Today at school I gave a presentation on hamburgers with a couple of classmates (I love school)! To “prepare” for our hamburger presentation, Team Hamburger decided we should eat some hamburgers. Makes sense, right? I suggested we go to FlipBurger since it is the last contestant on my Gourmet Burger Quest.
FlipBurger (not to be confused with Flip Burger Gourmet in the American South), is located in Clayton Park. There it fills a niche unfulfilled by the chain restaurants speckled around the Lacewood terminal. Although I have heard business is good, it was not very busy when we went last Wednesday night.
FlipBurger sources all their beef and pork products from Oulton’s Farm (free-range) in Windsor, and unlike many of the other gourmet burger restaurants, they use a grill. They make their own gravy, batter their own buttermilk onion rings, and make their own French fries, which we saw were blanched and hanging out on metal trays waiting for the deep fryer. I didn’t get to try the rings or fries, since I was responsible for eating two burgers, nor did I get to try the peanut butter, banana and bacon milkshake. Next time, perhaps.
Pictured above is the cross-section of the Maui Wowie ($8.25) which is loaded with apple wood smoked cheddar, caramelized pineapple, Oulton’s double smoked bacon, fried onions, roasted red peppers and sweet chilli sauce. I heard rave reviews from my buddy Chris, who thought the flavours were really stellar. This inside view of the burger reveals the texture of the meat, which is slightly dense and perhaps a little dry. Sometimes I find grills can dry meat out, but the trade-off is tasty grill-marks and less grease – which is personal preference I suppose.
The Nutty Professor ($7.25) features peanut butter (this shouldn’t surprise anyone anymore), Oulton’s double smoked bacon, jalapeños and onion. The beef was meaty and satisfying, but in this case I think more flavours and sauces are needed to make up for the dryness of the meat. Most other peanut butter burgers I’ve eaten have involved ketchup, mayo or cream cheese to create a more complex flavour profile, or at least more lubrication. I really liked the spicy kick the jalapenos gave to this version, but the peanut butter needs more backup.
Flip Burger gets points for offering not one, but two veggie burgers on their menu. They are the only gourmet burger joint in town to serve a portobello mushroom burger, but I went for the newly released “Beaner”. Inside the perfectly crunchy breaded casing, there was a seasoned mixture of quinoa and beans. I was already full from my first burger but I couldn’t stop eating this for some reason. In this case I had to choose my own toppings, and I didn’t do a very good job. I went with garlic mayo, tomatoes and haystack onions. Considering there are 21 free toppings I could have chosen, my selections were a bit of a fail. Next time I would choose: onions, pickles, tomato, grilled green peppers, hot peppers, chipotle mayo and house-made peanut sauce.
I think Flip Burger is a great addition to Clayton Park, but I wouldn’t make a special trip to eat there. Well, maybe for a chocolate, banana and peanut butter milkshake and a veggie burger! Burger prices start at $5.50 for a single burger which you can dress with a host of toppings, or you can opt for a signature burger (starting at $7.25). My advice is to go heavy with the sauces, to assist the dryness of the sandwich. There is also double smoked bacon, pulled pork, and peameal bacon from Oulton’s Farm ($1.50 each) and an array of 75 cent toppings such as guacamole, caramelized pineapple, and tzatziki as well as a plethora of cheeses for ($1.50).
Next week I will announce the winners of my Halifax Burger Quest! Stay tuned!