Flip Side is an eatery located in the “First and Main” shopping district in Hudson. This establishment boasts the use of Ohio raised, premium grass fed beef. The menu is heavily burger weighted. And there’s nothing wrong with that. During my visit, the atmosphere was comfortable and conducive to visiting with my companion diners, even as ‘80’s music filled the background.
It was straight up 3:00 PM on an early December Sunday afternoon. We were pleasantly greeted and quickly seated. Our drink orders were taken shortly thereafter. The variety of “specialty” milkshakes on the menu included concoctions with names such as “Apple Pie Shake” (with chunks of apple pie), “Brownie Shake” (with chunks of brownie) and “Chef’s Shake” (no, not with chunks of chef, but with peanut butter, pretzels and dark rum). Since these sounded more like sundaes than milkshakes, I opted for the basic chocolate. After ordering, the service slowed as the eatery was getting slammed with hungry holiday shoppers.
With an apology for the delay, our beverages were delivered. My milkshake was served in a cold, tall traditional soda fountain styled glass with a straw planted in it. It was filled with what looked like thick, rich custard that was strong enough to keep its peaks and ridges intact and the straw standing firmly in place. I used the long handled teaspoon that accompanied it to get my initial taste. Its appearance was deceiving as, unfortunately, I thought the chocolate flavor to be weak.
I ordered the “Chili Pepper” burger. This is about a 6 or 7 oz. burger that features pickled jalapenos, pepper jack cheese and crispy chili onion rings accompanied by smoked chili ketchup. I ordered it medium as that is what the server guided the rest of the table to for their burgers. I also ordered the house made potato chips served with hot sauce and yogurt blue cheese dressing.
Everything about this burger was fresh. This beauty was presented open faced. Its toasted crown was set off to the side to expose ketchup that was drizzled over one big, crisp onion ring. Below that sat a pepper jack cheese covered burger. The pickled jalapenos were hidden between the ring and burger. All of this sat upon the toasted heel. Also on the plate was a fresh leaf of lettuce topped with thinly sliced red onion, pickle and tomato. The chili ketchup was served on the side.
I assembled the burger with the vegetable accompaniments and smeared a portion of the chili ketchup on the crown. The burger was cooked perfectly to medium that was moist. The burger had a good texture that was enhanced by the crunch of the onion ring. A pleasant medley of pepper flavors came forth. The pickled jalapenos were readily identifiable. The chili ketchup tasted very much like chipotle pepper; possessing that somewhat spicy, woody taste that smoked jalapenos are known for. The peppers on this burger will warm the sides and back of your tongue but won't blister you. Being a hot pepper fanatic, my disclaimer about the heat is that you'll ultimately have to gauge the flavor and heat yourself.
The house chips were fresh cut and fried. Presented on a diner plate, the yogurt blue cheese sauce was drizzled upon them. It was accompanied by a side of hot sauce. The chips were crisp. The yogurt blue cheese drizzle was a hit and miss upon the chips. When I think of blue cheese sauces and dressings, I think of flavor that stands up and shouts out for recognition. Surprisingly, the blue cheese flavor was almost imperceptible. The hot sauce, on the other hand, had a bright and somewhat tangy flavor with nice heat. Other sides on the table included the “Triple Cooked “ fries and Sweet Potato fries with horseradish mustard sauce.
Was Flip Side worth the trip? The short answer is yes. For just under $16.00, you’ll get a good burger, a plate of crisp chips and a basic shake in a clean, comfortable and unrushed atmosphere. Instead of the chips, however, I recommend you try the sweet potato fries. The accompanying horseradish mustard sauce is a terrific compliment to the sweet potato’s sweetness. And next time, instead of a shake, I’ll opt for a beer. Eat up!
Thank you, Rich, for allowing me to blog with you.
Anthony Bourdain is going to be making an appearance in Cleveland on November 4th 2011 at 8pm at The State Theatre. Tickets to this one-night event are $57.50, $42.50 and $27.50. You can purchase tickets by going to www.playhousesquare.org/ or calling the ticket office at (216) 241-6000
I, for one, am going to miss Goodman's. If you never made it there, you missed out on a hell of a good corned beef sandwich.
The owner used to stand in the front window and hand-carve the corned beef and stack it on rye bread. According to this article from Scene Magazine, the restaurant was around for 62 years. It wasn't the nicest atmosphere...but I was there for the giant briskets that I would see boiling in the kitchen when I walked through to the restroom. I don't have much else to write- I had a few pictures that I'd never posted, and I thought I'd just lament the passing of a Cleveland corned beef landmark.
Gourmet food trucks are gaining in popularity, in part to some of the recent competition shows on TV. Cleveland has a growing food truck scene, with trucks showing up everywhere. This summer, various trucks have been gathering Wednesdays downtown on Walnut Ave at E. 9th Street. It's a great opportunity to be able to check the offerings of a number of trucks without having to drive all around town. The Downtown Cleveland Alliance web site has information on which trucks may be showing as well dates and times. Make sure you check their site, Facebook page, or Twitter since they have had to move the location due to the filming of the Avengers movie.
Due to my schedule, I wasn't able to make it up there until last week. As I mentioned earlier, they'd had to move the location because of the movie, so the trucks were parked on Rockwell Ave at E. 12th Street. I arrived near the end (1pm), and there was still a pretty good crowd. There was live music, and probably 6 or 7 trucks. Some of the items were sold out (I wish I'd been able to get there sooner), but there was still a good selection. I ordered an Asian Chicken Sandwich (above) from the Motor Mouth Food Truck which consisted of soy and ginger braised chicken with a spicy red cabbage slaw. The chicken was moist and tasty, the slaw was crunchy, the bread was fresh, and it had just enough sauce on it that had a hint of sesame oil.
My companion had a grilled chicken panini from the The Nosh Box food truck (which was also at the Hamburger Festival- see other posts). She really enjoyed it- moist and tender pieces of dark chicken meat grilled with cheddar cheese and bacon on a cibatta roll.
The sandwiches that we tried cost around $7-$8. Most of the items being sold seemed to be in this price range- well worth the price, especially considering the uniqueness and quality of the food. The food trucks will continue to gather downtown on Wednesdays through September 7th. Check with the Downtown Alliance for more information. And if you find a truck that you like, check their Facebook pages and Twitter posts to see where they'll be throughout the week.
We attended the Cadillac Culinary Challenge this past Sunday at Legacy Village. In spite of the rain, the tent was packed, and we had a great time. The event was MC'd by Mary Nolan of the Food Network. Chef Jonathan Waxman was in town from New York to participate in the event, and the local Chef was Marlin Kaplan, owner of Dragonfly in Ohio City.
The Chefs were required to create a dish using one key ingredient, which was corn. The cool thing was that both Chefs not only cooked their dishes, but also described what they were doing and gave some tips on how to do it. Chef Waxman explained that the easy way to get the corn kernels off of the cob is to steam the corn in the husks in the oven. Then, cut the corn off of the cob catching it in a wet kitchen towel in order to make it easy to pour into the cooking pot.
Chef Kaplan created a Vanilla Butter Poached Lobster And Corn Stuffed Bao. The bao were steamed in bamboo steamers and were lighter than I expected. The corn and lobster filling was sweet and had a light taste of orange with a little kick from cilantro. The sauce that was swirled on the plate had a bit of kick to it. My companion thought it was a bit too spicy for her, but I thought it was great.
Chef Waxman created Organic Spaghetti With Blue Crab Meat, Grilled Corn, Chiles, Tomatoes and Sweet Onions. The corn added a sweetness to the dish, and the heirloom tomatoes gave it a fresh, light taste. Overall, it was excellent and much lighter tasting that I would expect from a pasta dish made with olive oil. There was also a hint of spice, provided by jalapenos.
I really liked both dishes, but I'm a sucker for something different and I also like to pull for the local guy, so I voted for Chef Kaplan's bao. My fellow judges didn't all agree, so it was a split decision for both, ending in a tie. I couldn't complain- both Chefs were equally talented and entertaining, and the food was excellent.