Open almost a year now, Richard Blais’ burger boutique on Howell Mill is still abuzz with energy. I met AD there for lunch with her beau BH and we had to wait for a table even on this soggy Saturday. Top Chef finalist Blais is best known for his creative kitchen chemistry, using liquid nitrogen to quick-freeze ingredients for dramatic effect….fun!
The burgers at Flip represent a variety of unorthodox combinations, from chorizo with manchego to a country fried beef patty with pimento cheese. There’s a tartare and a tuna, all served on little buns with housemade condiments. Or you can order any burger served on a lettuce wrap. I had not noticed that option on previous visits and decided to give it a try.
I have never sat at a table at Flip and today was no exception, the three of us sitting on the cushy white stools at the bar. The space has a retro appeal decked out in white vinyl and laminate with touches of red.
AD tried the turkey burger with a side of tempura battered butternut squash fries. BH went with the po boyger, a patty made of shrimp and served with shredded lettuce, Old Bay mayo and tabasco. He ordered onion rings on the side. I’ve had the turkey burger before, topped with cheese, avocado, sprouts, and pomegranite ketchup….it’s pretty tasty. They were both quite pleased.
There has been a definite improvement on the fried sides…..much less greasy than before. Butternut squash fries were good, sprinkled with spices, and the onion rings were excellent.
My crab burger failed to thrill me, however. Topped with green curry sauce, pickled apple, and micro greens, it sounded more flavorful than it was. On the guilt-free lettuce wrap it didn’t seem worth its $14 price tag, yet is a bargain compared to the kobe burger with seared foie gras at $39.
Of all the burgers I’ve sampled at Flip, my favorite is the lamb burger with cheese, green olive relish, cucumber yogurt, and raisin ketchup. Although each burger is a miniscule 5.5 ounces, they are pattied thick and the smooth toasted buns hold up well.
We didn’t indulge in a shake on this visit, but I’ve had the Nutella and burnt marshmallow which is a yummy textural treat. And, of course, how could I not try the foie gras milkshake? Made famous (or infamous?) at the chef’s short-lived restaurant, Blais, in 2005, it has been resurected at Flip. A liver milkshake you say? Sounds f#*cking disgusting indeed, but I must admit I loved it. It’s sorta like vanilla with chunks of fat in it. Still sounds disgusting. Try it.