Counter, The
Roppongi: Burgers
Counter, The (Roppongi: Burgers)
Counter, The
Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Sun: Open Sundays
no smoking: No smoking

Custom-made burgers with a huge variety of optional ingredients, sauces and toppings are ready to order from this California-based burger shop. Alternatively, you can swap your buns for salad greens with meals-in-a-bowl like the Beef and Brie and the Grilled Mahi-Mahi Salad, or explore sandwich options like the Grilled Cheese Trifecta and the BLT with grilled avocado.

One of the main attractions here is the sheer range of free toppings, which you can order to your heart's content. There are fresh jalapenos and grilled Anaheim chillies, black-bean salsa and marinated artichokes, red onions both raw and grilled - some 25 toppings in all. There are nearly as many sauces, ranging from super spicy (Korean chili aioli, hot wing sauce, sweet sriracha) to salad-dressing territory (buttermilk ranch, dijon balsamic). You can even go wild with a three-part "sauce flight" for an extra Y100.

There are also thirteen choices of cheese (herbed goat cheese, Madam?), and premium add-on options like bacon and guacamole (Y100 each). The Angus beef patties end up seeming like a delivery vehicle for all the extras rather than the center of attention, and in spite of all the customization they never ask whether you want your burger cooked medium-rare or well done. Indeed beef patties are only one of several protein options, with alternate choices like chicken burgers, southern-fried chicken and mahi mahi.

Located in the basement of Tokyo Midtown's main restaurant complex, The Counter is casual shopping-mall diner in style, with rather loud top-forty pop music in the background. When we visited shortly after opening there was a fairly long wait in spite of the numerous empty seats inside. There's a take-out window located around the corner from the main entrance, although it can take twenty minutes to get your take-out order during busy periods.

Custom burgers start at Y1190 (for a 170g patty of beef or chicken, with one cheese and multiple toppings). Side dishes like french fries, cole slaw and quinoa salad are Y300 each, and wines start at Y790 a glass. Desserts include custom shakes with ingredients like nutella and salted pretzel, "spiked shakes" with added alcohol, and apple pie.

Roppongi
Minato-ku, Akasaka 9-7-4, Tokyo Midtown Galleria B1F.
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Charcoal-grilled pork on skewers, udon noodles in curry-flavored soup, octopus dumplings, deep-fried beef cutlet -- there's a whole world of exciting food in Tokyo that food-loving visitors often miss out on.

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Venue listing from Bento.com4 Star Rating: recommended