Words that come to mind when I think of Flip Burger: Playful. Modern. Fried Lemon. Icanfinallyeataburgerthattasteslikeaburger. What, that last one wasn’t a word?
Flip Burger is a little out of the way for Tuscaloosans, but if you’re hanging around the airport or getting your Mac fixed at The Summit, it would be worth your while to stop in. The atmosphere is a sort of casual upscale funk—you don’t necessarily need to dress up, but the hostesses might make you feel underdressed by comparison. Don’t worry too much about people looking at you, though, because there is so much to look at inside Flip Burger. A graffiti design on the super high ceiling, a giant center table for sharing, and secluded leather booths will keep your eyes busy until your food gets there.
As the name might suggest, Flip Burger is based on the classic burger joint concept. The creative director of the restaurant’s three locations is Richard Blais, though—remember that guy from Top Chef who made everything out of foam? Yeah, that’s him. Accordingly, the menu boasts items like a country fried chicken burger (with curried pickles, shaved lettuce, and sriracha), a raw tuna tartare burger (with mango sphere, avocado puree, soy jellies, marinated vegetables, wasabi mayo, and sesame crispies), and a lamburger (pictured above–with coriander, tzaziki, goat cheese, arugula, tomato, red onion, and marinated vegetables). There is a separate section for beef burgers, with classic toppings alongside less traditional offerings like frisée, red wine jam, seared truffle aioli, and smoked mayo. For vegetarians and other denominations thereof, the fauxlafel and blackened shrimp burgers are both good options, along with a plethora of fried and not-fried sides.
The milkshakes deserve their own paragraph: nutella and burnt marshmallow (pictured above), apple pie, Krispy Kreme, key lime, strawberry shortcake (also pictured), and cap’n crunch with peanut butter foam. Yeah, you heard those right. According to a friend, the Krispy Kreme milkshake really tastes exactly like a glazed donut.
I went for the blackened shrimp burger, and I wasn’t disappointed. As a non-meat-eater, my burger options at restaurants are usually frozen, or mushy, or full of breadcrumbs, so it was wonderful to be able to eat a burger that actually acted like a burger. The patty was mostly shrimp, with hardly any extra filler, topped with a slice of deep-fried lemon. I wish that the bun had been a little bigger, or a little less flimsy, as it soaked up all the delicious juices from the burger and spent most of its time falling apart. I was initially suspicious of the fried lemon, but in the end it was one of my favorite parts of the meal. I also started with a strawberry shortcake milkshake, thinking that I would regret it and be unable to finish my dinner, but the milkshakes are of reasonable size, and I’m really glad that I got one. I’m not usually a milkshake fan, but this one was delicious, with a little pound cake and fresh strawberries.
Flip Burger also serves wine, beer, and mixed drinks, along with vintage sodas (made with cane sugar). Burgers range from $7 for the country fried chicken to $23 for the d+lux, with most burgers under $11. Milkshakes range from $4.50 to $5.50. You’ll have to order fries separately, at $3.50 per serving (and slightly over-salted). If you’re coming with a large group, as we did, be forewarned that Flip Burger doesn’t take reservations. They will, however, do their best to accommodate you—we arrived with a party of 20, and only had to wait 30 minutes, though we couldn’t all sit at the same table. So if you’re looking for food that’s upscale but not hugely overpriced, check out Flip Burger, and make sure to look up at that amazing ceiling.
Flip Burger is located at The Summit shopping center in Birmingham, just off I-459 at the Mountain Brook/Hwy 280 exit. If you’re familiar with the layout of the Summit, Flip Burger is nestled in the left-most and front-most block of shops along with White House/Black Market, Anthropologie, and Chuy’s (delicious) Tex-Mex restaurant.