Flipside Bar & Burger Santa Rosa

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

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Part burgers, part bar, Flipside Bar & Burger opened in April 2012 to much Santa Rosa ado. The space was under construction for what seemed like years by local restaurateur Nino Rabbaa (Rendez Vous Bistro). After the novelty of opening, the consensus is that the burgers are good (if not great), but the breezy, indoor-outdoor location and strong drinks are the what gives it staying power.

On the menu: Burgers from simple to exotic (fried egg, Gruyere, etc), using top shelf Angus beef and sustainably sourced ingredients for between $8 and $10.

– In addition to burgers, we tried a rack of sweet and savory ribs with a tower of onion rings and probably the best mac and cheese (dressed up with truffle oil and mushrooms) we’ve had in years.

– Appetizers and sides we tried included spicy jalepenos stuffed with bacon cream cheese, a chili and cheese filled potato skin and thin-cut fries. Rabbaa expects to add a lineup of sauces and aiolis to mix and match.

– Dessert: Handmade shakes (banana, strawberry, cookies and cream, vanilla) and an apple crumble with housemade vanilla gelato were inspired.

– Full bar plus beer and wine

– A sexy outdoor lounge seats 40 and includes a fire pit

Open for breakfast (serving Illy coffee), lunch and dinner.

Patrick Tafoya, formerly of P/30, Peloton Catering and The Duck Club has taken over as food and beverage manager for Flipside and Rendez Vous. He’s also been tapped to help build the expanding Rabbaa “empire” (including the former Space XXV and whispers of a French bakery to come). Chef de cuisine for Flipside is Joshua Dellwo.

Here’s the full menu (PDF)


Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, BiteClubEats.com is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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  1. The food here sucks!! I heard they are opening one in Rohnert Park. Hopefully the get better cooks!!

  2. Asiello’s 5th Street Saloon has the best burgers in town. Nice salad bar, too.

  3. The falafel burger is really tasty…. Just throwing that out there. I have been to Flipside a few times and each time it gets better. Kinks of a new restaurant are definitely being worked out.

  4. So we went here the weekend of the Beer Fest at the Wells Fargo Center, and it was packed. We had to wait for about 30 minutes for a table on the patio. We didn’t mind since we had our dog with us, and they happily accomodated him and two wait staff even brought him some water! Have to say, the puppy got better service then we did. They had plenty of waitstaff, but they just seemed to “linger”, our drinks were slow coming out, and when we asked to send the pilsner back after a couple sips we still ended up paying for it. (This beer was skunk, tasted like the keg had been overheated) My Rose wine was over priced for the quality. When it came to the burgers this is why we came, and honestly we ended up a bit disapointed. I ordered the lamb burger which was very bland and un interesting, Cathy got the Texas burger, it looked amazing and it was good but not great. If the service and food had been better I think we would be hanging out there all summer long with our dog. But alas we will be looking elsewhere.

  5. Had the fancy Lorraine burger and for me it was just bland. I thought egg, gruyere, onions this is going to be rich and delicious but it wasnt that at all. I feel fries should come with a burger like this from an establishment of this kind and not be an upcharge. The best thing we tasted was the milk shake. The wings were ok nothing special, definitely oversauced and kinda soggy not crispy like I prefer. All in all the burger is much better at the brewpub next door and a much better value

  6. Actually I forgot to mention that in my comment: The bun was actually good, heh, unlike the rest of the food.

  7. We also tried the $15 grass fed burger. I had the chili cheese dog. OK, first off, it’s hard to mess up a chili cheese dog, but they did. Not sure when they made that “chili”, but it wasn’t today. The burger was dry (but flavorful?) the dog was just bad. The fries were tolerable. The onion rings were great (but no one offered ranch or any dipping sauce, we had to ask for it). If you want a good chili cheese dog, go to 7/11, not Flipside. If you want a good burger go to Mike’s. Oh, as expected, there were tons of douchebags sitting at the bar next to us. Almost forgot, the hot, tattooed bartender was awesome and attentive. Good service even though the food was poor.

  8. Do the words “I should have known better” strike anyone. On 4 occasions since Rendevous opened I have tried without luck to have a good meal. So what do I do? I decide to try Flipside because you can’t possibly make the same mistakes over and over again. Sure enough apparently you can. Bite Clubs review states. aims to keep burger prices casual (under $10). Burgers (so far) are served medium-rare, and Village Bakery buns are a little bit of heaven, gently grilled on one side and fluffy on the other. In fact there are 2 burgers under $10 Basic burger and basic cheese burger. I picked the Lorraine grass fed. $15 Menu states Cooked Medium contrary to what Bite Club says about Medium Rare. My wife and I ordered Medium Rare. What we got was Medium Well. All the waitress said was oh I’m sorry I’ll tell the chef and we’ll try to get it right the next time you come.. One last thing. Though the bun was tasty (unlike an over done burger) the burger itself with the onions made the bun soggy and impossible to pick up. It completely fell apart. Not an easy task to eat in a wire basket.

  9. This is just a prime example on how Sonoma County is “HUNGRY” (pardon the pun) for new stuff!!! We have a million Applebee’s and Panda Express’…I wish SoCo /Santa Rosa would be more lenient on letting new companies/restaurants in. I mean, we DO have a ton of burger/sammie places, but you see what happened when something new opens and it’s getting a good buzz…people flock by the masses! Anyways, I’ll jump off my soap box.

  10. I went last week and ordered the Lorraine Burger. The burger itself was good enough, but not for $12.50, I opted for fries for two extra bucks and was given a child’s handful of spuds. I understand that restaurant margins are slim, but this was just too absurd. I hate to be the guy who complains about portion size, but I can get an infinitely better burger, with fries or a salad that are more than an ounce and half worth at Flavor Bistro for the same price, or take the trip out to Gott’s for another fantastic burger and not feel cheated.
    My server was pretty clueless too, but if what I hear about the awful management mistreating their employees is true, I can’t really fault the server for not giving their all in a negative work environment.
    Needless to say I won’t go back, and I’ll avoid Rendezvous and stick with Bistro 29 from here on out if the owner is bad as the word on the schoolyard is.

  11. Hmmm. Yeah, i think dogs are best experienced at Ralph’s or Chicago Style Hot Dogs. I’d stick to the burgers.

  12. I stopped by for lunch to go today, service was quick, made sure I had water, out door seating area was really nice, probably could have easily gotten comfortable and kicked it in the outdoor seating area…I was sorely underwhelmed by my Chicago Dog tho…..for 8 bucks I really expected a wee bit more. A standard hot dog, BIG cold bun, a pickle spear, a FEW shards of ice berg lettuce and 2 small pieces of tomato…. and a teeny tiny drizzle of thousand island that had disappeared by the time I got back to my office. I would have expected a least a wee bit more lettuce … :( Or even a standard ratio of bun to hot dog….. Considering ALL the other choices around here for lunch, I will not be returning.

  13. Please remove my post dated April 25.

  14. Talked to Nino about this last night, because I have heard from a couple people that they got turned away. Here’s the deal…They got overwhelmed with response. According to Patrick, they were doing like 600 to 800 covers a day, which is insanity. The staff just wasn’t ready for that kind of turnout.

    Nino’s take is that he couldn’t push some of the newer staff any harder, and that he would rather have people come back another time rather than have stressed out staff and upset customers.

    We actually arrived just before 6pm on Monday (May 7) and they were closed to do some additional training. They opened soon after, but Nino is trying to work out service kinks and get staff up to speed for the crowds.

  15. Had a burger called The Gobbler last night…turkey cranberry. Most yummy.

  16. Thanks. Not going anywhere. I’ve done my time in SF, when I was way younger and cooler. I worked with Marcia a while back, and the opportunity came up, so I grabbed it.

  17. We waited 1.5 hrs on friday night. The crowd started to thin out. We noticed open table’s, Per Hostess. She didnt want to overwhelm her server’s. We walked out!

  18. Heather, always love your column but a special congrats regarding tablehopper – how cool this that? I know you are doing the 707 report but don’t go and leave us for the big city now…

  19. thanks heather for the good insight. i tried ozzie’s for lunch and had a burger. delicious! i will try this burger joint next time. no ‘madcoweephobia’ there.

  20. Congratulations Josh! I’ll take mine medium rare…..

  21. Who said you look better in your jeans? You need a butt to look good in jeans ladies, eat the beef. I can’t tell you how many times I’d love to yell “Eat SOMETHING” to the primping skinny girls walking around in $80 jeans.

    Happiness is the key to longevity, not turkey substitutes.

  22. Ouch…’dumb down the menu’….. sorry if giving health consious patrons an OPTION is viewed as a second class citizen menu! However, us dummies look good in our jeans and visit our doctors less.

  23. All the gush and anticipation is overrated for an “American Diner” that looks more like a Persian smokehouse minus hookahs. Now that’s a genius marketing concept!

  24. Joshua Dellwo, or “Josh” as I’ve always called him, is my nephew! I am so very proud of you, Josh and love you lots!! If I had the funds, I would be sure to fly out there for your opening night!! Grandma says she’s very proud too and would also like to be out there for the opener!! Kudos to the owner for planning to do burgers under $10 while using primo products, especially in CA!… or Cali as you say! If he can do it without hurting his bottom line, that’s great! MAJOR kudos to the owner for hiring you!! You are one talented and hard working young man!! I don’t know if you’ll see this here, so I will post to facebook, but I encourage anyoone reading this article to go check out the fares of this fine young man… you will NOT be disappointed!!

  25. Completely agree, if I’m going to have a burger, then I want it to be a great one, and those are harder to find in SR.

  26. Join the nation. I’d be more worried about getting ecoli from your dinner salad tonight. Or getting into a car crash. Or being struck by lightening.

    Listen: It is a serious issue and I think we all react with a little jolt of fear. I also don’t really feel like eating a hamburger today, mostly because the media is whipping it up into a fear frenzy and tacking on gross-out news about pink slime.

    Do what feels right to you, but don’t let fear mongering freak you out. Buy meat from reputable sources, cook it a little longer if that makes you feel better, and everything in moderation.

    But trust me, this is probably the BEST time to eat beef, because everyone is hyper vigilant right now.

  27. Sorry Beccy, correlation does not equal causation. Lots of burger joints don’t make you fat. It’s you getting in the car to frequent these places more than once a week, ordering a 1000+ calorie buger with fries and a milkshake, then shoveling it down your gullet that makes you fat.

    And while I would agree that we don’t need another burger joint, what we do need are better ones. We have an abundance of places that are just okay to fairly decent, but only one, maybe two that could be considered really good. And by really good I mean a memorable burger that is right around the $10 sweet spot. It takes very little skill to make an outstanding burger and charge $18.95 for it.

    A downtown location with plenty of outdoor seating, burger-centric focus, AND I can get a beer? Count me in.

    Haters can get out of my parking spot and go somewhere else.

  28. after watching the news tonight i’m scared of mad cow disease

  29. I cant help it, I love my meat well done. I know its not cool. But its the truth. So yes, I will order it well done. And yes, I will send it back if it is at all pink.

  30. lol…. “Emperor Nino”…. Somehow sooo apropriate

  31. I love a good burger. The quintessential American sandwich, unless you’re in Chicago in which case we’d be talking Hot Dogs. I hope they do well, the Courthouse Square area will benefit from a good lower-cost dining option.

  32. I’d be happy to see a turkey/vegetarian patty option, but personally, i hope they don’t dumb down the menu. It’s one thing to go to Carmen’s and get a turkey patty melt (which I actually like, too). But Nino is planning to use premium Angus beef with very skilled chefs working out flavors, textures and quality that compliment the beef.

    It seems a shame to me to start messing with that.

    For me, home is where i try to eat healthy. Eating out is where I like to indulge in ingredients and flavors that I wouldn’t/couldn’t cook for myself.

    One of the questions raised here was why do they keep opening burger bars around here. Uh…because we can’t support much else. There is a small, but vocal contingency of people here who appreciate good food and will pay for it. But the general public won’t, and restaurants HAVE to cater to a mass audience.

    For example, in the preview, Nino’s staff served the burgers very rare. The meat was good enough, and personally, I loved the very rare pink middles. But I know that 90 percent of folks will freak out and send their burgers back if they see pink. So I worry greatly that they’ll have to burn amazingly good meat in order to satisfy general tastes. Nino says they won’t, but i think it’s inevitable.

    I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but either we have to support dining at a level that’s comparable to larger cities, or we have to stop complaining that all that opens are burger bars and fast food restaurants. It’s a catch-22.

  33. Heather
    The area is owned by D’Argenzio Properties.
    Trees replacement was done with approvals.
    If you have more questions about our property let me know.

  34. Mack Anthony
    The area where the patio is private property. The art work has been has been saved and is not damaged. The trees were replaced with Palm Trees. There is public access to all business and public.
    Thanks for your concern

  35. Good question, but my understanding is that the space that they’ve utilized was owned by an elderly woman who lives in san francisco. the issue at hand was getting her permission to utilize the space. removal of trees? i’m not aware of all this. but worth investigating.

  36. Well there there appears to be a “Flipside” to this forthcoming burger eatery’s “sexy outdoor lounge seats 40 and includes a fire pit”.

    I for one would really like to know just how the heck they were able to get away with and ultimately be able to justify to the City of Santa Rosa and it’s residents to be able to cover up the beautiful “Redwoods” Tile Mosaic Art Work that was commissioned, completed and installed in the middle of a recorded public right of way by a local artist, as this Art Work is an original hand painted and hand inlaid piece of art that the City of Santa Rosa originally required to be done as a part of this project’s original approval some years ago?

    Take a look for yourselves, as this “sexy outdoor lounge” was apparently constructed and installed after the removal of some tree’s and now juts out into the “Public Easement” sitting directly on top of this beautiful “City Required Art Work”.

    Perhaps the “Permit Issues” mentioned in the original article (“pushed back from its April 20 date due to some minor permit issues”) may have something to do with this “city oversight” . . . . .

  37. Really looking forward to trying this place out! Maybe a healthier option of ground turkey will be offered for each of their burgers? At Carmen’s Burger Bar, I always substitute ground turkey for the Patty Melt…YUM. :)

  38. Thats great, always loved his drinks and sense of humor. Super underrated as a bartender/mixologist in this area!

  39. She does make a good point though. There is litterally nothing new opening in SR except burger/sandwich places and brew pubs. Total over saturation of a singular kind of food. How many of the exact same thing do you really need???

  40. try the falafel burger, that should work!

  41. It will be the Jon from Starks. Looking forward too his smiles

  42. This will be a great addition to downtown. Can’t wait to try it!

  43. Went to two of the tastings and the food is amazing! Niño has put a great spin on traditional burgers and we are in need of a quality burger place.

  44. This sounds like it might be a good one…..

  45. Is there anything on the menu that isn’t a zillion calories? Burgers of modest size, for example? A quarter rack of ribs?

  46. I cannot wait to try this place out! Thanks for the preview.

  47. i hear that jon who used to run the bar at starks is over there now, can you confirm?

  48. If you don’t like it – don’t go. No need to be nasty about it.

  49. Looks incredible! I love the look of the outdoor lounge – can’t wait to go! I hope their service is as good as their food looks =)

  50. Really??? Do we really need another burger place???? No wonder everyone is sooo over weight…..

  51. Wow, all of that looks/sounds fantastic! I can’t wait to try it.

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