Burger joints are a dime a dozen these days; as soon as you blink another one pops up with more beefy wares and more toppings. This is definitely the case at The Counter, which just opened at W41st and Broadway. It's originally a Southern California fast-yet-casual restaurant chain, that specializes in gourmet custom topped burgers and burger salads. Rumor has it that there are 312,120 possible combos. My two favorite burger spots are Shake Shack and Bill's Bar and Burger, and I wanted to see if I could add another place to my list. Also, I have a massive jones for well made turkey burgers. Sometimes I like to lighten my bovine consumption, and turkey burgers help that. Bill's makes the best around, in my humble opinion, and who doesn't like a challenge?
First thing that came to mind when I got in: this place is sleek. Lots of streamlined design and futuristic fixtures give the place a really modern look...just not a particularly cozy one. I sat at the bar, since I was eating alone and I was greeted by a very sweet waitress who set me up with a menu. Glory Moses...the menu read like a Census Poll! I love choices and all...but damn. After about 10 minutes of being overwhelmed, I gathered my thoughts and ordered. I got the turkey on a hamburger bun with romaine, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, sharp cheddar, cranberries, and apricot sauce. For my sides, one of their "Fifty-Fifty" combos: sweet potato fries and onion strings.
The sides came out first..and I really tried to wait to eat them. REALLY. Oh man...now, it's difficult to do sweet potato fries well because sweet potatoes themselves have such a high water and sugar content. These were delicious, crispy, and light. And I could've eaten these onion strings forever, the batter was crispy and super flavorful. No oily or heavy taste either.
And then...the burger came.
Don't get me wrong here! The toppings were fresh, the sauce wasn't creamy like I expected, but just a bright tangy glaze, which I really liked. But the burger tasted like a preformed patty, and sure looked like one too. The turkey burger at Bill's Bar and Burger is hand-formed, seasoned with provolone and basil, and is an absolute delight. It doesn't treat the turkey burger as beef's lamer cousin. The meat was cooked well, but it just didn't taste like anything.
Lesson learned! Get the regular burger next time, until they learn to make a proper turkey one.