Friday, September 01, 2006

Saddle up to The Counter

Earlier this week, my lovely and ever-alert girlfriend pointed me to an article about The Counter, which just opened a new location in Palo Alto (369 California Avenue; 650-321-3900) last week, right down the road from my workplace. The Counter, which is known for gourmet burgers at less-than-gourmet burger prices, was recently mentioned on the Oprah Winfrey Show, resulting in a nearly six-fold increase in sales. Of course, where Oprah goes to eat, we must go too... ;)

One note: Several articles that I read about The Counter mention that there are over 300,000 different burger combinations. I guess this is true, but I can't figure out how they settled on that number. As far as I can tell, there are a lot more possibilities. You can pick four toppings from a list of 27, one sauce from a list of seventeen choices, and one of three types of buns. Applying mathematical skills acquired through years of post-graduate education, I figure that you have 895,050 different possibilities before you even contemplate your cheese selection. Even if you restrict yourself to the list of eighteen non-premium toppings, you already have 156,060 different combinations before deciding on your cheese of choice, much less your burger type (beef, turkey, or veggie). So, as far as I can tell, 300,000 is a lower bound though certainly not a very good one. I guess that it's better than saying that there are more than, say for example, 23 different combinations.