UPDATE: Counter is now closed. Original review archived below:
After hearing on several NYC restaurant blogs about the imminent closing of this well-known vegan/vegetarian restaurant, and after reading Marty’s Flying Vegan Review post about eating dinner (and veggie burgers) there, I decided I had to try it before it disappeared.
I arrived just as they were opening their doors for dinner, so I was the only person there for awhile, but I got to chat with the bartender about veggie burgers and filmmaking, and by the time I had finished my meal there were quite a few other people arriving and being seated at tables.
Even though I knew I was ordering the veggie burger – the “East Side Burger” (house-made seitan-mushroom burger & potato bun) – I took a few minutes to peruse the rest of the menu, and it all sounded delicious. And mostly vegan: the veggie burger is vegan, and the menu notes that the handful of items that contain dairy are made with “local – sustainable dairy with no animal rennet.”
The burger arrived with a side of very tasty fries (or “hand cut pommes frites” as the menu calls them). That burger might look a little small in the photo, but it was quite filling! The patty is about an inch thick, and the bun is very thick too (almost too thick, it was hard to fit my mouth around the burger to take a bite!), but very sweet and tasty.
There were some greens, tomatoes, and pickled red onions on my plate to the side of the burger, so I loaded it up with them before taking my first bite.
I was a bit wary of the taste of the patty since mushrooms are the second ingredient listed, and I’ve mentioned before how much I dislike mushrooms… but honestly, even as a mushroom-hater, I still enjoyed this burger. I could definitely taste the mushrooms, but their texture wasn’t noticeable (the seitan took center stage in that arena, and the texture of the burger was wonderful). And the flavor was rich and savory, just what you want a burger to be.
the candle-lit ambiance is lovely for restaurant guests, but unfortunately necessitates the use of my camera's flash in photographing veggie burgers.
I can see why people are sad about this place closing. Although the prices (what had kept me away until now) are a bit steep, I could definitely imagine myself bringing friends here for special occasions in the future if it were to stay open. And it’s close to my favorite vegan ice cream spot, Lula’s!
update: Counter closed. RIP :(
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Burger patty: 4 Bun: 4 Toppings: 4
105 1st Ave
between 6th & 7th street
New York, NY 10003
YumVeggieBurger review #44