Finding out I had to travel to Atlanta for work for almost a week, my first thought naturally went to where I would be able to grab dinner once the formalities of the day were done. My hotel, located downtown, was convenient to the office, but not so close to the restaurants on my radar. For my first night in the A, for the 15th time that day, checked Yelp to see how far Richard Blais’ hamburger spot was from my place of abode for the week. Only 1.5 miles, you say, Yelp? Why, 1.5 miles is a cinch! I could walk that in no time, I thought to myself as I pranced out of my hotel room, envisioning myself practically skipping to a nitrogen milkshake. Thank, as Ricky Bobby once poetically stated, little baby Jesus, that I did not walk. Instead, because it was getting dark, and the area unfamiliar, I decided to hop in a cab. What’s five dollars in the scheme of things? As my cabbie’s meter inched above 10 dollars, I realized that we weren’t in Kansas (re: Downtown Atlanta) anymore. Apparently the pedometer on Yelp was out of whack, because about $20 dollars and over 5 miles later, I was dropped off in front of Flip Burger.
In my mind, I envisioned Flip Burger to be set up similar to Shake Shack – walk up to the counter, place your order, sit down, gain a pound, mind yo business. I walked in, instead, to a bustling, full service restaurant complete with hostess, waiters and barkeep. This would be one of my first experiences dining solo, and I had been expecting something a little less intimidating than “Table for One, please.” Thankfully, a seat opened up at the bar.
Now, the food. Right, the point of this blog. The menu was separated into sections: beef burgers, flip burgers, sides, nitrogen shakes and salad. I bee-lined for the salads. Not. I knew instantly I would not be kosher this meal, ordering a milkshake with my beef on a bun. However, I wouldn’t be totally unorthodox and order the gimmicky foie-gras shake. The nutella milkshake, complete with burnt marshmallows, was the winner. Total contracts to the straight gin the diner next to me was chugging. Served with a veil of mystery (liquid nitrogen), I was instructed to wait until the smoke cleared until indulging. It was everything you would expect a nutella milkshake to be – yummy, rich, a little too filling. The initial layer of marshmallows had that nostalgic char to it, that reminds you of summer camp. Sadly, under that layer, the marshmallows were just…marshmallows. Cool for all of you out there who enjoy an un-toasted mallow. I’m not one of them.
When you only have about $80 in your checking account, you skip the ‘Flip Burger’ seared tuna burger ($14), and head for the beef burgers (around $7). I decided on ordering the sweet potato tots (pan roasted with coffee bbq and blue cheese phone) and the butcher’s cut burger (blue cheese, caramelized onions, red wine jam, soy truffle vinaigrette, shallots). It was, apparently, a blue cheese kinda day. The burger was delicious – juicy, sweet, savory – just the reason why you pick such a burger. The bun held up to the burger nicely. I will assume that this burger was a large step up from The Varsity, but I can’t say that I would choose it over Shake Shack. The tots were nice and crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and there was enough blue cheese foam to go around. The foam was a classic Blais (or is it Marcel) touch.
My bill came to $17 dollars. Wow, this was so reasonable! I walked outside to go to my car. Wait. I cabbed it here for $20. $3 more dollars than my meal. With that realization dawning on me, I walked back into Flip and asked for the hostess to call me a cab. Another $20 later, I was tucked away in the hotel, ready for the work week to begin. Cab ride to Flip burger: 40 dollars; Hamburger, Tater Tots, and Milkshake: $17 dollars; Dining at Flip Burger: Priceless? Maybe not. But if you’re in the A and find yourself hankering for a liquid nitrogen milkshake (because who doesn’t), you know where to go.