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First Trip to Flip - BHM

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I’d rather have an appendectomy than drive to the Summit during the holidays (or any other time, really), but the pull of Flip was too strong to resist. Went last night and was impressed all the way around. Given the celebrity chef, I expected an outrageous wait, but was pleasantly surprised when the hostess projected 25 minutes and even more so when we were seated faster. The space is very cool; you definitely don’t feel like you’re in a shopping mall. The music gives it an energetic vibe, and also keeps you from having to listen to your neighbor’s conversation.

The food was very good; the service was friendly and reasonably efficient, especially since they just opened this week. The pricing is shockingly inexpensive (the basic burger is $5.50; most of the sides (read: fried stuff) are around $3). My date had the bacon cheeseburger, which was good, but (and I never thought I would type this) it had too much bacon -- which overwhelmed the taste of the beef. Caught up in the emotion of the moment, I ordered the A5 (Kobe beef and foie gras), the most decadent thing on the menu and priced accordingly. It was excellent, perfectly cooked and with a very complex layering of flavors. I might put less of the condiments on it, because the meat was so good by itself, but I’m not complaining; it rocked.

We also ordered the tempura fried zucchini and tempura fried okra.. Both were good, but the zucchini was much better; it has a stronger taste, while the baby okra mostly tasted of the tempura batter – not that there is anything wrong with that. Although stuffed, we both had to try the nitrogen shakes. I had pistachio and white truffle oil shake; the flavor was very good, but the pungent smell of truffle oil was a little discordant with sweet taste of the shake. I still liked it, though my date was not a fan of the truffle oil. She ordered the Krispy Kreme shake – which was amazing. It was an exact flavor match for a glazed donut, and somehow also evoked the texture of a cake donut. I don’t know how they pulled the texture trick off, but it was impressive.

And the final surprise, Richard Blais was in the house, actually prepping food and also periodically checking on patrons and introducing himself. Nice guy.

Oh, and the house drinks were good also; the peach tea was my favorite of the group.

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