A Hamburger Today

Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta: Flavorful and Well Crafted

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[Photographs: Chichi Wang]

Flip Burger Boutique

1587 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta GA 30318 (map); 404-343-1609; flipburgerboutique.com
Cooking Method: Grilled
Short Order: Every burger from Flip is well-crafted, but on that day the kitchen was batting 0 for 5 in producing accurately cooked-to-order patties.
Want Fries with That? Yes, please! Salty and skinny.
Prices: Range from $6.50 for the classic Flip burger to $39 for the Japanese Kobe burger.
Notes: Get the Flip combination, which includes a burger, fries, and one of their creamy and satisfying milkshakes.

Located in Westside Atlanta, home to Abbatoir, Bacchanalia, and a host of other restaurants that are changing the culinary scene of the city, Flip Burger Boutique is the creation of Top Chef finalist Richard Blais. The menu begins with the classic American burger; shortly thereafter, the offerings diverge into gourmet permutations. Ambitious burgers formed from imported Japanese Kobe beef sit alongside humbler Southern creations made with fried patties. Turkey, veal, lamb, and crab are just a few of the alternative proteins. To drink, milk shakes with flavors including Krispy Kreme and Spicy Chocolate Mole are topped off with generous pours of liquid nitrogen.

Unless otherwise notes, beef patties at Flip are hand-ground from a mixture hanger steak, brisket, and short rib. At 5.5 ounces, each patty is just large enough to feel like an entrée without being overtly hefty. All patties come on buttered and toasted buns that hold their shape throughout the meal. Do the Flip burgers live up the hopes of gourmet burger lovers everywhere?

The burgers, after the jump.

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First up, the Flip burger, the classic with all the fixings. Though we'd ordered all our burgers cooked medium-rare, the patties came out more on the medium side. With just the faintest shade of pink on the inside, this burger would have been juicier had it been taken off the heat earlier. Nevertheless, the beef was appropriately beefy and the surface had a noticeable char.

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I didn't want to foot the bill for the A5, which, boasting imported Japanese Kobe beef, foie gras, and truffle oil, is by far Flip's most expensive burger at $39. I took as my conciliatory burger the Korean BBQ, made with American Wagyu and topped with braised short ribs. The additional fixing of beef was unnecessary; still, the short ribs were tender and juicy.

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The Wagyu patty itself, though cooked more medium than I preferred, was my favorite patty of the meal. Noticeably beefier than the regular grind, each bite of the patty oozed with a bit of meaty juice. The pickled vegetables were in keeping with the Korean theme, but it was the crispy tempura onion topping—perfectly fried and flavorful, that made the burger more memorable.

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Another meat-on-meat burger, Flip's burger of the day was the gyro burger made with a juicy lamb patty topped with roasted lamb shank. The bun was smothered in a nicely balanced tzatziki sauce—tart, refreshing, and creamy. Again, the lamb itself was flavorful, but the patty fell short being perfectly juicy.

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Our waitress recommended the chorizo burger made with spicy pork sausage and topped with a fried egg. The patty was salty but juicy; the manchego cheese came soft and just melted. Being of the opinion that most dishes can be improved with the addition of a fried egg, I was happy to see the contents of the runny yolk spill into the buns and patty.

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For a break from the all charbroiled patties, we chose as our last burger a steak tartare. The hanger steak was extremely fresh and flavorful, dressed in a balanced mixture of garlic, chili, capers, and Worcestershire sauce. And frisée salad inside a burger, you ask? Crisp, with just the sweet tips of the greens used. A sous vide egg completed the ensemble—the white, soft and tender, barely held together the liquid state of the egg yolk.

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Nutella+burn marshmallow shake, and coffee+doughnut shake.

While the burgers were all stellar, I would have been content going to Flip just to try all the liquid nitrogen milkshakes. We had difficulty settling on just two shakes, when all seven offerings (Nutella, Krispy Kreme, coffee and doughnut, pumpkin pie, spicy chocolate mole, pistachio and white truffle, and foie gras) were so tempting. The nutella+burnt marshmallow shake arrived with scorched marshmallows atop an icy mixture tasting neither of hazelnuts nor chocolate, leaving me wondering if perhaps they forgot to put in the Nutella.

The coffee+doughnut shake was spot-on. With hints of cinnamon and the underlying flavor of coffee, this mixture was noticeably smoother and creamier than the Nutella shake. As the waitress poured on the liquid nitrogen, flecks of the stuff—chilly, miniscule pinpricks—bounced off the table and onto my bare arm.

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All in all, a memorable meal that had its highs and lows. While the more ambitious burgers fell just short of being perfectly cooked, all patties were flavorful. And at $12, Flip's combo—a standard burger or cheeseburger, complete with their fries and a shake—is a bargain and worth ordering over and over if only to exhaust all the milkshake options.

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