Mario and I visited hip-looking burger joint The Counter last weekend in Charlotte (there is also a location in GA in Roswell). We’ve been scoping it out for a while and decided that the fact that it was packed was a good sign. Surprisingly, we were seated immediately (larger groups should expect a longer wait) and were given the run-down on the order process.
We were given a half-page menu and order sheets on a clip board. The Counter’s order process reminded me of a sushi place where the table checks off their orders for the server. You can choose your patty protein and size (1/3 lb, 2/3 lb, or 1lb), cheese (1 incl), toppings (4 incl, with “premium” toppings like bacon or mushrooms running $0.50/each), sauce (1 incl), and bun (English muffin, regular, or honey wheat). Whew! There are also “signature” burgers, the burger of the month, and non-burger sandwiches.
Mario and I ordered a “fifty-fifty” (half regular fries, half sweet potato fries), a bacon cheeseburger + bbq sauce, and a bleu-bacon-mushroom-pickle burger + roasted garlic aioli:
Both of us LOVED our burgers. Their standard cooking temp is medium, but we both asked for medium well. They were very nicely cooked but not too dry. I could have done with a little more seasoning in the patty, but the great toppings made up for any lack of flavor here. The bacon was thick and perfectly cooked, mushrooms well seasoned, and bleu cheese added the perfect tang. My garlic aioli, which I was slightly disappointed with as a sauce for my pub frites at Leon’s, was fabulous. The garlic flavor was rich and (rightly) overpowered any mayo-yness.
We were both fans of our “fifty-fifty” as well, Mario was in love with the sweet potato fries and I was quite happy with the regular ones, which were cooked just how I like (crisp but not crunchy). I’m not sure what the sauce on the side was (maybe horseradish mayo?) but it was soo yummy and went perfectly with the regular fries. The sweet potato fries were also well cooked and had that perfect sweet/savory balance.
To top everything off, I also ordered a milkshake that took me the rest of the evening to finish. I was a little disappointed with their lack of flavor variety, but I was VERY pleased with the combo I decided on, Caramel/Apple Pie:
Such a yummy milkshake! I’m pretty sure there was a whole slice of apple pie blended in too, because I got some chunks of crust and apple stuck in my straw.
The Counter was a fun environment for groups or just for two. There were a lot of families dining in when we visited, but they also boast a full bar and a few flat screens tuned in to various sporting events. It’s no H+F burger, but I think I can safely say we’re both looking forward to a return visit!