Battle of the Flip Burgers
Posted March 4, 2010on:
Alright. So here’s my first real post. It’s based on something I’ve been wanting to discuss, but didn’t know where. And now I have a place to put it!
So. Flip Burger. It’s run by Richard Blaise (he was one of the three finalists on Top Chef Season 4). He’s an Atlanta chef whose creativity level, in my opinion, is way above anything I have ever experienced. He opened Flip as a new, inventive way to enjoy the classic American staple…burgers.
What’s cool about Flip is that they grind their beef for the burgers in house. Everything is fresh, and seasonal (so yeah, that means the menu changes, which I like, but some people may not). They even make their pickles in house (and they are absolutely delicious). Their milkshakes are made using liquid nitrogen to freeze them, so they come out with smoke on top, but with a creamy consistency that you can’t get with traditionally made milkshakes.
I ate at the one in Atlanta several times with my brother and some other friends. I wrote about it awhile ago, so I’ll just repost that here as my insight into Flip Burger Atlanta.
so, after fighting through some Atlanta traffic, we arrive at Flip. It’s in a kinda odd area, surrounded by some auto dealerships or whatever, but it’s not too terribly far from Tech. The ambiance is very cool and hip, albeit slightly on the small and crowded side. The majority of the restaurant was painted white, with touches of red in the seat cushions, and lots of light coming into the restaurant. The plasma TVs sat behind the bar and were framed by white picture frames. It had a good crowd, mostly younger/middle aged people, but there were a few older adults scattered. I think I saw like one kid (my kind of place).we didn’t have to wait for seating, probably because we went at like 6:30 on a Thursday night (my brother went on a Friday night last time and said he had to wait about 2 hours, but well worth the wait). we were seated at the chef bar, so you could actually see them working on plating the dishes and serving them (SO FREAKING COOL). And who just happened to be at the chef bar, right smack in front of where we sat? that’s right…Richard from Top Chef. spiked hair and all. He didn’t stay there long…he stood there for a few minutes right when we were seated, and came back at the end of our meal…still awesome either way.
Here’s what we had:
Butcher cut: beef, caramelized onions, red wine jam, bleu cheese -probably my favorite of the three. simple and classic, but made exceptional by the red wine jam with gave a nice sweet contrast to the bleu cheese. Luckily this one is always on the menu.
Kobe beef: kobe beef, seared foie gras, shaved truffles, pickles, red wine syrup -this one was delicious, but one of those things I’d only order once in a blue moon. The beef was so tender, it was like butter. I’d never had kobe beef before, and this was an awesome way to eat it, although it was a little on the pricey side.
tuna: yellowtail tuna, pickled ginger, vietnamese herb salad -probably my least favorite of the night, but still really good. Kind of spicy, with a lot of cilantro on it. Next time I’d probably try one of the other non-beef burgers instead though.
vodka battered onion rings -I’d heard of beer battered, but never vodka. And they were amazing. Not too greasy, and still crunchy when they got to our table (I hate soggy onion rings). They were served with a beer honey mustard sauce that was quite good as well.
french fries with smoked mayo -just normal, well cooked french fries, but what made them exceptional was the smoked mayo. I don’t know how one goes about make smoked mayo…but i’d like to.
and to finish it all off…nutella with burnt marshmallow milkshake. -it tasted more like chocolate than nutella, and had bits of hazelnut in it to give it a nice crunch. The whole thing was topped off with a good handful of marshmallows that were burnt with a torch on top. It was delicious, and I don’t think I could go with any of the other milkshakes, though if someone ordered a krispy kreme milkshake (they literally put a doughnut in a blender), i’d have to take at least a sip. but the nutella was fantastic.All in all, an exceptionally wonderful meal. Totally brought out the side of me that secretly longs to be a chef and own a restaurant. I loved how hip and trendy it is, and how it’s taken classic burgers and made them gourmet (not a new concept by any means, but a nice change of pace for Atlanta).
Other times I’ve been to Flip Atlanta, I’ve had the Shrimp Po’Burger, which is just a fried shrimp patty with lettuce tomato, and Old Bay mayo. I didn’t care for that too much, as it was too shrimpy for my taste, but what I did really like on it was the fried lemon. Weird, but very yummy. My absolute favorite burger at Flip is the turkey burger. It’s a turkey patty with avocado (I love avocado so much), alfalfa sprouts, and pomegranate ketchup. I get this everytime I go now, because it’s not as heavy as the Butcher Cut (my favorite beef burger), but still incredibly yummy. As far as milkshakes, I usually stick with the Nutella, but once I tried a Chocolate Mole. It was just a normal chocolate shake, but it had cayenne in it which gave a nice warm background to the sweetness of the chocolate. I still like Nutella best.
When I moved to Birmingham, I was deeply saddened at the loss of several of my favorite Atlanta restaurants, Flip included on the list. One weekend, though, while I was shopping at The Summit (an outdoor, kind of ritzy expensive shopping area), I noticed that…much to my shock and happiness…a Flip Burger was opening here! It finally opened in December, and my mom and I went before I went home for Christmas break.
Flip B’ham has a much bigger space to occupy, is a lot lighter feeling (probably because of the huge window at the back that looks out over the summit and provides a beautiful view of some mountains and the horizon), but had pretty much the same setup and decor as Atlanta. We were seated fairly quickly, as we went at 11:30 am, so the lunch crowd hadn’t quite appeared. We sat next to two businessmen, who, after learning that we ate at the one in Atlanta a lot, kept asking us for advice, lol. I was happy to give it…it makes me feel like a real foodie.
So, looking over the menu, I was immediately disappointed to see that my favorite turkey burger was not there. They had a turkey burger…but it was a “wild turkey burger” that had bacon, and a lot of unnecessary things on it (where was my avocado and pomegranate ketchup burger???). The special of the day was a turkey club burger. My mom ordered that, I ordered a mushroom and swiss (from here on out referred to as M&S). We also ordered the fried pickles, which I believe were the best thing we had that meal. The M&S was a patty made from mushrooms, topped with swiss cheese, red wine ketchup, and lettuce, tomato, and onion. It was good, although hard to share with my mom, because when you cut it, the mushroom patty got squished and fell apart. My mom’s turkey club was a fried turkey patty with bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. It was alright, but too heavy for my taste. I do not think that any kind of meat patty really needs to be fried and slapped on a burger, but that’s just me, and I can only take so much friend food. They also didn’t have my Nutella shake on the menu, but they had a S’mores milkshake, which was essentially the same thing minus the nuttiness of the Nutella. It was good…I liked the graham cracker bits in it, and of course I loved the toasted marshmallows.
All in all, I definitely prefer Flip Atlanta. The atmosphere seems more chill and a lot less pretentious than B’ham (which, I think, was only because of it’s location in a shopping center that has a Saks Fifth Avenue). I personally like that Flip Atlanta is a little crowded, kind of small, and in a weird location. I also like the food better at Flip Atlanta. I mean, come on, they have my turkey burger! I’m not saying Flip B’ham is bad, because the quality of the food is still fresh and very high quality, but it’s just not nearly as good as Flip Atlanta, and that’s mainly due to the fact that the menu is slightly different.