Sunday afternoon and back at Tech from a much needed spring break, my friend and I decided to play catch-up over dinner, which we had been delaying for weeks. Rather than a dull dinner followed by wandering around at Atlantic Station afterwards, we instead opted for something new.
After being told of their Krispy Kreme flavored milkshakes described as “like crack…in the good way” by a fellow Technique editor, I curiously suggested checking out Flip Burger Boutique, not too far off from campus.
To be frank, Flip Burger Boutique is a culinary adventure that is easy to miss. Nestled between the multitudes of fast food chains and car garages in the Home Park side of Howell Mill Road, this new-age American burger joint dares to push the conventions on typical beef patty on lettuce and tomato to another level.
Under the creative direction of Richard Blais, who is most famously known for being the runner up on Bravo’s Top Chef: Chicago, Flip Burger has managed to turn a simple sandwich into a flavorful explosion and even the traditional milkshake into a science experiment.
Around 7 p.m. on a Sunday night, Flip Burger is nearly packed. Although rather small in comparison to other gourmet restaurants in the Atlanta area, the size of the restaurant does not seem to deter customers, nor does it surprisingly reflect the wait time. Despite the 10-20 people before us, our 25-minute wait time proved to only be 10 minutes.
Lit by only the dimmest of mood-lighting and otherwise nature, the décor certainly reflects its boutique name with stark white walls lined with MTV rock concerts playing constantly on picture-frame plasma-screen televisions against the bar and a mural of white and colored swirls against the wall of the kitchen. Even the seating is a little unconventional, with booths of comfy white chairs both on the ground and ceiling.
Even more unconventional is its menu. A $7 to $9 burger alone may come as a small shock to the average college student; however, once skimming through the menu, it’s easy to tell that this dining experience is going to be different. Burgers range from a simple $6.50 Flip Burger to a $35.00 Kobe beef burger, decked with red wine syrup, shaved truffles, and seared foie gras.
Diners can additionally have a selection of sides like French fries, asparagus tempura and even Moroccan stew with a red pepper yogurt. Even their drink list includes a list of alcohol-tinged treats such as a vodka cream soda or apple juice made from whiskey. To top it all off, Flip Burger offers a selection of different liquid-nitrogen-infused milkshakes in flavors like Nutella, burnt marshmallow and Krispy Kreme.
Ian and I decided to play it more cost conservative. He ordered the butcher-cut beef burger and a Krispy Kreme milkshake, while I ordered a pâté melt (a veal and pork concoction topped with things I could barely even pronounce) with a side of vodka battered onion rings.
While the wait time for our food turned out to be a bit longer than desirable and the small portions that arrived only made me a little bit more uncomfortable, the food made up for my worries. Hesitantly, I took my first bite of the onion rings, and it was a crisp and warm delight of batter and perfectly seasoned onions.
Still fiddling around at the vodka battered onion rings with the beer honey mustard, I looked up to see Ian’s face after biting into his butcher’s cut, which seemed to be a mixture of slight shock and confusion. I was too afraid to ask if it was good, but did anyway, only to be responded with a short, “Yeah, it’s really good.”
For nearly five minutes after the first bite into our respective burgers, Ian and I literally sat in silence staring at our plates. Awe was the first thought that came to mind, followed by a slow but eager exclamation of “Oh my God.” Literally, this was an experience beyond words, only to be happily described by using jazz hands.
The taste is an explosion of flavors, from the bitter greens that topped the veal and pork patty to the sweet lignonberry jam (yes, jam!) that balances it out. After one bite into this burger, any doubt as to why jam would ever be a condiment on any type of meat is quickly dismissed.
To top it off, the milkshake arrived at our table smoking with ice cold nitrogen. Ian poked around its hardened, icy top and mixed it around to taste. Surprisingly enough, the Krispy Kreme milkshake really does taste like a glazed donut, with little bits still intact mixed in with vanilla ice cream. However, it was hard to tell that this would not have been a dessert by itself.
While the portion size may have looked small to begin with, we were stuffed. Slowly, we both stared down the last two bites of our burger, with a little hesitancy to finish this culinary delight. With the last bite of the crisp, buttered bun, my pâté melt still tasted as good as the moment it came out of the kitchen. Even by the end, the wait staff was kind enough to come by the table to check if everything tasted perfectly, to which we wholeheartedly agreed without hesitation. Flip Burger was a taste paradise worth waiting for.
Although in total it is a bit of a splurge, the experience at Flip Burger is completely worth every penny. After all, money is just a trivial matter when it comes to having one’s world flipped upside down by quite possibly the best burger in the city of Atlanta.