I'd contemplated just grabbing an order to go, but decided to dine in so that I could watch a bit of the Falcons/Pats game. The Counter is a chain with roots in SoCal, and the decor reflects that with palm trees, beach scene photos and skateboards lining the walls. I'd read a few complaints on Urbanspoon regarding the service (or lack thereof). I must have come on a good day, because I found the service to be acceptable.
The server presents you with a menu sheet and pen so that you can mark off your selections. As I try to do whenever I visit a restaurant for the first time, I had my gameplan in place before I arrived. A "custom built" 1/3 lb beef burger, cooked medium, with grilled onions, tomatoes, Tillamook cheddar, sharp provolone, honey-cured bacon and avocado. For my "sauce", I chose Creamy Buttermilk Ranch. I chose the "Fifty-Fifty"' side order of fries and onion strings. You can also go fries/sweet fries or sweet fries/onion strings for a little bit extra.
The fries and crispy onion strings were nicely seasoned and tasty. They are presented with both creamy buttermilk ranch and barbecue dipping sauces. I found the fries/barbecue sauce combo to be surprisingly good (it's not what I'd normally choose to dip my fries in). The onion strings had a nice light coating and weren't greasy-just the way I like them. The portion is quite substantial-more than enough for two people to share but too much for this hopeless foodie to be able to finish in one sitting. Not long after, my custom built burger arrived-sans the honey cured bacon I requested. A minor mistake that was easily (and quickly) corrected.
I had intended to attack this like one normally attacks a burger, but this thing was massive. In order to avoid making a mess all over myself, I had no choice but to knife and fork it. On a future trip, I'll probably opt for a Burger In A Bowl (burger served on a bed of either a lettuce blend or mixed baby greens). My burger was perfectly cooked, juicy, and well seasoned. I would probably pass on the grilled onions next time, but the honey cured bacon was fantastic. I'd planned to order an Apple Pie shake to go, but I was so full that I decided to pass. I'd consumed more than enough calories on this trip.
On the whole, I was pleased with the food as well as the service. The prices are a little steep though-a couple could easily spend $30 plus for a meal (even with splitting an order of Fifty-Fifty fries/onion strings, something I would suggest that you do). I think you'd get a better value (and a burger that's just as good, if not better) at The Vortex, for example. That said, it's still not a bad option for a tasty burger on the Northside in my opinion. I will definitely be back to experiment with another "custom built" burger combination, and next time I will have that Apple Pie shake to go.
850 Mansell Road
Roswell, GA 30076
(678) 461-9662 Fax