NYC is full of hidden gluten free gems but I never thought a restaurant named “The Counter” would be one of them. But it is just that, a gluten free gem dead smack in the middle of Times Square.
I work over in the Bryant Park area. During my first week I scoured seamless for gluten free restaurants or places that had any hint of a gluten free menu. I stumbled onto this place after about 30 minutes of research because they had a delicious picture of a burger on the front. I’m a sucker for good food pics, aren’t we all? I figured they could do it without the bun as a common worst case scenario but decided to call and make sure. To my surprise, they could do a ton of stuff gluten free and even had a separate kitchen space and dedicated fryer. Hearing those words are always music to my ears.
This place is as simple as it gets. Great burgers with a TON of custom options ranging from the size of your burger, choice of meat, cheeses, sauces, toppings and whatever else your burger buds desire. I’ve made some ridiculous burgers here in the past with like 8 toppings (no joke) and they oblige without looking at me like I have three heads. The fries I think are the best part. Thin and crispy but just the right amount of fluff on the inside. The seasoning they use is top notch in terms of taste. I can sometimes eat at a burger place and skip the fries but you’d be doing your taste buds a serious disservice if you skipped them here.
The food here is great but it is ultimately what you make it since the whole catch to this place is your ability to customize everything with a ton of options at your disposal.
This is typically a lunch spot during the work week so I haven’t tested out their drink menu. They have a full bar though so if you and your co-worker want to have an adult beverage to let off some steam and talk smack about your boss, have at it.
The service here isn’t 5 star restaurant service but in terms of gluten free accommodations, they know exactly what they are doing. But I always say this in reviews, good service regarding gluten free eating is easy to come by as long as the kitchen is set up to handle it. They have a totally separate kitchen for gluten free prep along with a separate gluten free fryer. All the server has to do is take your order from the gluten free order card, submit it to the kitchen and ensure you don’t get someone else’s order by accident. It couldn’t be any easier for them, or you.
Menu Honesty (10.0)
They have a traditional menu where you can pick pre-designed food items but the menu is rather small compared to what you can customize on your own. The big draw to this place are the order cards where you check off all the ingredients you want in/on your burger. The main menu doesn’t have gluten free options listed but they have a dedicated gluten free order card that you use which has all of your options listed and ready to be check marked. This is as easy and safe as it gets.
Did I Get Sick (NO)
I have never gotten sick from eating here and I have made a bunch of crazy different burgers. As long as you order from the gluten free order card, you are fully safe. I even brought my new pal Nima along last week and tested out the fries and burger bun (where the grill marks were) and she fully approved both items.
This restaurant is as safe, easy and tasty as you can get in terms of gluten free burger eating. The customization, ingredient options and overall food taste is outstanding. A gluten free safe haven that I highly recommend if you are in the mood for an oversized burger.