the counter burger and melt gelato cafe
700-A Allied Way
El Segundo, CA 90245(310) 524-9967
i have been to the counter many years ago when they first opened...and during the visit, i wasn't very impressed with the food at all. my burger was overcooked and underseasoned. so after talking to my eating companions, we decided to go here, i wanted to give it another chance.
justin & kerri
kerri and justin come here often enough and the little shopping area it was in was really cute. so we took a look at our menu and started creating our burgers.
if you have never eaten at the counter, the premise is that you create your perfect burger and there are a variety of meats, sizes of meat, and toppings for your burger. including different types of buns.
this can be a bit overwhelming if you aren't sure what to put on it, but don't fret, they also have basic burgers with specific toppings to pick from. i will tell you, with so many choices, even i was overwhelmed! i should've just gone with some of the very basic items that i typically like on my burger just to see how they make it.
we had to go with two types of their "fifty fifty"...fries & onion strings, fries & sweet potatoe fries.
they are served with bbq sauce, ranch dressing and a spiced mayo dip (i'm unsure of what they put in it).
i had forgotten to ask the waiter to make our fries extra crispy so i was frantically looking for him to make sure we could change our fry order before they brought it out. so i asked that he just make one of our orders of fries, extra crispy. i wanted to see the difference...and i'm so happy that i asked! they were actually perfectly crispy and the regular fries were much softer. the onions strings were thin, crispy and delicious and the sweet potatoe fries were nice, but it started to be a bit too much. the serving size of the fries was extremely plentiful and i feel it was totally worth the price.
kerri had the healthiest burger...
chicken breast, with the black bean corn salsa, lettuce on an english muffin and she likes it with the bbq sauce on the side. i didn't try it, but she loved it!
justin got a burger...
he got a beef burger with jalapeno jack, red onions and scallions, on a regular bun with a side of the honey mustard. again, i didn't eat his, but he thoroughly enjoyed it...and i wish i got his scallions and raw red onions.
i don't know what i was thinking...here is my burger...
i got the 1/3 # beef, jalapeno jack, grilled onions, tomatoes, regular bun and i got a side of russian dressing and mayo. now...like i said earlier, i should've gotten the raw onions. justin and kerri both warned me about the grilled onions being disappointing and overpowering, but i wanted to try for myself. the onions that came out were more of what i considered to be caramelized onions not just plain grilled onions. they should be sweet, but didn't have any sweetness and lacked salt, but definitely had lots of pepper on it. i don't know why i forgot to get lettuce...brain fart i guess.
i was pretty dissatisfied with the grilled onions, and like i said wished i had the red onions instead, i but the crispy onion rings instead which gave it some texture and extra flavor. both justin and i had gotten spicy jack cheese, but i think they put the wrong cheese on top, because there was no spice at all to this. justin didn't get any heat either. the meat is supposed to be served pink but mine came out a bit more on the medium well side so it was a little dryer than i typically like. the bun seems to be a little on the old side, because it kind of falls apart when you are eating, but more so because it was dry. the meat is not seasoned, or at least i didn't taste any seasoning...i kept wanting to add salt and pepper and add more moisture to it. eventually i started adding bbq sauce or dipping each bite in some ketchup just to give me that moisture this burger desparately needed.
would i come back? *sigh* i really loved the crispy fries and onion strings...i'd really have to get a super basic burger and make sure they don't over cook my meat. i would perfer to check out some other burger joints before i come back again. but if i'm hungry and just want a burger and am not being picky about it...i guess i'd eat it. we actually drove by The Habit, another burger joint, which has been around for quite some time, and i want to go try their burger.
across the street was a cute little gelato shop...
walking into the shop you are greeted with giganitc mounds of gelato! i've never seen such huge portions of gelato at once! whoa! but i guess they are so busy that its easier to have such large portions ready to be served.
one of the flavors from our four scoop sampler...
what a great deal, four scoops for $4.50!
our four flavors: chocolate chip cookie dough, peanut butter chocolate chunk, mocha almond fudge and taste of italy (amaretto).
my favorite of the four was definitely the mocha almond fudge because the flavors just really popped out, i loved the mocha flavor, little ribbons of fudge and bits of almonds. so nice. the rest of the flavors were ok for me...the cookie dough was a bit grainy for me, but i think that just comes from the cookie dough, peanut butter was peanutty! and the taste of italy was really lovely, i enjoyed the amaretto flavor that was really prominent.
i had a really nice evening with kerri and justin...for great burgers...i'm still searching, but their fries extra crispy and onion strings are awesome. for cool creamy gelato, this is a nice little pit stop. i have had some really incredible gelato, but this was still good, just make sure you get a little sample of some of your favorites before you order, because not all the flavors are as you might want them to be.