Burgers Galore

OK, it’s time for my annual rant about restaurants…or lack thereof, in Foster City. Earlier this week I took the kids to dinner at The Counter in San Mateo. It recently opened across from the Hillsdale Mall in a little space that’s on the corner of the building that houses Trader Joe’s (used to be Tower Records and The Good Guys). The Counter is really sort of obscene…it has way too many choices if you ask me. For example, you have 30 choices of toppings for your burger (including burger regulars like dried cranberries, and hard boilded eggs) 12 types of cheeses and 21 sauces including Apricot sauce, Ginger Soy glaze and Tzatziki Sauce. The idea is that you sort of build your own custom burger…check out that link above and see for yourself.

Honestly…I still like Jack’s Prime better. It did make me think though, about how many custom burger joints have opened around here in the last few years. In San Mateo, in addition to The Counter and Jack’s we have Jeffrey’s Hamburgers, Rave Burger on 3rd Ave and of course Taxi’s on El Camino.

In Belmont (of all places!) there’s the relatively new Godfather’s Burger Lounge and the little Classic 101 Burgers on Ralston. In San Carlos there’s Sneakers , Pudley’s, The Office and even though their specialty is Pastrami, The Refuge makes a terrific burger too!

All of which brings us to Foster City. Why, exactly is it that Foster City can’t support a single burger joint? I don’t get it! OK, OK we can go to Red Robin but technically that’s in San Mateo too. What’s up with that? In Foster City we get McDonalds and Carl’s Jr. Pardon my whining…but why can’t Foster City join the club? Imagine telling your friends, “Hey, I know Jacks or the Counter are cool but have you tried XXX burgers in Foster City? It’s THE BEST!”

Now THAT’S a fantasy worth considering!


  1. There’s also Marvin Gardens in Belmont

  2. IHOP (yes, in Foster City) serves up a pretty good burger. Check it out.
    Be there, or be square.

  3. Jim Minkey says:

    Jen: I for got about Marvins Gardens!! Good call!

    Larry: Thanks for making my point! Comparing IHOP food to any of these other places is like comparing the Sonoma Crushers to the San Francisco Giants. Yes, they’re both baseball teams…but the Crushers won’t be playing at AT&T Park anytime soon…

  4. Jim, you hit on one of my biggest pet peeves about this city. It’s not just a desire for a decent burger joint, but a decent selection of places to dine in general. All one has to do is visit the relatively new BJ’s restaurant located in the Bridgepoint Parkway shopping center to understand what I am referring to. That place is a zoo on any given night. I am dumbfounded as to how this could be lost on our city leaders. You can’t throw a stick in any direction in the Foster City without hitting some sort of fast food joint or Asian restaurant. Don’t get me wrong. Many of the Chinese and Japanese restaurants here are fantastic and I frequent them regularly. Yet try to find a good restaurant that serves American cuisine. I realize the demographics are changing but I refer back to BJ’s. The amount of traffic that location gets begs for something similar in the heart of Foster City. I just don’t get the impression the planning commission understands or really cares.

    It’s in fact one of the reasons why my wife and I just put our place up for sale.

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