Flips has been around as long as I can remember on the north side of Roosevelt Road near the intersection at Lambert, and every time I go in I cannot wait to get back home and devour whatever my stomach was in the mood for that day. Whether it’s the tender meat of an overstuffed gyro with tzataziki sauce, or my normal go-to of Chicago dogs, every meal always comes accompanied by an overflowing bag of uniquely delicious Flips French fries.
I used to say that Flips had the best fries — in the world. No fry matched it in my mind, and even when faced with the top contenders, my brain was too biased to ever accept that a better fry existed. I’ve come to realize that Flips probably doesn’t have THE best fry in the world, that honor goes to Portillo’s in my book, but there’s just something about a Flips French fry that never disappoints. You can just imagine the potato it was carved from with each savory bite.
For years I’ve stuck to the traditional fries with ketchup, but recently I noticed a sign up for Greek fries, and I was stunned with disbelief that I had never realized Greek fries were on the menu. My previous experience with Greek fries had been at Johnny’s Beef down the block from where I lived in Lincoln Park, and consists of simply lemon juice spread over the fries, which are accompanied by a healthy amount of feta cheese. Flips had a lot to live up to, as Greek fries in the past had never lasted more than the first few minutes of a meal, and they not only lived up to the standard, they raised the bar.
Since everything is freshly cooked for you upon ordering, and due to the fact that I’ve never seen the place empty, there is a slight wait for walk-in customers. So I suggest calling your order in ahead of time. Whether you’ll be there in five minutes or 20, you’ll be thrilled when you walk in and walk out with your food while the folks who showed up five minutes ago watch with a tinge of both jealousy and sadness as you walk by.
The food options at Flips are numerous, but I stick to a rotation of the gyros dinner (will never let you down), the #1 which is two Chicago dogs, fries and a drink, and the Italian beef. One difference between Flips and your average food establishment of this variety is that Flips doesn’t cheat by loading up your food with enough grease and oil that it can’t help but taste good. The Italian beef is a good example of this. It’s packed like a football (if you order this I hope you’re hungry) and while it’s plenty wet and greasy like any good Italian beef should be, it’s not drowning. In other words, your takeout bag doesn’t need an extra plastic bag of layering to keep the sandwich from falling out the bottom (looking at you Portillo’s). I have absolutely nothing against the Portillo’s beef, it’s 100% delicious, but with every bite you take deep down you know that you’re steadily clogging an artery. After a Flips beef, all I feel is fulfillment.
The folks who work at Flips complete the experience. The same nice faces always great you, taking your order and working hard to bring it to you quickly. This kind of pleasantness is normally taken for grated, but the consistency at Flips of repeatedly positive customer experiences is well deserving of praise. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a quick and tasty Chicago or Greek style meal, give Flips Beef a call.