisp exterior and tender interior. The chili was meaty and thick, deliciously coating the fries. The cheese was melted onto the fries before the topping were put on so it had a “cheese paper” effect on the fries. The sour cream and onions were a nice touch. Rating: 4.5/5

Parmesan Fries are shoestring fries topped with parsley, rosemary, parmesan, and roasted garlic aioli. The fries were topped and put under the salamander so the cheese melts, aioli caramelizes, and the herbs start to give out their aromatics. When it comes to the table, it is like foodie crack, everyone digs in and can’t stop until the plate is empty. It’s a good item to share so you’ll have room for your burger. Rating: 5/5

Build-Your-Own Burger includes these steps:
  1. Choose Your Burger: Size, Type of Burger (7 different meats and vegetarian), and Vehicle (on a bun or in a bowl)
  2. Choose Your Cheese
  3. Choose Your Sauce
  4. Choose Your Toppings
  5. Choose Your Bun
  6. Choose Your Side (if you still have room)

Here are some combinations to try:

Build Your Own Burger with a 2/3 lb. beef patty atop organic mixed greens bowl with horseradish cheddar, black olives, grilled onions, hard boiled eggs, roasted green chiles, and roasted garlic aioli. It was an amazing burger salad! The burger was cooked just how I like it, medium rare. Even though it was a 2/3 lb. patty, it didn’t seem heavy with the mixed greens. The horseradish cheddar had a little bit of kick and paired well with the beefy patty. The grilled onions and green chiles gave it a tad of sweetness. The garlic aioli was a little thick as a dressing but tasted so good. It paired really well with the hard boiled eggs. Rating: 4.5/5

Build Your Own Burger with a 1/3 lb. turkey patty on a multigrain bun topped with Tillamook cheddar, dill pickle chips, hard boiled eggs, organic mixed greens, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce. The cheddar wrapped this turkey burger like a blanket, encasing the surprisingly juicy burger inside. The hardboiled egg gave it a richness without a runny yolk all over your hands. The tzatziki sauce gave the burger a Greek flare yet paired well with the ingredients. Rating: 5/5

Build Your Own Burger with a 2/3 lb. beef patty atop organic mixed greens with soft ripened brie, black olives, grilled onions, sliced cucumber, sprouts, and country buttermilk ranch. This beautiful piece of art belongs in a museum! Cooked medium rare, the beef patty was reminiscent of a steak with creamy brie and sweet grilled onions on top. Like a steak dinner, my salad greens were catching the meaty juices as I cut through the burger. The country buttermilk ranch dressing is to die for! On my salad, on my burger, on my fries, oh my! Rating: 5/5

Build Your Own Burger with 1/3 lb. beef patty atop organic mixed greens with soft ripened brie, olives, grilled pineapple, and country buttermilk ranch. My mom is more of a minimalist when it comes to food and she definitely picked a nice combination. The burger patty was cooked to her liking. The pineapple and brie became a play of creamy, sweet, and acidic which paired well with the beef. This was her first visit and she absolutely loved it. Rating: 5/5

Build Your Own Burger with 1/3 lb. beef patty atop organic mixed greens with artichoke hearts, grilled onions, roasted green chiles, sprouts, provolone, and sunny side egg. I felt a bit home sick that day and wanted something close to a Loco Moco. The sunny side egg made my day. The creamy rich yolk turned into a luscious sauce coating my burger and veggies. Although there wasn’t any sticky rice underneath, it did its job of fulfilling my comfort food urge. Rating: 5/5

Build Your Own Burger with a house made vegan veggie patty on a multigrain bun topped with herbed goat cheese spread, hard boiled eggs, organic mixed green, and roasted garlic aioli. This is a great take on a veggie burger. You can see the chopped vegetables inside the patty. It’s a great option for your vegetarian friends. If they are vegan, they can forgo the cheese, eggs, and add toppings like grilled pineapple, sun-dried tomatoes, or dried cranberries for a twist. Rating: 4/5

Make the burger that you really want at The Counter in Irvine!

Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 5 out of 5 stars


For more information:
6416 Irvine Blvd
Irvine, CA 92620
+1.949.336.7272
Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 10pm
Parking: Free shopping center parking

The Counter Irvine on Urbanspoon

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