The Counter’s Veggie Burger is Surprisingly Great (and Shockingly Fattening!)

During the summer, I often make a futile attempt at eating light so I can look good in the bikini that sits in my dresser drawer for the vacation I never end up going on. My latest attempt at healthy eating went comically poorly, and for some reason I feel compelled to share my embarrassment with you nice folks. My hypothesis going in: You can totally eat a light meal at a burger joint. Right? I tried it out at The Counter in Times Square. My hypothesis was dead wrong (but I still had a tasty meal!).

I ordered a veggie burger (1/3 lb) with Gruyere cheese (one of my favorites for melting), baby spinach, lettuce, roasted corn & black bean salsa and grilled onions, on a honey wheat bun, with the irresistible-sounding roasted garlic aioli. The whole thing cost $9.95 plus tax and sounded borderline unappealingly healthy to me.

Well, it wasn’t. Before I get into how unhealthy it was, let me first say this was a great veggie burger. If you enjoy the occasional veggie burger, I highly recommend trying this one. I very much appreciate when you can make out the individual ingredients in the patty, and you can definitely seem them here. The burger has good heft to it and will definitely keep you full until dinner, despite its lack of cow.

Health-wise, I did my best, but clearly I have no concept of calories. (Frankly, after this experience, I don’t think I want this understanding.) At first I was horrified and then burst out laughing when I looked up the nutritional information on The Counter’s website — which, by the way, I never do and never will again! — because I did the math, and this was a 1000 calorie meal. I didn’t even get fries out of the deal!

While the veggie burger was really very good, and I would order it again, I wouldn’t eat at The Counter if I were trying to shed pounds. Clearly I went wrong with the aioli, but who can resist roasted garlic aioli? Seriously, this is the kind of place where you just go for it — get the friggin beef burger with all the crazy fixins and chow down. Bikini season, be damned!

The Counter, 7 Times Square (btw 41st+42nd St), 212-997-6801

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