Millions Of Burger Customizations
BY JON MURANAKA
owner of The Counter
When I purchased The Counter at Kāhala Mall back in October, the move was unprecedented. We were in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has crippled our economy, particularly restaurants and the hospitality industry. I knew that it would be a challenge, and of course it was an anxiety-filled move to make. There was just so much uncertainty about the economy, when the vaccine would come out, and so many other factors. But this was an opportunity that I had been waiting for, and I couldn’t let the shaky foundation that the pandemic created stop me from moving forward.
Being a small-business owner, especially during 2020, has taught me that entrepreneurship is challenging, but also extremely rewarding. The best part about the job is being able to work alongside my amazing staff, interacting with customers and serving delicious food. Representing The Counter brand is also a great part of the job; the customization that we offer and the quality of our food sets us apart from other burger joints.
We offer our customers a fresh, unconventional approach to creating the ultimate burger, offering over a million possible burger combinations — diners can choose from eight proteins, 12 cheeses, 33 signature toppings, 21 unique sauces, and six types of buns or fresh greens. Our proteins include two vegan options, as well as nontraditional proteins like bison and mahi mahi. Of course, beef is the most popular, and we offer some of the best quality with our hormoneand antibiotic-free Black Angus. Diners can choose the temperature and size for most of the proteins.
In addition to the custom burgers, we offer signature burgers that highlight some of the most popular combos — all of which can be turned into a bowl for those who want to ditch the bun. Other main course menu items include salads, sandwiches, beef or turkey chili, and more, with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. We also have a well-rounded, dedicated kids’ menu. For diners looking for local options, our loco moco and teri burgers make great choices.
My personal favorite is the Nashville Hot chicken sandwich, featuring buttermilk-brined chicken, breaded and fried, served with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles and topped with mayo and Nashville hot sauce on a brioche bun. The chicken is crispy and juicy while the sauce provides spice and tanginess. It really creates the perfect bite.
Customers really like our The Counter Burger — made with all-natural Angus beef, provolone, tomatoes, lettuce, topped with sautéed mushrooms and fried onion strings, served with garlic aioli on a brioche bun — as well as The Impossible Burger, which comes with an Impossible Burger patty, herbed goat cheese, mixed greens, tomatoes, grilled onions, topped with avocado and served with garlic aioli on a brioche bun.
While burgers are the focus, diners won’t want to miss out on some of the other elements that help us stand out: our appetizers and hand-scooped milkshakes. Appetizers like fries (plain, Parmesan, chili/cheese and sweet potato), buffalo cauliflower, loaded tots and chicken wings start the meal off perfectly. The options for shakes are nearly as endless as for the burgers, with seven signature shakes, four boozy shakes and a create-your-own-shake menu with 14 items. With a variety of vegan and gluten-free options available, guests can choose to eat healthy or indulge.
Throughout the year, we will be introducing new, limited-time burger options. For example, we currently have The Cowboy Burger which features chili lime bacon, candied jalapeños, jack cheese and chipotle aioli. We also have a full bar with draft and bottled beers, wines and 10 signature cocktails.
We look forward to serving you during the holidays and beyond.
The Counter is located at 4211 Wai‘alae Ave. E-1. Call 739-5100.