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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Foodie Sunday: Beef

Beef.  They say it's what for dinner.  I rarely indulge, for various reasons.  For instance, I'm cheap, and I remember that urban legend (completely untrue) about John Wayne and the undigested meat in his colon.  So I'm more apt to go for chicken or fish (or more recently tofu) than I am to go for a steak.
Oddly enough, LA has become red-meat central these days.  There are the old standards like Lawry's and Ruth's Chris, and now Cut, Wolfgangs and Capitol Grill have come on the scene.  On the other end there's Umami Burger and The Counter, where I found myself the other day after a trip to the museum.

The Counter's schtick is that you select everything à la carte, from the size of the patty to the bread to the sauce to the toppings.  I'm not good with the concept of ordering by the pound. so I chose the 2/3lb one with no bun.  I ordered it rare, expecting that it would be medium since no place in these days after Mad Cow seems to take that order seriously.

The Counter takes it seriously.

I honestly think they made a mistake and gave me a full pound.  I was presented with a hubcap-sized chunk of ground chuck that had kissed the grill for about 45 seconds on each side before being served to me on its bed of Mesclun Mix.

I was in heaven, at first.  I was sort of treating it like steak tartare, which I love.  But after a while it started to be a chore.  I felt like it was almost a challenge (and a sin to waste expensive food) so I slogged on.  By the end of it I was feeling about the last morsel of expensive raw beef facing me with all the love Christina Crawford did in "Mommie Dearest".  But I finished it.  I felt that I could live on psyllium husk smoothies for the rest of the week, but I did it.

Would I go back?  Sure, in 2012.  I'd just make sure to order the smallest one and order medium rare.
The Counter is apparently a chain that's in quite a few states.  If you're near one, it's worth checking out.  What are your favorite places for a burger?

7 Comments:

Blogger Flora said...

I am in the same camp as you - go rare or go home - but you can't get that anywhere but the high end places these days, so I usually go without or make it at home. When I was a kid I ate raw beef all the time and I never got sick but now that I know what really goes on with food production I am a lot more careful. Even so, when I have the opportunity I do indulge, even though I also like tofu now...

When I do have a burger it's usually at Burgerville, a local chain that uses locally sourced ingredients, including the beef. They also make awesome sweet potato fries in season, the perfect thing to go with a burger on a crisp fall day!

1:09 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burgers and fries at 5 Guys! The best!

11:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Olfacta said...

We're in luck because a nearby "pub," Napolean's, makes great burgers. And Atlanta has its share of trendy grass-fed burger places popping up all over now, meh. I think L.A. has always been a good burger place, remember Hamptons? When we visit there now, the DH goes straight to Tommy's. Just one of those gut-bomb classics.

7:53 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice, Tom. My fav of many years is In-n-Out. Yum. And their fries actually taste like potatoes (shocking!)

2:22 PM EDT  
Blogger Janet said...

I agree with 5 Guys, the burgers (and fries) there are amazing. Just make sure you order a small!!! A regular sized one is HUGE!

1:29 PM EDT  
OpenID quinncreative said...

I eat my steaks rare (which is rarely), but my burgers I like medium. And I know it's not fine dining, but 5 Guys is still a great burger place.

1:46 PM EDT  
Anonymous ghostranchguy said...

sorry to see someone promoting beef here... bumms me out

4:47 PM EDT  

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