Well Dressed — FlipSide Burger (at Easton Town Center)

6 Dec

About the last place I ever plan on being around the holidays is out at Easton.  One time a couple of years ago I was forced out there because I needed to get a new vegetable peeler, and the only place I knew for sure that would have it was Sur la Table. (It’s an awesome vegetable peeler by the way.)

Just last weekend though, Tania and I found ourselves out there and thought we’d take advantage of the opportunity to try out the (relatively) new FlipSide burger location.  I was especially interested in trying it out because, in the not-too-distant future, the currently vacant former home of Yankee Trader will be home to the second Columbus FlipSide location.

For those of you not already familiar with FlipSide, its first location was up near Cleveland in Hudson, OH.  Their focus is on burgers and shakes, and boy do they have a lot of both.  The list of burger options was quite extensive, and picking one required more than a little bit of deliberation.

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I’m a fan of spicy things, and ultimately decided on the Chili Pepper Burger.  The combination of pickled jalepeanos, pepper jack cheese, smoked chili ketchup, sriracha sauce (not listed on the menu, but described by our waitress and, as you can see, appearing on the burger), and onion rings was the combination that ultimately swayed me.  There were many other burgers, including ones with brisket, shaved prime rib, and brie with date aioli that were also incredibly tempting.

In the end, I was quite satisfied with my choice (though I’m going to have to go back for the ones I had to pass up).  The beef was flavorful and well cooked.  And cooked what I consider properly: medium.  None of this charred hockey-puck of beef here—they want you to taste the flavors of the meat.  The onion rings were nicely breaded and not too greasy.

The smoked chili ketchup was delicious as well.  As much as I like high-end food, I’m a traditionalist for some things.  Ketchup is one of those things.  But FlipSide certainly won me over with their take on ketchup that’s for sure.

The one letdown to the burger was the pickled jalapenos, or more properly, the lack thereof.  Oh, there were some mind you.  But barely.  If you look in the picture above, you can see a couple small, green thin strips.  What you see in the picture is 2/3rds the number of total jalapenos on the burger.  In the end, they got lost in the rest of the flavors and for all that they added, might as well not have been there at all.

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We also ordered some of the “triple cooked” fries.  The portion was huge, and enough to split between Tania and myself.  Indeed, we may have even left a few behind.  While well executed and a nice compliment to the burger, the fries were much the same as many other above-average fry options.  Not the best I have ever had—but certainly far, far from the worst.  (We ordered our fries plain, I may be singing a different tune had we chosen more adventurously.)

For her main dish, Tania, who more often than not eats more healthfully than I do, opted to try the “inverted veggie burger.” More than just a token gesture to vegetarians, the veggie burger consisted of two well-prepared chickpea patties, which served as “buns” for arugula, avocado, and sprouts.  The patties were nice and moist and quite flavorful.

Pardon the poor color/contrast in this photo. It's not the food, it's the photographer.

Pardon the poor color/contrast in this photo. It’s not the food, it’s the photographer.

At someone’s suggestion, Tania asked for caramelized onions in addition to the veggies that already came with the dish.  Unbeknownst to us, there was a $2 upcharge for this addition.  Our waitress didn’t mention it when we placed our order, and it was only upon reviewing the bill that we realized there was any increase in cost.  And even then, it wasn’t itemized—the burger was just $2 more expensive than listed on the menu.  We asked our waitress about it, and after conferring with her manager she told us that, yes, the extra $2 was for the onions.

While I certainly understand charging extra for such things, under the circumstances I believe it’s the restaurant’s responsibility to inform you when there will be such an upcharge.  Especially when the dish is only $7.50 to begin with, tacking on an extra almost 25% of the overall cost is something that your customers would probably like to know.  Let them decide if they want to pay that or not.  In such cases, surprises aren’t exactly welcome.

That caveat aside, our experience at FlipSide was a good one.  The food itself was quite tasty.  There are plenty of other burgers that I’m eager to try, so I’ll certainly be back.  (I also really, really, want to try their alcohol milkshakes.) But, sad to say, our experience with the unforeseen charge for the onions has dampened my enthusiasm a bit.  So it may be a while before I do—I may just wait for the one to open downtown.

One last thing worth noting, FlipSide does brunch on the weekends as well.  You wouldn’t know it from their website; at least as of this posting, they don’t have a brunch menu listed.  I snapped a photo though, so if you decide to check out their brunch offerings, I’d be curious to hear about it.  I notice there is chicken and waffles on there.  And much like Kitchen Little in the North Market, they offer the bizzare yet delicious combination of maple syrup and hot sauce.

FlipSide's weekend brunch menu.

FlipSide’s weekend brunch menu.

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