Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Oprah's Favorite Burger!

My friend Jon came into town to visit me this past weekend and I had a great time showing him around. He had been to L.A. before but had never been east of La Brea (a crime!) and since I live downtown he was able to see a whole new side to the city. We hiked to the Hollywood sign (beautiful!), walked all over Robertson and Melrose to see the trendy shops, and walked along the beach for a long time. It was a really nice relaxing weekend where I didn't think about law school once-- I think that was the best part!

Of course eating was a big priority. Jon is a foodie to the max and so I knew I had to create a list of places for us to go during his brief stint in L.A. The Counter was the very first place I took him and it was such a big hit that he demanded to go back! We met our friend Marina from college for dinner at The Counter in Santa Monica; there are also locations scattered throughout the country. In February 2006, Oprah named The Counter as her favorite burger shop

The Counter is unique because of its menu. When you walk in you are given a clipboard with the menu and you build your own plate. You can opt for chicken, vegan veggie, beef, or turkey patties that can be served on buns or a bed of lettuce or mixed greens. You choose what you want on your patty -- I usually go with roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, avocado, and hard boiled eggs. You can also choose the dressing!

The restaurant prides itself on its fresh ingredients and the abundant possibilities on the menu. The restaurant is also relatively cheap; it's very easy to spend $15 and still be completely satisfied with your meal!

The website even includes a section for people with allergies! Check it out here. I forgot to bring my printout of the allergen link and my waitress printed it out for me. Note that a check mark indicates that it IS gluten free.

I recommend the fifty-fifty to start -- it's a mix of the restaurant's delicious sweet potato fries and regular fries and is completely GF!

The Counter
2901 Ocean Park Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405 (map)


joan a. said...

Stephen is the best GF food guide for LA. I definitely ate 60% GF the whole time I was there and everything was totally delicious / up to my standards. Not that my standards are very high (hostess cupcakes and buffets are just fine by me but I also like a fancy restaurant). I am thinking maybe I could pursue a GF diet. Stephen what are the health benefits of GF diet for people who don't have celiac? I think I could do it even though the last time I tried I was caught with a meatball in my mouth.

Stephen said...

That's a very good question Joan. A gluten-free diet is a safer version of Atkins, which is often not recommended for long-term use because of the heart risks that it causes. A gluten-free diet, however, can include carbohydrates in the form of gluten-free pastries and baked goods (look for a post soon about my favorite bakery here in L.A.). Significant weight loss and lowered cholesterol are two of the biggest benefits to go on a gluten free diet.

Obviously, for Celiacs such as myself maintaing a gluten-free diet curbs fatigue, general discomfort, and many other symptoms often associated with a Celiac eating gluten.