Started the day early since it was a long drive out to Santa Monica. We were going to have lunch at The Counter, a burger place that my older sister had gone to many times and had tempted me with her photos many times. Finally it’s my turn to try this place and see how just good this place is.
We were going to meet our younger sister at noon but OF COURSE we were late, 30mins late and by the time we got there (they won’t seat you unless THEY see everyone is there) the place was packed!! There were many open tables at noon said our sister but…oh well. Like the slogan for Burger King “Have it your way”, The Counter takes it another level and hands you a clipboard with all the different ingredients. Beef, turkey or veggie burger. 1/3lb, 2/3lb….and English muffin, white or whole wheat buns. For toppings you get 4 regular for free, “premium” toppings are $1, bacon, fried eggs…etc. You also get to pick from a long list of sauces. The different combinations are endless and I do recommend looking over the choices before heading out to this joint or you’ll spend close to eternity debating if the English muffin will go well with garlic aioli sauce, saute mushrooms, roasted bell peppers, olives, dried cranberries, dill pickle chips…..*breathe….chili, sundried tomatoes, fried egg….*collapse. If you feel a bit lazy they do have an Old School and The Counter burger, but that’s the fun of going to The Counter — trying out different flavors and combinations. We also ordered a Fifty-fifty, half onion strings and half sweet potato fries. I’ve been craving sweet potato fries over regular fries now. The sweet potato fries came with this thousand island-like sauce and the onion strings came with a bbq and ranch dressing sauce. Oh so good!!
There’s a burger in there somewhere I promise. So what’s in the Donny Creation? 1/3lb beef patty, gruyere cheese, baby mixed greens, sprouts, roasted red peppers, grilled onions, fried egg (of course), English muffin with a garlic aioli sauce. This burger was messy to eat pepper juice and egg yolk running down. How was it? It was good but next time I’ll skip the roasted peppers. The difference of temperature between the peppers and the rest of the ingredients made the peppers stood out the most. The gruyere was too mild and the egg was too good.
Next stop…Jin Patisserie in Venice Beach.
Also another regular stop for my older sister. She loves the macaroons from Jin Patisserie. They specialize in exotic teas and fancy pastries, they also have a small menu for sandwiches and snacks. There was only outside seatings and lucky for us we grabbed the last table. There was a baby shower party that took most of the chairs and tables. It was a bit chilly for a LA afternoon so the waiter was nice enough to turn on the outside heater just for us! I was boring and went for the most boring tea on the menu, Strong Breakfast and got their Banana Mascarpone cake, yum I love bananas. My sister got a plate of macaroons and they were delicious! Crunching on the outside and super chewy in the inside, great textures. The lavender one tasted like cough medicine….*cough cough. The banana mascarpone cake was pretty good, I finished it in 4 bites. Mascarpone cake with bananas inside and topped with 2 macaroons. Very light and tasty.
Ah…it was such a good day, why can’t my life be like that every day? I would be so much happier…..
The Counter – 2901 Ocean Park Blvd. Santa Monica, LA(check website for other locations)
Jin Patisserie – 1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice Bch, LA