Flip Burger Boutique Restaurant Review, West End – Atlanta, GA

Flip Burger Boutique
After putting together several informal reviews of Flip, Atlanta’s newest culinary darling, I have finally elected to write a full review. I have now had three meals here inside of two-weeks and I have a good idea of how the place runs. While the history of burgers is shrouded in mystery (wiki), there is no doubt that the food has come a long way. Blais’ latest incarnation, though not entirely unique [b+f burger boutique, amongst others], is inspiring and opposite the drove of gastropubs that are all the rage.

Flip is a restaurant with a lot of good things going; however, there are a plethora of inconsistencies and kinks that need to be worked out to prevent this place from chewing itself up in all of the buzz.

I have sampled nearly everything on the menu and found the shakes to be interesting, the sides to be intriguing, and the burgers to be very “Blais” and very inconsistent.  Contrary to popular belief, and their own website misinformation, Richard Blais is not the chef.  That title goes to Mark Nanna, who worked under Blais at h2s’ Home. That aside, the menu is a complete Blais’ concept, and it shows!

At its core, this is a burger joint.  The sides and shakes make a difference, but people go here to try the the Po Boyger, not the tempura rutabaga, though it is tasty.  The menu reflects the creative simplicity of the food and the decor.  Before you jump out of your seat after reading “simplicity,” hear me out.  The menu is focused – and in that respect it is simple.  There are seventeen burgers on the menu, if you count the Burger of the Day special, and they sit defiantly opposite the sides, joined in the middle by the shakes. The cute trick here is that you have to flip the menu upside to read it in its entirety. This works great in person, though not so much on the website (more on that later).

The patties are not quite sliders, but not quite full grown either. They are constructed out of everything from mushrooms to shrimp, fit neatly onto the buns, and come topped with a variety of sauces, vegetables, and cheeses. The resulting cost, between $8-11, leaves me a little disappointed in the amount of food v. cost ratio. I usually order two burgers in a sitting. They are pre-set, so while you do not have the option to mix and match your own toppings, it works better as I’m sure people would be intimidated by the number of nuances. Blais and Nanna do a great job with the flavor matching; however, they fail on their ability to execute a consistent experience.

Perhaps the biggest failure is in the cooking temperature. While I tend to be somewhat lackadaisical in my acceptance of the terminology, I do know the difference between medium, medium rare, and medium well. I cannot say the same for Flips’ kitchen. Though the waitstaff will not ask you how you like your burgers (all are supposedly medium), they will generally accommodate requests. I asked for my steak tartar burger to be well done. While the humor in the request was not lost on anyone, I was summarily rejected. Thank goodness! You’re best to disregard cooking temperature and focus on texture and flavor.

My personal favorites are the tartar, the bun mi, and the poy boyger. The tartare on its own is flavorful, though not as adventurous as I expected. It is still an excellent choice as it never touches a flame, and thus does not fall victim to the same inconsistencies as some of the other burgers. The bun mi is an excellent take on the French-Vietnamese staple. The flavors are well balanced and the textures work well together. The poy boyger is one of the more creative items on the menu. It is a shrimp patty, topped with a fried lemon, amongst other things. I think it needs some refinement, but is still delish.

People are very hot on the lamburger. It is not something I really love. I also had a piece of bone during one visit. The Flip burger, the pork belly, and the turf and earth left a good bit to be desired. For the sake of brevity, I’ll leave it at that. All of the burgers are served on a traditional bun. I wish they got more adventurous with that.

I would be remiss if i did not elaborate on the shakes and the sides. While I am not a sweets connoisseur, I really enjoy the shakes. All of them are really delicious, though the burnt marshmallow took the cake with me. I think the krispy kreme tasted a lot like cookies and creme. Sean C. agreed with me when I ate there with him. The sides are really interesting, but not that impressive to me. The aforementioned rutabaga was the only thing I really loved. Everything else failed due to improper cooking and/or being cold on arrival.

As a complete non sequitur, the website is a disaster. Music will blast out of your laptop speakers immediately, and there is no way to turn it off other than to hammer down your mute button – total bummer for those of us that love to use pandora. The whole thing is programmed in flash – not necessarily a bad thing – until you consider that they use it as an excuse to make everything move and flip (what a shock!). Much like the music, you can’t stop the burger wheel from giving you a headache.

They do not make the best burger in town, but Flips’ are the most creative. They have a trend-hip environment here. While that comes across as draconian arrogance in some of the waitstaff, the corporate culture here is very friendly. Mark Nanna needs to do a better job of quality control. If Blais can shed his reputation for a short attention span, his culinary brilliance and ingenuity will keep this place going for a long time. I will check here periodically to see how the restaurant fares after the shiny factor wears off.

Address:1587 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 // 404.352-3547
Website // Menu (pdf)

Flip Burger Boutique on Urbanspoon

12 comments Write a comment

  1. Disagree on the lamburger — that was my favorite of the bunch! Althought if it gets overcooked I could see it being a disaster. 🙂

    • Fair enough. However, it was overcooked one time and undercooked one time of the 3 times I had it.

  2. well, i’ve never been one to quash free speech. I’m just not sure what makes me an idiot. You either love FLIP or you hate it. I’m just not sure which.

  3. I thought it was a neat experience. However, I’m not sure how long it will continue to hold interest. The portion vs. cost will turn a number of people away. Plus – the “simplified” focus you mention limits groups. Basically, you’re in the mood for a burger or you’re not. While they are creative, they have lots of local competition for burgers from Anns, Vortex, Astoria…..

    • Excellent points!!!! I think they should expand the menu to offer at least a couple of “non-sandwich” options; but, only after they fix their other problems. And as for my thoughts on Ann’s: All you need to do is read the title of this post

  4. Went to FLIP last night after having read your review. A friend who is a fan of Richard suggested it. I had the Breakfast burger. I am a medium well kind of girl and was a little turned off at the amount of pink. The three of us also shared a side of the sweet potato tots. They were good but not enough of them ( I got two) We also split a Nutella+Burnt Marshmallow shake. It was good, but not something I would crave and go and have again. All in all I enjoyed the meal, but would probably not go again unless someone else suggested it.
    By the way, have you made any pillow walls lately? Happy New Year!

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  6. I’m slowly working my way through the menu, and here are my ratings so far.

    1) Overall, I think most burgers are good for the first few bites…the question is whether they continue to deliver thereafter.

    2) They are $1-$2 overpriced

    3) TIP: Sit at the bar for most rapid service!

    Burgers tried so far:
    Turkey–bright, light, flavorful,

    Pate Melt–lighter than expected, but somewhat bland

    Kobe–rich, slightly greasy and bitter, loved the first few bites but experienced diminishing returns thereafter

    Butcher Cut–rich, flavorful, slightly greasy and bitter. First half was yummy, the second have less so.

    Lamburger–rich, intense, flavorful, slightly greasy and bitter. First half was yummy, the second have less so.

    Steak Tartare–light, well flavored, great combination with the bun and condiments. Warning: its raw meat, so eat a yoghurt that day or else! (e.g. I had the runs the following day…whoops)

  7. Busy Sat afternoon at around 1pm. Where to park? Across the street. Not enough parking spots. 45 min wait. No worries – we’ll catch up. 15 min to get our fois gros milkshake. Don’t split the shake – I swear the two separate don’t add up to be the original one. Mediocre taste and way too expensive. Johnny Rockets and Steak and Shake have better vanilla milkshakes. Sweet potato tators were terrible – fried with no sweet potato taste – again, overpriced. Onion rings were good – but hoped for bigger rings. Butter top hamburger bun was good. High grade hamburger blend of meats was very good. Toppings were very good as well. Music inside was a bit to loud for my ears. Last word – I was hungry in 3 hours – burgers are on the small size – but they are good and reasonably priced when compared to other higher end eateries. Probably wouldn’t be back unless I’m with a few people who want to try the food, and only if we have a lot of time to kill.

  8. I was dissapointed in my experience here. I ordered a krispy kreme shake, which was nauseating, the Butcher burger, and the sweet potato tots. Although my burger was actually really good everything else was terrible. The sweet potato tots were greasy as were the onion rings my boyfriend got. The experience was def. not worth the wait, but I would order just the burgers alone as take out. I know it took them 30 minutes to get order to the table. Then I was dissapointed when I saw I had a mini burger. My boyfriend was still hungry when he left.

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