Classy, Deliciously Unique Burgers At Flip Burger Boutique

Flip Burger Boutique - BirminghamGourmet. Fine food. High class. These words are used synonymously for fine dining establishments and the food they serve. But what if you applied those terms to an American classic hamburger? Just like most of you, I had the same puzzled reaction when I heard of the concept but truth be told, it actually exists at a restaurant called Flip Burger Boutique.

There are currently only three Flip Burger Boutique restaurants in the United States. The Birmingham location is actually the 2nd restaurant with the first and third being home in Atlanta. Flip Burger Boutique was created by Richard Blais, a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Some of you might be familiar with Richard’s name from being a finalist in Bravo’s Top Chef – Season 4. Richard is the Creative Director for Flip Burger Boutique and his culinary vision created their unique menu.

Flip Burger Boutique - BirminghamFlip Burger Boutique serves only burgers, salads, sides, shakes, and various alcoholic beverages including wines, mixed drinks, and beer. While this doesn’t seem like much, everything on the menu has Richard’s twist. Hence the slogan of Flip Burger Boutique: “Fine Dining Between Two Buns”. Like most fine dining establishments, everything is offered à la carte.

Flip Burger Boutique - BirminghamThere are about 20 burgers on the menu with one rotating “special” burger of the day. About half of the burgers served are beef burgers and the other half are “flipped”, meaning they are made with meat other than beef. Burger options can range to the “safe” farmer burger (Gum Creek organic grass-fed beef, smoked mayo, heirloom tomato, Vidalia onion, pickles) to the extravagant A5 burger (A5 grade imported Japanese Kobe, foie gras torchon, truffle, melted onions, b&b pickles, red wine). Nearly all burgers are under $10 with the exception of the A5, which has a price tag of $39.

The sides are all fried and have as much uniqueness as the burgers. You can opt for hand cut French fries with smoked mayo and ketchup or you can choose the unique Buffalo Sweetbreads with ranch/bleu cheese foam. What makes the Buffalo Sweetbreads unique? They are actually the thymus gland of a calf. Popular in haute cuisine, sweetbreads are considered a delicacy.

The shakes have the same treatment as the sides and burgers. Some of the creative choices include a Nutella & Burnt Marshmallow shake, a Krispy Kreme shake, and a shake made with foie gras (duck liver).

With all the fanciness at Flip Burger Boutique, I chose items that were “middle of the road”. I ordered a Strawberry Short Shake, Tempura Okra, and a Churrasco Burger.

Strawberry Shortcake ShakeThe Strawberry Short Shake ($6) was a strawberry milkshake made with fresh strawberries and topped with a piece of shortcake, strawberries, a strawberry glaze, and whipped cream. The shake was sweeter than I expected and didn’t have as much of the strawberry flavor I was looking for. While it did taste exactly like trawberry shortcake, I should have requested extra strawberries blended into the shake itself.

The Tempura Okra ($4) was served with a Sriracha ranch sauce. The okra was lightly battered, nicely fried, and sprinkled with spices. Each piece was a long cut of okra rather than the chunky okra discs that I’ve had in the past. The Sriracha ranch sauce was creamy, tangy, and spicy.

Churrasco Burger & Tempura OkraThe Churrasco burger ($10) consisted of grass-fed beef, grilled summer vegetables, criollo sauce, & chimichurri, and slices of hanger steak. The burger arrived on a thick patty and was stacked high with toppings mentioned in addition to a bed of cilantro leaves. The burger had so much height, it was rather difficult to eat; I didn’t know if I should have eaten it with a fork and knife or with my bear hands. As for the taste, this burger had characteristics of being savory, tangy, salty, and refreshing. The meat was incredibly well-seasoned and prepared to my specification (medium).

Churrasco Burger & Tempura OkraMy only complaint about Flip Burger Boutique in Birmingham was the hostess (this seems to be a problem with me lately). When I arrived, there was nobody at the hostess stand. After a minute or so of waiting, a young blonde girl came up to the stand and just gave me a blank stare. I asked for a table in which she responded, “wouldn’t you rather sit at the bar?” This took me back by surprise, but I politely replied “no, I’d like a table”. She directed me to a table and said nothing else to me. Nice service…

Aside from the bad hostess experience, Flip Burger Boutique is truly a one-of-a-kind restaurant. The architecture is trendy and chic with an equally impressive menu. If you happen to be in Birmingham or Atlanta area, I would highly recommend you try Flip Burger Boutique. Currently, there are only 3 of them so it’s highly likely you won’t encounter these culinary masterpieces anywhere else.

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Flip Burger Boutique
220 Summit Blvd
Suite 140
Birmingham, AL 35243
(205) 968-2000 

Bill Total: $22

Flip burger boutique on Urbanspoon

Food:4.5/5.0 ★★★★½ 
Service:3.5/5.0 ★★★½☆ 
Atmosphere:4.5/5.0 ★★★★½ 
Price:4.0/5.0 ★★★★☆ 
Overall:4.0/5.0 ★★★★☆ 

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