20 Suffolk Street
Well well, how are the good burger people of the world doing today? Good? Happy?……hungry? I know I am, but there is nothing new there.
So last week our burger outing got a bit of a shunt from our usual Sunday to Wednesday as a result of financial issues. Funny story actually, less funny for some (Ryan). One of our trusted four (Ryan) decided to pop into a garage beside his work who were offering ‘FREE BRAKE TESTS!’ (great idea) only to be told his brakes were in such bad shape he wasn’t legally allowed to drive out of the garage. So that ‘FREE BRAKE TEST!’ wasn’t so cheap after all. I laughed at this but as we sat and ate burgers my car was in a garage getting examined as it near crapped itself the day before. Karma for laughing at Ryan I guess.
Anyway enough of that. IT’S BURGER TALK TIME!
We (or should I say I) decided to go to The Counter as the first time I went it blew my socks off. It was my No.1 for a good while. Until we started Dublin Burger Club anyway. The Counter is a custom burger-building place. You choose everything to make a burger tailored to you, because who knows what you like better than you? Now as Amanda The Panda was off romancing and drunken-dancing over in sunny Liverpool (if you follow our Snapchat you will have seen this, if not, go follow us on Snapchat), we had an opening so who better to invite than the person who first introduced me to The Counter? So invite my good friend Kira I did. We had a grand afternoon of making friends with every animal in Reptile Haven and Shauna’s Pet Shop. Really built up the appetite.
On to the venue: located in the heart of the city it is in a great spot. A decent size and quite a modern, well kept interior. It looked very clean from where I was sitting too.
Now as I said before this place is big on creating your own burger. They give you each a clipboard with a one-page menu clipped in. You just tick the boxes of the stuff you want, everything from the bun to the greens, even the size of the burger patty itself. There are a few premium extras which cost a little extra but you can make a decent burger from the basic priced items. I however do not do small burgers, as you have all seen, and I added a few extras.
Kirsty decided to try out a burger in a bowl option. Lettuce mix, herbed goat’s cheese, chipotle aoili, olives, roast peppers, roast chilis and roasted grape tomatoes. It looked quite good as seen below, but it didn’t really live up to the look. Most of the bowl seemed to be a crap load of iceberg lettuce. The roasted tomatoes were seriously undercooked, the Anaheim chillies were either missed out completely or indistinguishable from roasted peppers, while the mixed olives were chopped so finely she felt that they were perhaps the end of the bag and all the leftover bits. The burger was overcooked and under-seasoned. She ate the meat and some of the other bits and bobs and left most of the lettuce. She also ordered shoestring fries which actually turned out to be just normal skinny fries which weren’t anything special.
Ryan went for a build your own burger comprising 1/2lb of beef, blue cheese, grilled red onion, dill pickle and avocado served in an English muffin. A bit of an out-there mix in my opinion but Ryan said he enjoyed it. As with Kirsty’s, the burger was overdone and under-seasoned. Ryan actually said he would have liked a set burger menu as he got a little bewildered by all the options and couldn’t decide and ended up just picking random stuff. He also got sweet potato fries which he said were fantastic.
Kira went for the build your own option too, and ordered a 1/3lb patty in a Brioche bun with BBQ sauce, bacon, vine tomatoes and mixed greens. She enjoyed it. Everything seemed to work together with no big problems. She also got normal fries.
I, of course, went for the build your own option as I’m a feckin hunga. I went big. 1/2lb of beef in a Brioche bun, smoked gouda, hickory BBQ sauce, mixed leaves, dill pickle, tomato, smoked bacon, sunny side up fried egg, sautéed mushrooms and fried onion strings…. oh hells yeah!!!! I must say I had no real problems with my burger (except getting it into my big mouth). The burger was a little under seasoned but I didn’t think it was over done. Everything worked out well. The bun held together well and there was a bit of everything in every bite. I lost a few bits of lettuce and mushrooms out of it but my lap hid them so no one saw. I also got sweet potato fries as a side which were a tad cold but still tasted lovely.
For dessert this week Ryan opted for a warm brownie with ice cream, which did not excite the taste buds. Much like his sense of humour, it was dry and boring. Myself and Kira went for milkshakes. I got banana, caramel and peanut butter, which was gorgeous. Kira had strawberry banana and marshmallow milkshake.
This would be an okay scoring Burger Club trip if I was to end it here. But ….. this is not quite the end of the story. The one big problem here was the service. Whilst the young lad who seated us and the girls who brought us our food were nice and had a smile on, our main waiter was not. He took our drinks order normally. That was fine, but then he was back in no time to take our food order even tho we all still had our heads buried in the menu. He came back four times in the space of a few minutes. Four times. On the fourth time Kirsty and Kira had finished but myself and Ryan were obviously still deciding.
When building your own burger you want to take your time and make sure you get everything you want and a good mix – the waiter just stood at the table waiting for us to decide. Ryan felt a little pressured by this and kinda just ticked some boxes on the menu and didn’t really get the mix he wanted or would normally like. The food then took forever to arrive, way longer than it should for how busy it was. My glass was chipped all along the top of one side, although I didn’t notice until I had drank all my drink. Finally when ordering dessert he took our order without writing anything down and actually had to come back and ask for our order again. None of us were very happy with this and it put a downer on the night. The prices on the menu aren’t very clear either, so you do end up spending a good chunk of money without realising it. Last time I was here the waitress asked if we had been before and if we knew how the build-your-own works and talked us through it. This wasn’t even offered this time.