The Counter @ Blue Back Sq, W Htfd vs the competition
We went to the recently opened Counter for lunch today - definitely a 'go back' even though its not that easily accessible and lacks free parking not really a big deal). Benchmarks are Plan B and 5 Guys. Our schedule put us there early, 11:15, we were the first seated. The place subsequently filled up fast. I was pleasantly surprised they had a liquor license but wasn't impressed by their draft beer and wine offerings. I had a 1/3# burger with red onions, blue cheese, and bacon with peppercorn sauce on the side (this was nice to have the sauce served this way). Mrs 02sbxstr had the same burger with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and garlic aioli. I like that you can order 1/3, 2/3, and 3/3# burgers. Plan B's burgers are too big for me and the sliders aren't an option while 5 Guys has their 'little' option. The burgers were ordered 'steakhouse medium' and that was what was delivered - they were excellent. We also ordered fries and they were good but with the garlic aioli were much improved. 5 Guys fries are world class. In summary, all three of these places have their pluses and minuses. The Counter's burgers are excellent (great tasting beef) and you have the option to gorge yourself or not and they serve beer and wine (albeit of limited selection). Physically, its an industrial interior and loud, but the sound level at least drowns out children. Plan B (Glastonbury) offers a great selection of draft beers, has salads and more pub food selections in a very comfortable atmosphere, but the burgers are too big. 5 Guys has great burgers and especially the fries, but its business model is different and the dining experience is different. If the three places were adjacent, we would go to 5 Guys if we were short on time, the Counter for a lunch on a work day, and Plan B for a meal out after work.