Flippin’ Good Burgers isn’t the place to take anyone you’re trying to impress.
It’s not that the food isn’t good, or the atmosphere pleasant; in fact, this big, light and airy spot is a nice break from its proudly secondhand-rose Fremont East neighbors.
It’s just tough to impress when you have burger juices running down your arm.
Flippin’ Good has been open for about a year and a half, but with the mushrooming growth of burger places in the valley, it’s flown under the radar even of many foodies. But this is one to notice. If you like your burgers piled high, you’ll find that here. A single-patty BBQ Burger ($6.45) might have had only 4 ounces of meat — although you can double or triple that — but by the time the thick fried onion ring, lettuce, tomato, cheese and barbecue sauce had been piled on in the open kitchen it was an up-to-here proposition. It also was a particularly tasty one, crisp and crunch and cold and hot and mellow and pungent all poised for maximum attention before surrendering to a happy harmony.
When the juices run at Flippin’ Good they’re not just from meat; the Portobello Philly ($5.95) flips on its head the idea that a veggie burger = a dry burger. Mushroom slices had been grilled with peppers and onions just until they’d started to soften and the juices came out to play. With provolone melted over it all in finest Philly tradition, this was one of those rare times a carnivore wouldn’t miss the meat.
Flippin’ Fries ($4.45) weren’t as juicy but no less messy, which in this context is always a good thing. Hand-cut for a certain lack of robotic perfection, they’d been fried long enough that the sugars started to caramelize and brown for added flavor and texture, which means they were fine all by themselves. But they were even better with the bits of grilled onion, melted cheeses — American for smoothness and cheddar for zip — and Flippin’ Sauce, sort of a cross between fry sauce and Thousand Island, to seal the deal.
With all this going on, frozen custard may seem like a hill too far, and it was, but research. The Brownie Delight ($4.25 for 10 ounces, $6.95 for 16) was custard mixed with enough chocolate sauce and brownie pieces to conceal vanilla as the base flavor.
Flippin’ Good Burgers’ relative longevity is pretty impressive considering at least three of its neighbors have disappeared just in the past few months. Part of the credit must go to corporate parent Nacho Daddy, whose three other popular restaurants give it pockets deep enough to provide an interior as nice as this one and smooth the road over rough spots.
And there’s no way around it; indulgence is a theme here. So is messiness, but that’s just the price to be paid for a Flippin’ Good Burger.