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Archive for May, 2010

I remember the very first time I heard about The Counter was from a friend, who messaged us very excitedly about the prospect of apple pie shakes.

And of course, who can resist drinking apple pie when the actual foodie item itself tastes so darn good ? :D
We had the biggest strife trying to find a time that would accommodate all of us wanting to go, and it was a fateful day in December last year (yesssss, I know, a long time ago -_-) that a few of us managed to troop the kilometres to Crow’s Nest so we could partake in the wonder that is liquid pie.

But of course, before we could do that, we had to go for the burgers as well!!

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The Counter’s clipboard menu

The whole premise that is The Counter Burger is the idea of custom-built burgers – you can customise your patty, your bun (or if you don’t want a bun, you can eat your burger in a bowl), your cheese, your toppings, and your sauce.
Upon arrival, each patron is given a clipboard with a list of toppings and other goodies that you can peruse at your own leisure – or not, if you’re starving!

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The Fifty-Fifty – $6.25
Half French Fries & Half Sweet Potato Chips with Horseradish Sauce

Seeing as my friends and I (or should I just say ‘I’) bring gluttony a bad name, we couldn’t resist the temptation of fries. This was my first time trying sweet potato chips …and let me just say, they are definitely worth trying!
Both the fries and the chips were crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and the horseradish lent a very unique taste to the fries that made it seem worlds apart when eaten alone.

As for the burger, there was much drama surrounding the first step – choosing the size of the patty. All three of my companions chose beef, but the actual patty itself also comes in three sizes: 150g ($13.50), 300g ($16.50), and 450g ($19.50).

I was tempted to choose the 450g, but due to peer pressure, all four of us settled for the 300g burger patty – which you can have on a bed of lettuce or baby greens rather than a bun for forty cents extra. :)

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One of my friends’ burgers – $16.50

After deliberating over the size of the patty, the next choice you’re faced with is which cheese to get ! The Counter has a wide variety of cheeses, ranging from your typical cheddar cheese and greek feta, to herb goat cheese spread and Danish blue cheese.
Now I’m not a big fan of cheese anymore, or cheese on burgers, from a particular incident in my Year 11 French class, where I ate a huge bite of blue cheese ….before realising that it was actually mouldy. =_=
Even downing a pitcher of water did nothing to rid the taste from my mouth, and so I’ve steered clear of unknown cheeses ever since.

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My Burger – $16.50
Cheddar Cheese, grilled pineapple, hard-boiled egg, roasted corn and black bean salsa, and dried cranberries on a wholemeal bun with apricot sauce on the side

For the non-cheese lovers, I’d say cheddar or American cheese was probably the best option you could get, short of having no cheese. Otherwise, there was Colby (I think my friend got this and said it WASN’T cheesy enough), sharp provolone, ORRR you could grit your teeth and bear the horrors of the blue cheese.

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Side view of the burger

To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of the corn and black bean salsa (I don’t think I like salsa), but the dried cranberries were very good! The apricot sauce was also very interesting – I thought it had a subtle alcoholic taste, and if you douse it on the burger, it’s very tastyyy!

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Cross-section of another friend’s burger

This photo might turn you off, but it shows you a good view of the meat patty! It’s all Angus beef, but I would’ve said the taste was quite similar to a regular beef patty, yet very juicy and tender. All the beef is cooked medium unless otherwise requested (although this looks as if it’s bordering on the cusp of medium-rare to me)…

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Mixed baby greens, tomatoes, carrot strings, and pineapple – $16.50

We didn’t get to try the entire point of the trip to Crow’s Nest until the end of the meal – :( . Drinks were postponed to the end of the meal because of horror stories that we would be so full from the burger that if we even drank a drop of milkshake beforehand, it would take up burger space – but as expected, this didn’t end up happening.

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Peanut Butter Shake & Apple Pie Malt – $5

The drinks at The Counter are available in either shakes or malt – and because we couldn’t decide, we ordered four – one of each.

The peanut butter malt felt like I was drinking peanut butter straight out of the jar – but obviously in a more liquid form. It was super thick, and had gloppy bits of peanut butter in it. IMHO, I thought the shake was better – less overbearing :).
The apple pie shake had lots of apple pie pieces, and the milk flavour was superrr strong (something I wasn’t a fan of). It was nowhere near as thick as the malt, though – but I thought it tasted better :)

So the verdict ? Peanut butter shake, apple pie malt :)

The Counter Burger is no stranger to vegetarians, either ! In addition to getting a beef, turkey, or grilled chicken patty, you can also opt for the animal-free vegetable patty :)
The only problem was that before we went we were warned with monster stories of how enormous the burgers are, and how we couldn’t finish them ….and yet all four of us finished our burgers with no trouble at all.

For anyone going, I’d suggest going for the 450g!

The Counter (visited 16/12/2009)
118 Willoughby Rd
Crows Nest
NSW 2065
(02) 9436 2700
http://www.thecounterburger.com
(visit the website for a super fun video clip on how the burgers are made – as well as a preview of the burger in a bowl!)

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So what if one day we had an urge to paint an egg? Or a hankering to decorate a pie? Or rather than eat a pig, some kind of whimsical fancy to watch pigs race and dive?
Where else could you go to see all these things? The Sydney Royal Easter Show, of course!

And even though egg painting is restricted to children 12 years and under, doesn’t mean that you won’t get a chance to try your hand at milking a cow at the Dairy Farmers Milking Barn ! ..

…or rather, let the cow milk itself.


Dairy Farmers Strawberry Milkshake – $5
The byproduct of said cow above

Unfortunately the milkshake tasted a little bit more like milk than strawberry, but according to the grapevine there’s a really good blueberry milkshake available at the Easter Show somewhere ! ..should watch out for it ;)


Woolworths Food Dome – Vienna Almonds, & Vienna Mixed Nuts – $7, $8

What nutty food blog would be complete without a photo of nuts! These were absolutely delicious :) I tried the mixed nuts and they were amazingly crunchy – not too hard that they break your teeth, but not all soft and old either :)


Vegie Spread – $4 (available in original, original hot, tasty, sweet & sour, garlic, & garlic hot)

A good way of getting your kids to eat vegetables! You can spread this on your bread, but I imagine it would also taste really good in pasta or even steak! The chilli ones weren’t particularly spicy, and it was a bit of a mushy spread – my favourite was the garlic :)


Disaster Bay Chillies – $9

I’ve seen these chilli spreads before around at Markets by Moonlight (at The Rocks), and the Sydney Festival. They have interesting flavours like chilli wine jelly (which i found absolutely terrible!! although if you like chilli and wine it would be the perfect spread for you because it tastes exactly like it sounds), chipotle sauce (which tastes slightly like garlic and jalapenos), and lemon stinger marmalade (an interesting yet slightly sour spin on the traditional breakfast spread).

The great thing about these spreads is that they’re not particularly chilli, and have an exotic taste that can pretty much go with anything!


The Chilli Factory – $10

Another recurring condiment that I’ve seen around before is the Chilli Factory’s chilli sauces, available in mango, honey mustard, roast tomato chilli, and more. Rated out of 10, there was one particular paste called the Devil’s Delirium at a very cool (hot??) 14/10 …based from jolokia chilli, I tried a small piece on my chip, and within five minutes my throat was burning. Although I had a friend who tried a spoonful …half an hour later, he was still standing in the Woolworths’ Dome with his hand over his mouth, eyes watering, cheeks burning ….hahahah.


To be honest, when I tried the Turbo Supercharge (made from habanero) a few months ago, I found that one a LOT more hotter, to the point that I had to scarf down chocolate muffins, in the hope that the milk in the ingredients would soothe my burning throat. ..And that was 10++/10, but I don’t really like habaneros anyway.


Watermelon – $3
Fresh juicy watermelon from the Dome after the chilli scares of the Chilli Factory


Toast & hard boiled eggs made by the Tefal people :)
They also had really nice cheese risotto made by a contraption as of yet not available !~


Facebook Cake: Login ever 3-4 hours may cause procrastination

One of the many cakes on display in the cake competition !


Chocolate dipped strawberries – $3.50

The thing I love about chocolate strawberries is that they are always such pretty works of art that I can never bring myself to eat them! I have photos and photos of these, and the actual ones themselves were very juicy .. although the chocolate is never particularly sweet (I suppose to offset the sourness of the strawberry?)

Waffles – $5, plus extra $2 for toppings

I saw these toppings earlier during the day, and omg the display ones looked sooo tasty I was craving for them all day!

Banana Waffle with Maple Syrup & Icing Sugar – $7

This was delicious! They make it straight up for you on the spot, so you can actually watch them make the waffles from scratch. Although the fruit serving could have been a little more generous, waffles were definitely one of the highlights of the day!

Unfortunately it was just after the woodchopping exhibit that my camera ran out of battery, so I missed taking photos of dinner and everything else! But there’s a really nice restaurant called Sydney Royal Grill, which is situated right near the fireworks, so you can eat dinner and observe from afar, OR eat dinner and then have a mad rush to the stadium (like we did).

Of course, there are always festivals around Sydney at The Rocks and Circular Quay, where many of the food stalls make a reappearance – but the Easter Show is definitely the place to go if you want to discover a whole lot of interesting snacks and sights in a single area (and who can resist the call of the robosaurus?!).

Sydney Royal Easter Show (visited 04/04/2010)
Sydney Olympic Park
Homebush Bay
NSW 2127
http://www.eastershow.com.au

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