Commuters near the CTA Blue Line’s Division Stop have a new spot for diner-style burgers and all-day breakfast with plenty of outdoor seating. Felipe Caro has transformed the former Authentaco space at 1141 N. Ashland Ave. to Flip. He quietly opened the restaurant on Sunday even though he’s not completely finished with improvements to the space.
The largest of those improvements is bringing the 22-foot trailer used for The Doorstep, the short-lived food truck that was parked a block north from Flip inside the Polish Triangle. Caro plans to dock the trailer behind the restaurant where it will serve soft-serve ice cream. He envisions a “cook-out” atmosphere outside that would differ from the items served inside.
The burgers at Flip compare favorably to Small Cheval, Caro said. Both are of the same style: Thin and griddled double stacks. Flip uses caramelized onions, pickles and aioli. They’re forming the patties in the restaurant using 76 percent chuck with the rest a combo of brisket and short rib, Caro said. Flip is also serving “48-hour fries.” The method—where the spuds are soaked in water the day before, slow-poached, and then laid in a fridge overnight to remove starch—provides a crisper potato. They’re serving homemade sausages and the bologna in their fried bologna sandwich comes from Paulina Meat Market. Caro is pleased with the quality and value: “You walk out of the door with a burger and fries for $10,” he said.
All-day breakfast includes bacon that is cured from pork belly at the restaurant, biscuits and gravy, avocado toast, and challah french toast. There are also breakfast tacos. Caro prefers to serve the breakfast crowd rather than staying open late. He dealt with the post-bar shenanigans for 16 years while running his taco stand, Picante. While Picante has moved to larger digs at Division and Damen, Caro’s pushed pause on the hot dog stand that replaced the original Picante. Mutz, which opened in April, is temporary closed at 2016 W. Division St. Caro blamed personnel issues for the shutter. He wants to free up more time so he’s at his restaurants to ensure things are properly running.
The building’s facade still reads “Snappy Service System,” a White Castle-like burger chain from the 1930s. Caro isn’t sure when Flip will be 100 percent operational, but he’s very confident in the food. See if he’s right today. Flip is open.
Flip, 1141 N. Ashland Ave., regular hours (subject to change) will start after July 4, open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday to Friday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.