Richard Blais, the runner up of Top Chef season 4 and winner of Top Chef All Stars created Flip Burger Boutique "Fine dining between two buns." Blais is recognized for his creative and scientific techniques on regular food, he states that "molecular gastronomy is an extension of great simple ingredients".
Blais was a favorite of ours when we watched the "good seasons" of Top Chef. So when we found out that he opened a restaurant right here in Atlanta that featured his quirky methods we immediately added it to the foodie bucket list. And let me tell you, you should not even continue to read this post. Go. Go now. Eat this delicious food. I'm serious.
Okay so you are still here. But seriously, to eat a meal that was so perfectly pared to every molecule of taste is truly an experience everyone should have to experience. With all the choices on the menu the server suggested the tuna tartare lettuce wrap which I already was eying, so it had to be so. When it arrived I honestly did not know how this was going to go. A raw egg yoke on top? And six or seven ingredients that I have rarely seen individually all mixed together? Then, WOW! Like I said everyone should experience a dish that feels to the palate like you just picked it off of the vine. That is how well the flavors married together.
The raw steak tartare burger to be honest was not for me. However, it was a pleasant experience for Paul.
The steak tartare was a very interesting experience, especially since I always dabble in this type of food on my own. However, I was completely unprepared for the taste that ensued. Now before I proceed, this is RAW, not cooked, not even a little but you couldn't tell. The texture is similar to a hand formed patty of tuna salad but the flavor was full beef. If I didn't know going into it that this was raw, or see the red of the beef I don't think I could have figured it out. The taste was full, and had so much flavor it was ridiculous. It was spicy yet mild, and powerful yet yielding. The only downfall of the experience was the attempt at eating it. I had to revert to a fork and knife a few times but that was such a minor flaw, that I am hesitant to even bring it up. Also on a side note, the house-made french fries were the best I have ever had. And for me that is a HUGE statement.
If you are planning to try something appetizing or want more than average service, this is not the place. Overall the ambiance was appropriate for a tavern and would be a great place to go for a drink. However, let’s just say the menu descriptions do not live up to the kitchen staff’s abilities. I felt like I was on an episode of bar rescue where they stare at the food and make the face that says I wouldn’t eat this if I wasn’t getting paid to do so.
Appetizer: The onion straws were pretty good. I think the parmesan cheese was a pleasant touch but the advertised lemon pepper batter was not noticeable and did not add any flavor.
Husband's Entrée: The grilled portobello flotilla (flatbread) was very nice. The cucumbers were lightly pickled and the flavors of the hummus, mushroom, red onion, and sprouts melded well together to give a vegetarian sandwich a very filling and meaty texture. As a side item the grilled asparagus was well seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled to a perfect tenderness.
Wife's Entrée: Sad to say but the Fish taco’s were sadly one of the worst plates I have ever ordered. First of all, they’re not fish tacos. You see that ‘s’? That means plural taco. What I had was a wrap, and you can’t even call it a fish wrap cause it was definitely a coleslaw wrap with sprinkles of mahi-mahi that tasted like tilapia. Individually the pico and coleslaw tasted fine by themselves but did not go well together in a wrap with fish and cheddar cheese. Whoever put this on the menu needs a taste bud analysis!! As a side item the sautéed mushrooms were flavorfully marinated in a sweet beef flavored broth. The sweetness was different but I did enjoy this side dish the most out of everything we ordered.
A basket of lemon pepper battered, flash fried sweet Spanish onions, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and served with ranch dressing
Grilled Portobello Flatilla
Grilled portobello mushroom served in a grilled flatilla with hummus, cucumber, sprouts, tomato and red onion
Soft flour tortilla wrapped around Aztec spiced grilled and diced mahi-mahi, Baja slaw and a Cheddar-Jack cheese blend. Served with Pico de Gallo
If you are ready for eclectic family style dining you have found the place. The family part is discretionary considering there was a 3 foot poster of a topless woman holding watermelons next to the table. However, bring friends or you will have lots of leftovers. The entrée dishes serve 3-6 people.
Buca di Beppo literally translates to Bob’s Basement. The first timers visitors tour gives that piece of trivia and also takes you throughout the entire restaurant, kitchen, bread room, bar, and pope room. I can’t wait to go back and reserve the single booth that is located in the chef’s kitchen. What a place to enjoy your meal! Although, if you have a large party you could always reserve the private Pope Room that includes a large round table, a painted Sistine Chapel style ceiling and the popes head as a center piece watching you take every sinful bite.
From the bar we ordered the white sangria’s which were… meh. Paul enjoyed it, but maybe too authentic for my pallet to appreciate. I would have liked a more rounded fruit flavor but it was definitely not lacking in Vodka!
From the kitchen we started with the caprese salad. One of Paul’s Italian must haves. The mozzarella was soft and flavorful and the tomatoes were crisp and fresh.
Next, we enjoyed the stuffed shells with a side of spaghetti and one ginormous meatball. Yes, the meatball could be an entrée by itself especially because of its meatloaf like texture. Not exactly what I expected but still enjoyable. As it being one of their main advertised dishes we had to give it a go. The shells on the other hand were filled with ricotta and spicy Italian sausage. The flavors married well and were very tasty. The imported spaghetti noodles were delicious with a light but chunky marinara sauce.
Overall, the experience is one that I will not forget and would go again for the discussion value of the ambiance and large portions that are reasonably priced giving this basement restaurant a price rating of ‘Microwave Single’.
Vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh mozzarella drizzled with basil olive oil and topped with fresh basil leaves.
Pasta shells stuffed with spicy Italian sausage, spinach, ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, crowned with creamy Alfredo sauce on a bed of marinara sauce.
Side of Meatball
Their famous half-pound, mouth-watering meatball made with 100% premium ground beef served with marinara sauce.
Side of Spaghetti Marinara
Homemade marinara sauce served on a bed of imported Italian spaghetti.
Holy cannoli we did it! Hope you enjoy the first post in ages!
So its been awhile since we last posted but have no fear we are back to business with a fresh new template. Including our new look, you can now follow this blog by email and we have included our Foodie Bucket List which are food related things we want to do someday soon.
So I know the title of the blog says we eat more than soup...but its beginning to look like all we eat is sushi! We did name our cat Sushi...haha! Anyways, on a visit to make some arrangements on our new house we drove by this Thai place. We thought why not, we have never tried Thai food. After watching Alton Brown's Pad Thai episode a few days earlier I didn't have to think twice about what to order.
Needless to say I ordered the Pad Thai with Tom Ka Kai Soup. Since we were trying new things, why not venture to coconut chicken soup, right? (See, we do eat soup) Well I am glad I did because it was amazing. It was sweet and sour with a bit of heat to it. I can't wait to move up there and have another cup. The Pad Thai was very good as well. I can never cook rice noodles that don't stick together so it was nice to have them prepared properly for once.
Paul had the...I actually have no idea what he had. The menu had pictures on the back and he just pointed to one of them. It's a Sushi, Sashimi, and Nigiri Bento box with a Green Salad. One section of the box had a Salmon Tempura roll which is now his favorite type of sushi. He also enjoyed the cucumber salad portion and the tuna sashimi was tender, fresh, and favorably delectable.
Sri Thai gets a price rating of condensed for their extremely affordable Thai cuisine. I am glad we decided to venture into a new culinary realm and can't wait to enjoy the stylish ambiance and wonderful service once again.
Tom Ka Kai
Coconut soup with chicken
Served with ginger dressing
Rice noodle sauteed w/ shrimp, chicken, egg and bean sprout served w/ lime and crush peanut.
Sushi, Sashimi, Nigiri Bento Box
Top left to right: Tuna and salmon sashimi. Tuna, white fish, and salmon nigiri.
Bottom left to right: California roll, cucumber salad, salmon tempora roll.
Don Corelone's has similar food to The Last Don's which is where Paul and I used to work at a few years ago. Since we know what the pizza and wings taste like we decided to try their burgers. First of all we got it to-go for good reason...there is little to no air conditioning! Also, the eating area is also a hooka bar and I like some fresh air with my dinner. But if you do go for the hooka, try White Grape and Plum.
Don Corelone's gets the price rating of condensed for thier Hunker Down Burger with Texas Fries special. Its a fairly thick patty with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. We added American cheese and bacon for additional toppings. I mean, if your gonna 'hunker down' you better bring some bacon!
Although the Hunker Down was very tasty and soo juicy, the meat was of low quality with a high fat ratio. With leaner quality meat the burger would have won me over. The fries on the other hand are delicious. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside covered with their Texas seasoning which is a season salt and Cajun spice blend.
Hunker Down Burger and Texas Fries
Ground beef patty, lettuce, tomato, American cheese and bacon on a toasted white bun.
Season salt and Cajun spiced fries served with a dill pickle.