Wine & Dine

Custom built burgers

September 26, 2013 | No comments


Everyone loves a good hamburger.

As part of my Mission 101 project, I’m trying 10 new restaurants. This might not seem like a lot for someone who loves eating out as much as I do, but since I found out that I cannot eat gluten, the outings have become a lot less frequent (and I tend to go back to the few trusted places where I know there is one item I can eat without getting sick).

I love burgers. (Maybe not the burger itself but I love what comes with it – mainly the fries and the milkshake.) I’m so sensitive to gluten that I cannot even eat fries that are fried in the same oil as something with gluten so quick stops at Burger King or McDonalds are out of the question. It is probably good for my health, but oh how I miss burgers. Ordering a burger without the bread and the fries is just not the same thing. And then you have to deal with the entire issue of places using flour/breadcrumbs as fillers in the ground beef, unless you go to a gourmet burger place.

And a gourmet burger without the bun and the fries is still just a half-ass burger.

I had almost come to terms with that my days of enjoying delicious burgers (with fries and milkshakes) had come to and end.

And then I discovered The Counter. They make custom built burgers. A friend described it as Subway, but burgers. And better. It is a magical place.

Of course I had to quality-test this place, so we went there Friday after work. It was totally worth the 30 minute wait to get a table. They have an entire list of ingredients that are all gluten free. I could pick and choose whatever I wanted. And there was fries. And milkshakes. They even have deluxe milkshakes (like apple-pie!). And grown-up milkshakes with alcohol (which I cannot drink because of the entire gluten-issue but I approve of the concept.)

Their concept is easy. You get a clipboard with a list of ingredients (nicely sorted into different categories) and then you just pick whatever combination you want. Apparently there’s supposed to be over 300,000 possible combinations. I wonder how many times per day they make the same burger.

So what amazing combination did I pick? I have a confession to make. I like my burgers simple. Cheese and a slice of tomato. Maybe some lettuce (but to be honest, that is mostly for decoration and I usually end up picking it out anyway). I’m there for the fries and milkshake. The burger is just the excuse to order the other things. But this time I was brave. I had spinach, cheese, carrots and red bell peppers on my burger. Exciting, I know. (My friends were a bit more brave with their topping selections.)

The food was great. It definitely fulfilled my cravings for burger, fries and milkshake. I didn’t get sick. I’d say it was a success.

It might have been so good that we have to go back. Soon. Like next week.

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