flip side in hudson

Who doesn’t love a good burger? Personally, I’m not a big meat eater. But I do love burgers. Lamb burgers. Salmon burgers. Traditional beef burgers. Even veggie burgers (though only the portabella kind). Though I must admit – one of my favorite burgers can be found at Five Guys. The only food chain I happily support. The other is the Lola at B Spot (though I miss the days when we lived downtown and would head to Lolita for this very burger at the bar during happy hour with chef Chatty).

Therefore, I love that we continue to see more creativity and experimentation with burgers, and thus, more burger-focused eateries popping up (you’ve likely heard that B Spot is opening in Strongsville in March and another in Crocker Park down the road). Then there’s Flip Side, which opened recently in Hudson, right next to One Red Door. Chef Shawn Monday is behind both.

While my husband was away on business in sunny LA, I took my two-year-old and my folks to nosh on burgers, fries and shakes. We arrived on a very snowy Saturday evening at 5. I intentionally wanted to get there early to avoid a wait since we were dining ala toddler. My plan backfired. We did have to wait – about 25 minutes. But truthfully, it wasn’t bad at all. The servers and kitchen move quickly so wait times go by fast (though the waiting area can be cramped). Plus I locked eyes with another mom of little ones and we exchanged looks – her look said I’m hurrying up my family so I can get my kids out of here before they lose it, and then you can have our table before your daughter grows tired of people watching. Moms are good like that.

Speaking of kids, I will say this about Flip Side. They do appear to be kid-friendly. It’s Hudson after all – kid central. And aside from Natalie, there were about 5 other minis surrounding us. Though they don’t have a kids’ menu, a plain cheeseburger did the trick for us plus shared fries. The biggest challenge there, if you have small children at least, is that the tables are much higher than the high chairs. So even after we stacked Natalie up with coats, she still couldn’t quite reach the table and it provided for a bit of an awkward dining experience.

As for the rest, here’s part of my Metromix review or you can read the full recap here.

Food: The star of this tiny restaurant is the burger. But these aren’t just any burgers. Monday only serves Ohio-raised, grass-fed beef to create an array of burger options ranging from the usual suspects to slightly off-the-beaten-path.

If burgers aren’t your thing, you won’t feel shut out. The kitchen does offer a handful of snacks and sides, like braised beef chili and Kobe beef corn dogs, four salads, an ahi tuna sandwich, or Sandy as they call it, two chicken options and a veggie burger served between two chickpea patties.

Despite other options, burgers are clearly the driver here, so it was burgers we tried. Our three choices included the Flipside, two-year aged cheddar, applewood bacon, charred balsamic vinegar onions and house made barbecue ($8.50); green eggs and ham with prosciutto, fried egg, spinach, crispy parmesan and basil mayo ($9); and finally, the black peppercorn-crusted black and blue burger with Amish blue cheese and port braised onions ($9). All burgers are served on a toasted brioche sesame bun (or go naked with just lettuce).

Our table also shared an order of the sweet potato fries with horseradish mustard ($4) and the Mikey fries ($5). And of course, we couldn’t resist the handful of specialty shakes. We opted for the chef’s shake ($4.75) with peanut butter, pretzel, chocolate and vanilla ice cream.

The shake was a clear crowd pleaser. Another funky option is the Medjool date, perhaps paying homage to the chef’s well-known and highly-coveted stuffed dates. The shakes are thick, satisfying and big enough for a table of four to share.

The burgers were also enjoyable, though some admittedly more than others. The clear winner was the Flipside, with a generous portion of bacon and cheese; it was difficult to share (only because we didn’t want to). The green eggs and ham in theory should have been a knockout, but something was just a bit off. Perhaps the over-the-top helping of spinach which seemed to take over the burger. On our next visit, we’d like to bypass the beef in lieu of the Jamison farm curry lamb burger with curry yogurt sauce and mint cucumber slaw.

Libations: Hop heads rejoice. Flip Side boasts quite the extensive—and impressive—craft brew list, with at least 14 on tap. Can’t decide what to drink? Try the flight sampler. Four, four-ounce pours for $8. There are also a handful of wine options, specialty sodas (which can also be made into floats), and of course, any shake can be upgraded to adult for a couple extra bucks.

Décor: The space itself is small, so expect to wait. And the waiting area itself is virtually nonexistent, so it can become somewhat cramped. But truthfully, wait times go by rather quickly due to an efficient kitchen and quick staff. The décor is trying to be a couple things at once with different vibes going on; it’s somewhat hard to put one specific theme to it. Though a faux Southwest feel stands out the most. The large bar is the main focal point, and with good reason. Thankfully, eating is encouraged at the bar and might just be the best seat in the house.

Bottom line: If you’re a fan of B Spot, or Lola and Lolita for that matter, you’ll no doubt notice a burger eerily similar to the one chef Symon made famous many years ago. In fact, you’re likely to make several references between the two places. If imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery, than Symon should consider this quite the compliment. But remember, much like you wouldn’t want just one pizza place in town, there’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition. And as hungry diners come from all over Cleveland, choices are a good thing. Especially when gourmet burgers are involved.

8 Comments

  1. Posted February 16, 2011 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    What is the similar burger? I’m guessing it’s the one I had, Shawn’s Burger w/the fired egg? It was really good.

  2. Posted February 16, 2011 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Great review! Couldn’t have summed up Flip Side any better :) We really enjoyed the food, libations, and atmosphere – it’s simply another delicious spot to enjoy a burger and fries*

  3. Hudson_Explorer
    Posted February 16, 2011 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure what the conclusion or recommendation is… did you like Flip Side and was it the same, better, or worse than B Spot?

  4. Katelyn
    Posted February 16, 2011 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I’m excited to try this place! Hudson is much closer for me than going up to Cleveland to B Spot. Michael Symon should think about making his way down south :)

  5. DianeS
    Posted February 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been a MS fan for a long, long time and a Lolita burger eater for just as long but an egg and bacon on a burger is not something that MS invented so I don’t think he has dibs on the idea :)

  6. Posted February 17, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    @Hudson_Explorer: I did enjoy Flip Side but given the choice, I’d easily pick B Spot. That’s not to say that if I’m in the Hudson area I wouldn’t go back – I would. But in terms of overall atmosphere, vibe, food, even fries and shakes, B Spot wins hands-down in my opinion. But like I said, it’s great to have choices and I hope to see more burger places pop up.

  7. Posted February 20, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I reached your conclusion also – we also had some service glitches on our Flip Side visit. One thing – were you able to learn the source of the alleged “Ohio grass fed beef” they are using? Several inquiries while I dined there yielded zero info.

    I would give Flip Side another try, but for now, B Spot is the “go to” – though the Aaron Miller burger at Fire is pretty awesome also (though at a higher price point and less kid-friendly environment).

  8. dwirth
    Posted February 21, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Tried FlipSide the other day and thought it was great. The California Dreamin turkey burger (with avocado, jack, etc…) that I almost shamed my wife into to not getting (seemed lame!) was one of the best things I’ve tasted in memory… Highly recommended. The Philly burger that I had (“naked” – no bun) was really good – and nicely sized. Only a wedge salad was just so-so… – almost tasting of bottled dressing, though surely that’s not the case.

    Very small and rustic, barn-like space – but comfy inside. Surprisingly packed with elementary school aged kids – and multiple parent/kids groups kept coming and coming. Place filled up fast during our Saturday noon visit. Service was quick and pleasant. Prices fair – but we’ll see how a la carte burgers go in Hudson…

    Truth be told, after a dozen or more B-Spot visits, FlipSide place is angling to jump ahead. Though I love B-Spot, there are nagging things that they just don’t seem to have quite fixed yet (or, perhaps arrogantly, don’t feel they need to fix) – like slightly too-small burgers (hey Michael – give us the option to upsize the burgers for a higher cost, if anything), continually overcooked or undercooked burgers, the ridiculously oversized salads which are foolishly mounded on a rimless plate (making them really, really, really difficult to eat without having half your salad slide onto the table.. just silly), the plastic baskety things w/paper in which burgers are served and which get soggy and yucky very quickly (FlipSide serves on china) – and the relative “Siberia” of the lifeless indoor “patio” – which looks out on the lifeless indoor portion of Eton… (know several families who tried B Spot once, were seated on the indoor patio – and it ruined their visit – and they’ll never return. B-Spot needs to understand this. They shoudl enclose it or at least create more of a barrier to bring some atmosphere into the mall portion…)