Remember back in 2009 when Richard Blais, the guy who managed to overcome his nearly pathological doubts to win “Top Chef All-Stars,” was talking up his plans to open a Flip Burger Boutique in Washington?
Well, we’re almost half-way through 2011, and there’s still no sight of Blais or his line of designer patties and quick-frozen liquid nitrogen shakes (for when you’d prefer your Krispy Kreme in liquid form).
Reached by phone this weekend in his home base of Atlanta, Blais says he still has Washington in his sights. The chef says lease negotiations fell through for his first location, presumably the spot in Penn Quarter he had mentioned earlier, but that he’s close to signing a letter of intent for a new space. He couldn’t reveal the location because he’s still in discussions.
The D.C. location of Flip Burger could open its doors by the end of year, Blais says.
Perhaps you think the last thing the District needs is another gourmet burger chain clogging our streets with more chef-driven ground-beef blends. But Blais says the D.C. Flip Burger will not be a “cut-and-paste” version of the joints in Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala. He says his model of a burger chain does not include a centralized supplier feeding his restaurants with all the same ingredients; the D.C. Flip Burger will establish relationships with local farmers and will have its own specialized flavor.
“It will have its own spirit,” Blais promises.
Given that Blais already has a pork chorizo patty on his menu, I’m figuring it won’t be a stretch to imagine a half-smoke burger at Washington’s Flip. Perhaps even a chicken-wing burger topped with mumbo-sauce jam? The possibilities are endless.
What local flavors would you like to see Blais incorporate into his D.C. location?