Counter Cafe

Happy New Year, everyone!!  I must say, 2012 was a fun and eventful year…getting this little blog of mine off the ground and all.  The Mayan long count calendar has ended and we’re all still here – no cataclysmic end to the world…no zombie apocalypse – which can only mean one thing.  Time for more burgers.

Before heading to Houston for the holidays, my wife took me to Counter Cafe for my Christmas burger.  Actually, it’s not a real tradition that we have, but I wouldn’t mind if it were.

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Boasting Texas Monthly’s #2 greatest burger in Texas and a spot on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”, the diminutive Counter Cafe serves its patrons gourmet diner-style food with a menu ranging from biscuits and gravy to grilled Texas quail.  It can be a tight squeeze sometimes when eating here, but the discomfort is quickly forgotten when the food arrives regardless of whether you order their renowned burger or one of their other delicious offerings.  Behold…the Counter Burger

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I feel that their menu describes it best – all-natural beef patty topped with cheddar, organic bibb lettuce, vine-ripened tomato & red onion on a white bun.  Sound incredible?  It sure was.  And naturally I had mine served with a side of hand cut Counter fries.

The standard doneness of the beef patties at Counter Cafe is medium rare, and they do it perfectly.  Everytime.  But, of course, they’re willing to accommodate those who might have a different preference.  They cook their burgers on a grill and finish them under a broiler to get the shredded cheese nice and melty.  This time, as on my past visits, the meat was seasoned and cooked spot on.  Not to mention, it was both tender and juicy.  Their emphasis on quality ingredients was evident in the burger accessories – the bibb lettuce was an energetic green and the tomato was a vibrant red.  Combine all these things between a wonderfully toasted sweet sourdough bun and you have a burger worthy of recognition.

Counter Burger Collage

Seeing the two chefs maneuver their way around the confined space that they call a kitchen was almost like watching an entertaining show.  But even in the midst of all that they were doing, they still took some time out to chat with the customers and even pose for a picture…

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It’s clear that these 2 skilled chefs enjoy what they’re doing, and for my sake and all of the others who have indulged in the Counter Burger, hopefully they’ll be doing it for years to come.

Counter Cafe Collage

I really wanted to stick around a little while longer and join in on the basketball conversation that they were having, but the wife had some errands to run.  And besides, I couldn’t deprive the waiting customers of a seat at the Counter.  With 2 more burger posts waiting in the wings, 2013 is off to a great start.  Stay tuned…

Location:  626 North Lamar, Austin TX

The 50 Greatest Hamburgers in Texas (burgers eaten)

2.  Counter Burger (Counter Cafe, Austin)

9.  Bacon Cheeseburger (Becks Prime, Houston)

12.  Chop House Burger (Cover 3, Austin)

30.  Half A** Burger (Roaring Fork, Austin)

37.  Hamburger (Mighty Fine, Austin)

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