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7453 Wooster Pike
Cincinnati, OH 45227 (513) 272-2337
Touted as a burger joint serving “fantastic” beef and 5 star suds, the burgers & beers concept is almost too-popular. Cincy’s fascination with the burger craze of late fuels the flames of trendy burger grills hotter than ever. Since it began, there has been no shortage of folks setting up burger shops and claiming they too have fine burgers deserving of their 8, 10 or even 11 dollar price tags. Flipdaddy’s is one of the latest.
Flipdaddy’s claim to fame is their signature meat mix; brisket, short rib and American chuck. There are 13 signature burgers with unusual topping combos to choose from, in addition to the basic burger, as well as a turkey, mushroom and veggie burgers.
Asian - Mediterranean - German - Italian style burgers can be had. There are also beer soaked Irish burgers, salsa slathered Mexican burgers and a spicy “Chuck Norris” burger too. All come with fries, an extra buck, buys you roasted asparagus, sweet potato fries, or onion rings. An extra two bucks gets you “grilled” macaroni and cheese or a side salad.
Since CV has been carefully reviewing all the top names in the burger craze for the last several months I insisted on a standard Flipdaddy Burger ($7.99) for equal comparison, American cheese, pickle, lettuce, onion and mayo for toppings. For the side I opted for the interesting sounding “grilled mac & cheese”, even though I felt $2 was a stretch for such a cheap & simple side.
My vegetarian co-reviewer went with a “Bean Me Up, Scotty” ($8.99). Flipdaddy’s vegetarian burger offering. It’s listed as “A vegetarian’s nirvana. A tasty black bean patty with pepper-jack cheese, crunchy tortilla strips, and salsa.” All the Mexi toppings were eliminated and the burger was ordered straight forward as I ordered mine. Fries accompanied.
Service was polite but slow. The hostess stand by the door initially had us standing stupidly waiting for a table as servers passed by ignoring us until we seated ourselves. There was only six other diners in the whole place, yet we still weren’t even greeted for several minutes past our patience. It wasn’t a big deal, but it should be addressed. Either seat people, or put up a seat yourself sign.
The server ordered our drinks, but she bolted before we could give her our food order which caused us to wait for her second trip to the table before we could tell her what we wanted. A rookie move but forgivable since it was slow. If it had been a dinner rush I would have called her out on it.
After a slightly long wait the food hit the table. Surprisingly, even with just a few basic toppings the beef’s flavor was nearly lost. So, I ate some bare beef and savored it slowly. Again I was left wondering what’s up with all the hype. It reminded me of a Big Boy (without the addicting tartar sauce). Not bad but nothing exceptionally flavorful, just a regular everyday burger. A slightly skimpy one at that for the $8 price tag. If there is brisket or rib meat involved in this patty their flavors escaped me entirely. Blindfolded I think most people couldn’t tell this burger from most any average $2-$3 burger in town, fast food included. The slender patty has such subtle flavor I can’t even imagine tasting any beef at all with any of the topped out signature burgers, let alone taste brisket or short rib.
Deeply disappointed in my 8 dollar Burger I moved on to the curiously named “grilled mac & cheese”. Fork in hand I attempted to cut off a bite, I almost needed a knife to cut through the dense layer of firmly solidified cheese melted across a handful of macaroni. Super salty and overly oily. I thought it was awful but my co-reviewer freakin’ loves mac & cheese, I mean she loves it! So I got a second opinion, “Worst I’ve ever had.” Was her immediate mid-chew response. I was surprised, we banter back & forth about mac & cheese all the time, often what she thinks is good, I don’t (she even like Lee’s fake ass mac & mush for god sake!). This time we were in agreement, few places if any have ever served us worse. Aside from the powerful salty flavor the tough cheese seemed to be oozing oil in copious amounts. The noodles underneath were basically plain, heavily salted and seriously grease soaked. Too bad too, it sounded appetizing.
We both agreed on the veggie burger as well. Flipdaddy’s “Vegetarian’s nirvana” burger looked to both of us suspiciously like a store bought Bocca brand burger patty. We’re almost certain of it. It turned out to be quite decent, even if it was just a frozen pre-made patty. And I do appreciate the offering of a veggie burger at all. The accompanying fries might fool some but I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts they are of the frozen variety. The veggie burger plate was quite edible, but far from noteworthy. At $8.99 it was overpriced by about 3 dollars.
If your claim to fame is “fantastic” burgers you should be able to taste (and see) the meat over the bun & toppings. You should at least match Burger King in beef portion and at least try to tackle Terry’s (or Sidebar) in flavor. You should also learn to cook “fantastic” fresh cut fries to go with them. You might also choose to serve nice soft fresh buns (both of ours had a “few days old” stiffness to them).
Your going to have to push the quality, portion and flavors above the bar by far if you plan on competing against Cincy’s best burger joints, we have a couple three great one’s you know. I don’t see it happening (yet) here.
Then again, if you serve as many awesome varieties of beer on tap (24) as Flipdaddy’s who needs perfect burgers? Nothing makes food taste better than a nice pale ale beer buzz. Flipdaddy’s has much to offer from the bar for certain. It may be their saving grace.
Now I know why online food blogs have such mixed reviews posted. Some folks seem to love Flipdaddy’s, others honestly compare it to fast food. I think it’s a great place to drink a few unique beers (as long as you’re not headed into downtown Mariemont of course) and hang out at the bar. If I ever go again to eat, I’ll be trying one of Flipdaddy’s three pasta offerings, they are just 2 bucks more than most of the burgers. Considering that our thoroughly disappointing Flipdaddy’s lunch experience came in at just under $27 with tip, an extra two bucks isn’t going make any difference.
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