I've heard a lot about this chain burger place in Carlsbad called The Counter. Curiosity got the best of me so I drove up to check it out.
The concept is similar to Which Wich, where you get to customize your burger based on a picklist. You pick the size of burger, a cheese, up to four toppings, a sauce, and a bun.
I'm a little bit of an Alton Brown burger purist (cheese and mayo only), so this was a little weird. It's kind of nerve racking, because you are constantly wondering if topping x will go with topping y (and z). Or if the topping will make the actual burger all together. I was paralyzed for a moment, but decided fuggit, and just ordered what I felt like at the moment, compatibility be damned.
I went with 1/3 lb patty, blue cheese, spicy sour cream, scallions, olives, green chiles, jalapenos, and a regular bun. They were more than happy to cook it medium-rare. Actual medium-rare, not medium-but-called-medium-rare most places do.
I know it sounds like it would be nasty, and it probably looks nasty, but somehow this hot mess of a burger totally worked. All the ingredients, the meat, the bun Really, really good. I just wish there was one closer.
What didn't work were the fries (not bad, just nothing special), the mix on the soda (too much carbonated water), and the music. As much as I enjoyed getting the burger down, hearing Snow's "Informer" and Maroon 5 almost made my lunch come up.