Some of my favorite eateries have not made their way into this blog because of circumstances not working in their favor. Take this review for example. Counter Burger happens to make my favorite veggie burger. And I visit them once every few months. Since the start of this blog, I have been there only once and didnt have my camera handy then. This time around I was better prepared to capture shots and here goes my review of Counter Burger.
Counter Burger is a chain of burger eateries spanning much of California and a few other locations around the world. My first trip was to the Counter Burger in Santana Row in San Jose, CA three years ago. I stumbled upon the place as a new place to try out and walked out wanting to come back at the next possible opportunity. I continue to consider them one of the best places to get a great veggie burger.
Counter Burger has an interesting menu/ordering system. You can order from their set of store conceived burger selections or much better still build your own burger. Unlike most other “build-your-own” setups, here you really build it. You pick from three sizes of burger (1/3lb, 2/3lb and 1lb). You can have the burger in one of many types of buns they offer or have it without a bun kind of like a naked burrito. You then get to choose a sauce, 4 toppings that range from pepperoncini’s to sauteed onions, and one type of cheese from an interesting variety. You can also add more cheese and/or premium toppings like guacamole for an extra charge. But here is the best part about the burger- it is made to order. Where else do you get a veggie burger made to order?. Most times, the restaurant version of a veggie burger is the frozen Gardenburger from Costco’s that is then grilled in the kitchen. Here the burger is made to order and the taste shows. It just rocks. With the right cheese, sauce and toppings, the burger just is out of the world.
And here is where it gets even better. The appetizers offered in this place consist of a bunch of different types of fries. But paired with the right sauce, the thinly sliced onion rings and sweet potato fries, not to mention parmesan fries are just awesome. It is hard to put it down. If you want to watch your consumption and still get a feel for all the varieties of fries, you can order them as a combo plate of 2 or 3 selections. This is what I do all the time.
Finally, if you want to know if there is anything bad about the place, here it is. The wait is pretty bad during weekends. Weekday lunches can also be a long wait and there is just no way around it. Seating indoors is limited and in the winter, chances are you will sit outside. There are those heating poles next to the tables outside but only helps to a certain extent. Otherwise, Counter Burger is a very highly recommended place to get your veggie burger and fries fix. Did I mention that they also carry great shakes?
Ambiance: 8/10. There is nothing fancy about the place in terms of ambiance. Outside seating gives you a ringside view to a section of Santana Raw.
Service: 8.5/10. Service is good, fast and simple. Nothing fancy, nothing bad.
Food: 9/10. I love everything I have eaten here. I have been here about half a dozen times.
Price: 8.75/10. Price is reasonable. It is comparable to a burger at TGIF or Chilis. Just better tasting. Considering the fact that much of the food in Santana Row is grossly overpriced, this place is an even better bargain.
Restroom: 8.5/10. Clean and decent.
Overall: 9/10. I was tempted to average out and give 8.75/10 but here is the deal. The food rocks and there is absolutely nothing else that deters or alters that experience. Go for it.