Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Quick Burger Tally: Top 5

People are constantly asking me to rank Nashville's burgers. Why not, I've eaten enough of them, and set up this blog to detail as many as possible. But still, it can be hard — a little — because sometimes, the best burger isn't the perfect burger to have, in a given situation. For example: I'm not going to walk into Flip Burger after a day of kayaking 12 miles on the Harpeth River. I'm not going to be dressed properly for the place, and REALLY won't smell too good. You get the idea. That's why I include a restaurant's atmosphere as part of the review, so people can have an idea of what they're walking into.

But if I really had to limit things, and rank things, it would go something like this:

                                                           1   (three way tie) Burger Up


                                                                        Twin Kegs

All three of those are pretty great and if you wanted me to tell you which is best best, I'd have to go all Libra on you. It's just a matter of what atmosphere you're in the mood for. And it shall be noted that, since my initial review a couple years ago, TK has begun serving to order. ie, rare and medium rare are now in play.

                                                               4.  360 Burger

4 was a really hard choice. There are a lot of great burgers on my second tier, but 360 Burger takes props for its big flavor.

                                                            5. Dalt's

Again, it's flavor that rules this highly subjective, but trying to be somewhat objective, survey.  Dalt's was the big "who knew?"

Post-Burger Odyssey: Flip Burger

Celebrity Chef Richard Blais' Flip Burger has only been open for a couple of weeks, and honestly, the vibe defies easy categorization; the menu looks like stereotypical modern-gourmand  gastro-pub fare, but the rest of it's nothing like any burger joint — high end or low — Nashville's ever seen. Partly a modern take on an '80s model of a '50s diner, partly Southern fusion, it's going to take a few more visits to decide what I think about Flip Burger as a restaurant, as a whole. In the meantime, this review is based solely on where the name comes from: the burger.

Atmosphere: 9. I was tempted to go in the middle with a 5, because I suspect it's going to be a love-it-or-hate-it affair with many. I had to go with the high mark, though, because the interior is just so heavily stylized, in a 1980s New Wave kind of way with its geometry and super-bright lights, and a PA cranking out the likes of Joy Division, Viet Cong, War on Drugs, Echo & the Bunnymen, Foxygen & Modest Mouse at levels so loud for a Nashville restaurant, it's like a line being drawn in the sand.

Juiciness: 4. The pic to the right pretty much says it all but readers might be interested to know that it was ordered to be medium rare, and the first version that came to the table had to be sent back because the condiments were incorrect from the order. On eating, it was somewhat dry, and the pink you see only appeared in the middle.

On the other hand ....

Attractiveness: 8. It's just too cute, isn't it? Perfectly melted cheese and lovely charring on the side, and that one perfect little leaf of Bibb lettuce.

Flavor: 8 Something about the Flip Burger burger reminds me of what Dairy Queen's old "Brazier Burger" used to taste like, when it was still good and more burger than meat product. The grilled bun's a plus.

Digestivity: 6. Maybe it was the burger, maybe it was the burger combined with the yummy fried cheese curds (of which I only ate half) and the Nutella milkshake, but I was left tasting it several hours after lunching. A great burger reverberates in your mind, not in your tummy and esophagus.

Overall: 7 Still, I'm going to return and hope for a juicier burger, at least once. Then I'll go back again and check out other things from the menu because Flip Burger has more going on on than its namesake, and because maybe I'm a little nostalgic for '80s riffs on '50s culture.

FLIP Burger Boutique on Urbanspoon