Enter The Counter, a build-your own-burger joint in Lincoln Park, and you might be surprised when the server hands over a clipboard listing endless choices to create your own gourmet feast. Then you might become overwhelmed by the vast array of fresh ingredients vying for a space in your meal. But relax, give your family a few minutes to peruse the menu, enjoy the hip industrial decor and get ready to have a dining experience created just for you-by you.
666 W. Diversey Parkway, Chicago
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
“With over 300,000 possible combinations to choose from on the build-your-own burger menu, including four proteins, 12 cheeses, 33 toppings, 21 unique sauces and five types of buns, there is something that appeals to everyone from the pickiest eater to the most adventurous,” says The Counter Founder Jeff Weinstein.
With all of those choices, The Counter leaves nobody out. Don’t eat red meat? Choose a turkey or veggie patty. Cutting down on carbs? Opt for your protein and toppings to be served up in a bowl instead of a bun. Have a child whose appetite can’t handle a hefty third-pound burger? Go for the mini-burgers, grilled cheese or good old-fashioned PB&J. Feeling indecisive? Skip the clipboard and order one of the signature burgers in a bowl.
And by all means, don’t forget the french fries. Try the Parmesan fries mixed with parsley, rosemary and garlic aioli or the chili cheese variety smothered with Tillamook cheddar, red onion and sour cream. Or ask for the “Fifty-Fifty,” which comes with two types of fries, regular and sweet potato, or a choice of fries and the exquisitely delicious crispy onion strings.
Lastly, leave enough room to at least split a dessert, such as the decadent caramel and chocolate brownie, key lime pie or apple crumb a la mode. In addition, the shakes, floats and malts are perfect sweet treats for pint-sized customers.