Have a blind date coming up? Need to eat dinner with someone who's really bad at making small talk? Eliminate that awkward initial silence by agonizing over the list of burger options at The Counter!
I know this sounds like an unusual endorsement for a restaurant -- especially one that I really like -- but ordering your burger here is no small feat. Prepare to spend at least a few quiet minutes pouring over the list of dozens of different options and toppings (more than 60 at last count) for your burger before placing your order.
Personally, this can be a bit bewildering if you find yourself liking everything on the list: "Does grilled pineapple go with tzatziki sauce and guacamole? No? WELL, IT DOES NOW." You can easily end up with an inedible burger, but I'm pleased to report this has only happened to me once over the course of many visits to the Washington Avenue burger joint.
More clever types than I will likely end up crafting custom creations that rival some of the fancier restaurants in town: Try the apricot sauce with Brie and bacon or the peanut sauce with shredded carrots and cucumbers, and you'll see that The Counter is no ordinary burger barn.
Of course, if you find yourself completely flummoxed, there is a standard array of on-menu burgers to choose from, like the Old School or -- my favorite - The Counter burger with Provolone, onion strings and sauteed mushrooms. You can even get your burger in a bowl, which is nice if you're one of those poor schmucks on a low-carb diet.
If you're not, however, The Counter has plenty of other treats to tempt you: malts and shakes, freshly made behind the bar; an excellent selection of beer and wine; and fried pickle chips that are amazing when dipped in that apricot sauce. Trust me.
Read more about our ongoing love affair with The Counter in this week's cafe review and check out our behind-the-scenes photos from its kitchen to see how other patrons were having their burgers custom-built last week, then tell us: What would you put on your burger from the vast list of toppings?
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.