If you are like me, you have undoubtedly outgrown the fast food burger. They are bland, uninspired and all around questionable when it comes to their origins. Don’t get me wrong, a Baconator™ will fill you up and it is ‘kinda’ tasty. However, nothing can compare to the freshness of a locally owned joint that goes out of their way to find trustworthy, local farms that have naturally processed offerings. About three years ago I went to California for some official stuff (use your imagination). While driving down the Sunset Strip, I saw the familiar glow of a giant, yellow, inviting arrow directing my attention to a small, white structure. That was the site of my first ‘In-N-Out Burger’ experience. It was fresh. Juicy. Flavorful. Alien for that matter. That burger changed my life and set me on a perpetuating quest to find the next best burger. I am fully aware that this establishment is also a chain restaurant. After talking with the manager for about 15 minutes it all became apparent why I have never had it so good. I explained why they need to expand into the Eastern states and let the rest of our great nation have a taste of these creations. His answer to me was very simple and quite respectable. “Well” he said, “Our company has a long-standing relationship with certain sources for local meats and produce. If we were to open up a chain out East, we would have to either find another source or freeze what we are getting and ship it out to those locations. Either option would change the taste and integrity of the brand we have built.” So I shook his hand, bought a t-shirt and returned back to Ohio. Enlightened.
Upon my return, I felt like an alcoholic that had sobered up. I was thinking more clearly when distinguishing my culinary choices. Every chance I got, I implemented Yelp, UrbanSpoon and good ol’ word of mouth to locate new places to find a good burger. This led me to a few really great spots, right here in Ohio. Well as of last month, while trekking the side streets of Easton Town Center, I caught the infectious scent of searing meat. Much like the characters from an episode of Tom & Jerry, I floated along the trail until I found myself at the door of ‘Flip Side.’
My nose led me right up to the concrete bar where I proceeded to order an appetizer of BBQ beef brisket macaroni and cheese, a side of truffle oil fries and the “Forester Burger.” Being an American, I love anything with BBQ sauce on it, and the macaroni and cheese is no exception. It was THE creamiest cheese sauce that has ever graced pasta. The fries, with the addition of truffle oil and grana padano cheese and a mix of spices made them a staple of every meal for me from that moment on. Then came the burger. It was a thick hunk of grass-fed beef that was drowning in its own juices. Atop the meat lay a perfectly rationed portion of caramelized onions, wild mushrooms, tempura battered shiitake mushrooms and a thick slice of provolone cheese to hold everything in place. On the plate I found the top of my bun aside pickle slices, a few leaves of lettuce, tomato slices and a little ramekin of seasoned truffle aioli. I assembled the rest of the toppings. It was messy. It was tasty. It left me full, but somehow wanting just one more bite. The bartender knew what he was doing when he handed me a stack of napkins and said, “You will definitely need these.”
‘Flip Side’ is a very cool spot to visit. The décor is rustic Americana with a decent beer and wine selection. The reflected mood of the establishment is enjoyment with a focus on imaginative Millennial cuisine. It doesn’t just stop at beef burgers, either. You can get a lamb burger, ground shrimp burger, bison burger and vegetarian burger. ‘Flip Side’ will not disappoint. Did I mention that you can get a slice of pie blended into a milkshake for dessert? Because you totally can.
Flip Side is located at 3945 Easton Station in Columbus. 614-472-3547. flipsideburger.com.
By Scott Hall (Courtesy of NowItsDarkMag.com)
Photos by Dawn Hall of http://www.DawnHallPhoto.com