Last night I ate dinner at Flip with Kyle, my sister and brother-in-law. This was the fourth time I have eaten at the restaurant, so my review will reflect my combined experiences.
If you claim to be a Southern foodie and you haven't heard about Flip, maybe you need to rethink your foodie status. Flip's chef is Richard Blais, formerly a runner-up on the fourth season of TV's Top Chef and previously a chef at the Atlanta restaurants Fishbone and One Midtown Kitchen. Flip is his baby.
Last night's experience at Flip was a little disappointing. We ordered the tempura asparagus, which are normally very crisp but drooped under the weight of too much oil. I chose the mushroom and Swiss burger, and I felt that the "burger" itself, which is made entirely of mushrooms, wasn't firm or substantial enough for me. My brother-in-law, Ryan, felt the lamburger failed to live up to its description, and Kyle thought the whipped cheese whiz on this favorite burger, the Philly, tasted a little unpleasant.
This however, should be viewed in contrast to the other three times I have dined at the restaurant, when the food was nothing short of delicious. The tuna burger, which includes pickled ginger and a smoked mayo Vietnamese salad on a yellowfin tuna patty, is unique and tasty. My favorite burger to date is the steak tartar burger, which features a generous helping of steak tartar on a burger patty and can only be described as sinfully flavorful. All of the burgers, regardless of makeup, can be labeled as eye candy.
The milkshakes are equally as interesting as the burgers. There's a very rich Nutella milkshake overflowing with burnt marshmallows, a nice alternative to typical plain chocolate, although I feel the hazelnut flavor is a little too faint and failed to completely meet my expectations. The pistachio with white truffle flavor is back on the menu after a brief hiatus, and I consider it a nice summery treat. Last night I enjoyed the Georgia peaches and cream flavor that's recently been added to the menu, and I was happy to discover it tasted of real peaches and wasn't overly sweet. Of course, true foodies will want to try the fois gras milkshake, just for the novelty of it. I tried it and was disappointed because I felt like it didn't contain enough fois gras, considering the $9 price.
Speaking of price, Flip can't really be considered a bargain. The burgers range from $6.50 for the plainest burger (the Flip) to $17 for the Kobe, which contains the famous high quality beef, fois gras and truffle oil. The average burger price is $8, and the burgers are small, only 5.5 ozs. The milkshakes are also fairly small, and they range from $6 to $9. While I state that Flip is expensive compared to typical burgers, I don't mean that it is overpriced - the ingredients are top of the line, and the combinations innovative and exciting.
The downside to Flip is mainly the fact that everyone knows it's great and so consequently show up in droves at all hours, every day of the week. You will almost certainly wait for a table, and if you order one of Flip's famous milkshakes you'll wait for at least 10 minutes to receive it. The restaurant won't take reservations, so there's no getting around this. Flip's customers and waitstaff are also overly trendy (in my opinion), and Flip seems to be as much of a place to "be seen" as a foodie hangout. The restaurant is actually called "Flip Burger Boutique", a somewhat pretentious title that seems to attract those more concerned with their appearances than what's on their plates. The service is average.
Verdict: Despite my lackluster dinner last night, I will be happy to return to Flip any chance I get. My first three awesome meals there definitely outweigh the unfortunate fourth, and Blais' interesting new rifts on the classic American burger beckon.