It seems like every other week I’m writing about a new restaurant opening on either Fremont East or Carson Avenue. And for the most part, they’re pretty sophisticated establishments, offering serious food. But let’s face it, when you’re Downtown taking in a live show or enjoying some cocktails, you don’t always want something sophisticated. In fact, you might just want a burger and fries. And that is exactly what Flippin’ Good Burgers and Shakes has to offer.
At the top of my list is the Farm Burger, which comes topped with a fried egg, grilled onions, smoked bacon, ketchup and American cheese.
Make no mistake about it: This is fast food. The rolls, patties and cheese are a touch better than what you’ll find at a McDonald’s or Burger King, but not quite as good as Smashburger. (One of my friends disagrees with me on the rolls, which she loves.) Each of the six preparations is available as either a single or a double stack. If you really want to dig into the beef, be sure to double up, because the patties aren’t terribly thick, and sometimes get overpowered by the toppings.
This being a burger spot, I have concentrated my attention on the hamburgers, fries and shakes, and have yet to move on to the sliders and chicken offerings (though early reports tell of a fantastic chicken sandwich). At the top of my list is the Farm Burger, which comes topped with a fried egg, grilled onions, smoked bacon, ketchup and American cheese. While the entire combination is excellent, I was amazed by the preparation of the egg. Cooking an egg properly is deceptively simple, and far too frequently botched at even a high-end restaurant. Perhaps I just lucked out, but mine was better than what I’ve had at many gourmet restaurants, with a runny yolk that oozed out of its center at the slightest poke of a plastic fork.
I also really liked the bacon cheeseburger, topped with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, bacon and melted cheese. But that burger also has Flippin’ Sauce, which is little more than a spin on Russian dressing, and will completely dominate the burger if you don’t get a double portion of meat. That said, while I’m not generally a fan of Russian dressing, these guys deliver a tasty version.
I found the basic Flippin’ Good Cheeseburger about as generic as you can imagine. And The Flame, which comes topped with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, grilled jalapeños, pepper jack cheese and a spicy Flippin’ Sauce, was sadly lacking in heat.
The folks at Flippin’ Good are very proud of their hand-cut fries made in cholesterol-free oil, and rightfully so. These fries are much better than what you’ll find at most fast-food burger chains. The menu will tempt you to drench them in sauces like the aforementioned Flippin’ Sauce, a cheese blend or a bit of both, but do yourself a favor and resist, so that their crispy goodness isn’t drowned out.
Given its location in Downtown’s prime cocktail corridor, it’s no surprise that Flippin’ Good serves booze. The beer selection consists of Bud Light, Goose Island, Banger Brown Ale and Una Mas Amber Lager on tap. They also have eight flavors of wine coolers. But the real beverage treats here are family-friendly: six flavors of milkshakes, three blended floats and four concretes. Or you can just mix and match from ingredients such as Oreo cookies, pineapple and chocolate chip cookie dough to create your own concrete. I’ve only begun working my way through that particular menu, but so far nothing has disappointed me.
Over the past decade or so, Las Vegas may have become the Gourmet Hamburger Capital of the World, boasting wagyu burgers topped with foie gras or truffles and priced higher than a decent steak. With such delicacies available, it’s easy to forget about the simple pleasure of a good burger. Flippin’ Good delivers that, and better than most large chains. Plus, at less than $5 for any single-stack burger, it’s one of the stronger bargains around.
Al’s Menu Picks
- Farm Burger Double ($6.35)
- hand-cut french fries ($1.85)
- Banana Monkey Concrete ($3.45 or $6.45)
Flippin’ Good Burgers and Shakes
505 E. Fremont St., 702-776-7991, FlippinGood.com. Open for lunch and dinner, 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Mon-Thu, 10:30 a.m.-3 a.m. Fri-Sat, noon-10 p.m. Sun. Dinner for two $10-$25.
Main photo by Krystal Ramirez