After my husband and I completed one of Oahu’s most grueling hikes, we were ready to treat ourselves big time. And after hearing for weeks about being able to build my own burger and milkshake at The Counter, I knew I needed to check it out. What better time to indulge than right after a hike when calories don’t count?

Located at Kahala Mall right off Waialae Avenue, The Counter offers ample parking and happy hour Sunday-Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. — two very crucial elements to a successful establishment (at least in my mind).

The way to my heart is through my sweet tooth, so I knew before I arrived I’d be getting an adult milk-shake — possibly even two. For those who are interested in something a bit more refined, The Counter also offers draft and bottled beer, wine and a fully stocked bar where the only limitation is your own creativity — a common theme at this place!

After much deliberation, my first choice was the Strawberry Shortcake Shake, a decadent mix of Stoli Vanil vodka, Amaretto, strawberries, yellow cake mix and vanilla ice cream. It also came topped with a liberal swirl of whipped cream.

The verdict? I downed it. It was an absolute dream concoction that was the perfect amount of sweet and smooth. I didn’t feel like I was taking shots of Stoli, but could certainly taste the buttery undertones.

To go with my meal (what good burger isn’t paired with a milkshake?), I chose the Key Lime Pie Shake, also made with Stoli Vanil, graham crackers, fresh lime and vanilla ice cream. Definitely much stronger than the Strawberry Shortcake, I could have made a meal out of this mouth-warming treat.

The shakes offered on the menu — Birthday Cake, Bananas Foster and Thin Mint, just to name a few — are only a small sampling of what The Counter has to offer. For $9, the bartender will create any shake you can dream up!

As a side note, the food is equally delicious and the happy hour small bites are a steal. I plan on going back and making a meal of their Apple Pie Shake spiced with Captain Morgan Rum alongside sweet potato fries for a special fall treat.

Who wants to join me?