Dining in Santana Row – The Counter

Who doesn’t love a good juicy burger?  Like most people, I certainly have a craving every so often for something simple, delicious, yet satisfying and that’s where The Counter, located in San Jose’s hot spot, Santana Row comes to mind.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this ‘build your own burger’ joint, The Counter opened it’s doors back in 2003 and have been serving customized burgers to suit anyone’s palette at over various locations in the U.S. and two locations in Dubland, Ireland.  Upon entering the doors, you’ll notice a very casual atmosphere.  A bar to the left with counter seating along with the dining area to the right.  My favorite part of the Santana Row location is the outdoor seating, which is perfect on a warm sunny day.   Our preference for the evening was to sit around the bar counter, where Kenny, the cheerful and attentive bartender served us.

A clipboard which includes two sets of menus is offered, giving you a choice of building your own burger or simply ordering from the regular menu which includes options from starters, sandwiches, signature burgers or burgers in a bowl for those that are watching their carb intake.

Of course, it wouldn’t be burger joint to me if I didn’t order a strawberry milkshake.  The Counter’s milkshake is smooth, creamy and pretty filling, so make sure you have enough room for the real important part….the burger!

For starters, we had a delectable order of half onion strings and half parmesan french fries (mixed with parsley, rosemary & garlic aoili).  Let’s just say that these were a big hit of the evening as other customers that sat next to us took one glance and ordered the same thing.  I have had the sweet potato fries as well and it’s certainly a favorite on the menu.  Your choice of dipping sauce is included with this order as well.

I took the liberty in ordering a 1/3 lb. turkey burger on a wheat bun with sautéed onions and mushrooms, sharp provolone cheese and of course, topped it off with my ‘can’t live without’ accompaniment, mayo.   From my experiences with various restaurants, turkey burgers can be a huge hit or miss!  Fortunately for me, the turkey burger I ordered was full of flavor and juicy.

Nicole (my lovely, long time friend and contributor) had a 1/3 lb. beef burger with gruyère, sautéed mushrooms, roasted garlic aioli on a regular hamburger bun.   The beef was tender, cooked to perfection, and very juicy.   Of course, to add a little twist to our various selections, she ordered a Stella Artois on tap to quench her thirst for the evening.

Last but not least, we decided to end our eating adventure with a caramel and chocolate brownie dessert a la mode.  Unless you’re not into sharing, this dessert is definitely enough for two, or even three people.   The brownie came out warm topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel and chocolate syrup along with dabs of whipped cream.  The brownie was chewy, and a bit crispy around the perimeter, which I personally think was my favorite part of the dessert.

What I thought was great about our particular visit was how fast the service was, yet on point.  We didn’t have to take anything back and the manager on duty, Edward was great at making his rounds and talking to as many customers as possible to ensure their experience was more than average.  I highly recommend The Counter at Santana Row for lunch as well as dinner.  It’s family friendly and when the sun is shining your pets are welcome to join you outdoors on the patio as well. However, make sure call prior to arriving to see what the wait is like as there is no real waiting area inside and it can get busy during peak dining hours.

For more information on The Counter, it’s locations or to simply glance at the menu, please visit their website at  For a list of dining options at Santana Row, please visit their website at






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