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The Counter Restaurant Review: The Counter started in Santa Monica and now, because it's darn good, there are locations popping up all over California and the U.S. The Carlsbad spot sports a spacious room with graffiti-covered skateboard decks on the wall as art and giant sepia-toned photos of palm trees and local hangouts. Customers get a clipboard with myriad gourmet choices so you can build your own burger---with over 300,000 possible combinations. Size ranges from 1/3 pound to a full pound burger (veggie, turkey, chicken, or market pick) with accoutrements like soft ripened Brie, grilled pineapple, roasted peppers, basil pesto sauce, tzatziki, dried cranberries, and on and on. We like the quirky deep-fried dill pickles and the sweet potato fries. Kids (big and small) dig the mini sliders, malts, milkshakes and massive caramel chocolate brownies for dessert.