ORGANIC BURGERS? I am complete.

WHO DOESN’T LOVE A GOOD BURGER? Beef, Turkey, Veggie…there are all sorts of possibilities. I did the Veggie thing for a while. I did the Turkey thing for a bit too….but my heart is in the real, 100%, all-American, beef burger. Growing up in Los Angeles, the closest thing to a “healthy” burger I knew was In-n-Out. Every now and then when I visit, I must have one. They are definitely tasty and the nostalgia makes it even better. It’s a West Coast thing. 😉 Times have changed though, and with people growing more concerned about the quality of their food, healthier options for dining out are becoming more available. As a burger lover, I have listed my Top 3 healthy burger joints. So, next time the kids ask for some McDonald’s, I mean, a hamburger, consider one of the following if you have one close to you.

During my trip back to Cali last year, I soon learned the new “it” place for a burger is THE COUNTER. 100% Natural Angus beef, hormone and antibiotic free, humanely raised and handled. You sit down in a hip, social environment while enjoying a cold beer or glass of wine and custom order your burger. A Burger Bar…love at first sight! You choose the bread (there’s a burger bowl option too), toppings, type and size of patty, and sauce, all from a small clipboard. To go with that, their 50/50 fries (half regular/half sweet potato…though the onion rings are good too) are a must. I have visited the Toluca Lake, Studio City, and Manhattan Beach locations and have experienced bliss every time. (Celebrity sightings are the norm in most of the L.A. sites.) Locations have sprouted all throughout California and slowly showing up in other states. The Counter can also be found in Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Texas, New York, Florida, Virginia and even Ireland! If you’re looking for a unique, healthier Burger experience and are near one of their locations, check them out: The Counter Burger

Now, if you are ever near the West Hollywood area of Los Angeles, I’ve got another great option for you. How about a burger joint where EVERYTHING is organic?! I discovered O Burger while staying at a friend’s house last summer in the area.  I almost burst from the excitement.  At O Burger (yes, as in O for Organic) when I say everything is organic, I mean EVERYTHING: buns, veggies, meats, sauces, ketchup, mustard, even the FRIES!!! “If it’s edible, it’s organic!”  No GMOs, no added anything…just REAL FOOD…and let me assure that this definitely means REAL TASTE. While I tried the regular cheeseburger, which was juicy and full of flavor, they also serve turkey and homemade veggie burgers and bowls and beef hot dogs. I think I would probably eat here every day if I could.  As if they couldn’t win me over any further, O Burger is eco-friendly too! Not only is their packaging environmentally friendly, but the cleaners they use and even their paint are non-toxic! Just stepping foot in O Burger is a detox.  Here’s to hoping more of these types of healthy fast food places continue to emerge.  Check out: O Burger

So, after 7 months in Los Angeles, I was a little bummed to leave the plethora of good eats. Imagine my over-the-top excitement at returning to PA and learning an Elevation Burger had opened nearby! Here I was consoling myself at the thought of having a burger at Jake’s Wayback Burgers in Willow Grove (not organic, but NOT McDonald’s, and delicious, so it would be ok). Well, no need for guilty pleasures now…I have guilt-less pleasure just minutes away at Elevation Burger in Willow Grove, PA. Happy homecoming! Their motto: ingredients matter. At Elevation Burger the product and experience are definitely elevated…100% grass-fed, free-range, USDA-certified organic beef and French fries cooked in 100% olive oil that are addicting. With beef that’s ground on the premises and tastes like it’s supposed to, you can add the Elevation secret sauce, which is a nice touch and isn’t smothered all over or overpowering in taste. Though their menu is simple, you can also order your burger wrapped in lettuce instead of bread, or get the “Half the Guilt” Burger for one beef patty and one veggie patty. The family and I have been going just about every Sunday for the past 2 months. With the Club 7 (frequent burger buyer) card we’ve already scored on 3 free burgers. This is mostly thanks to my burger crazy husband who orders the “Vertigo” every time. The Vertigo burger comes with 3 patties and you can add up to 10! So far, he’s stuck with 4, no problem. I think this weekend he’ll be ready to up it to 5 patties. 😉 This environmentally friendly, organic burger chain has won my daughter’s heart, as well.  There’s nothing like having her ask for a hamburger and fries (which is now specifically asked for as Elevation) and being able to take her to a “fast food” place with confidence.  Last week, as a treat, we ordered their Vanilla malt with ORGANIC cheesecake for dessert. BLISS! Enough said. Elevation Burger is sweeping the nation, get there…locations in So Cal, Vegas, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Maine, Florida, and luckily for me, Pennsylvania. My life is complete.

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