The Counter - West Coast burger chain in NYC
i am hesitant to start a topic about fast food-type burgers knowing how it always devolves into a debate over the merits of Shake Shack. let's make a conscience effort to avoid this and to discuss the burger at hand - The Counter Burger.
a friend in LA has been talking this place up. they have many locations throughout California and the US, but only two in the Northeast. immediately, two things become clear: they use fresh ingredients and the portions are generous. this isn't a BRGR, Burger Joint, Shake Shack style patty. there's three options: 1/3, 2/3 or 1 lb patty. i opted for the 2/3 lb, cooked rare and served on a standard roll. cheese options include more than the standard cheddar, american and swiss. i went with the horseradish cheddar, along with black olives, sliced cucumber, roasted corn & black bean salad, and organic mixed greens, topped with a spicy sour cream sauce.
over all, the burger was good, but the patty lacked any real flavor on its own. like Island Burger, The Counter seems to rely on the toppings to flavor the sandwich. fortunately, they do offer a wide variety of garnishes and sauces to choose from, leaving it to the patron to compose the flavor profile.
when considering value, The Counter is well more expensive than the thin patty competition. however, at $16 with tax and tip (based on 2/3 lb patty and no premium toppings), it's even a bit more costly than most pub burgers and doesn't include fries. that said, it's a *healthier* option when topped with some of their veggies and just as filling. one would have to weigh the importance of the two, toppings vs. fries, to make a fair comparison.
given its Times Square location, i can't see myself frequenting the place, but would eat there again if nearby. it's conveniently right of the 1,2,3 stop at 42nd, allowing for a quick in & out without suffering the crowds.
1451 Broadway, New York, NY 10036