Friday, September 21, 2018

Family Time – A Visit to Birmingham Alabama

In July, our son David II and grandson Emmett Lee, flew in to visit us here in East Tennessee for a couple of days.  Then we drove them down to Birmingham Alabama to visit David’s better half Amy.  She’s working in Birmingham while eldest grandson, David III is finishing high school back in Omaha…

Laurie took this photo in front of our house.  I’m flanked by Emmett Lee (who’s 15 and taller than me already) and our son David II.

Of course, we had to feed them and a nice fresh salad with tomatoes and blue cheese crumbles started us out.

David II loves Laurie’s pot roasts…so that’s what Laurie prepared for our big meal at our house!  I love the potatoes and carrots cooked in with the roast at least as much as the meat… We sure had plenty to eat!

…and then the next day we were off to Birmingham Alabama.  It’s a very easy drive when compared to the day and half treks to Omaha!

In the late afternoon, we drove over to Amy’s office in Pelham Alabama.  She works for Gabriella White LLC, parent company of Summer Classics and Gabby.  For over 35 years the company has designed and manufactured luxury outdoor furniture for businesses and high end retailers. Gabby produces high end indoor furniture and lighting.  The corporate offices are located in Pelham as is a very large showroom and store…

I took this photo of Amy at her desk in the office.  She joined Gabriella White LLC over a year ago as the Chief Marketing Officer.  She leads the company’s integrated marketing strategy for the various brands.  As that great smile indicates, she loves her job!
I was a bit jealous!  In all my years in retailing, I never had an office that even approached the style and quality of the furnishing in Amy’s office…

Then I took this picture of Emmett Lee in his mom’s office…

David II and Laurie relaxed in the Pelham showroom as we checked out the company’s merchandise for the first time.  Laurie had to sit down as she "started hyperventilating” as she discovered one item after another that she wanted to purchase!  Well, ‘hyperventilating’ might be a little over dramatic on my part…perhaps I should have said that she got a little ‘giddy’ or ‘punch drunk’ viewing the options.

Here are just a couple of the photos I took of the showrooms in the Summer Classics/Gabby corporate outlet in Pelham.  I must admit that I’m not often impressed by retail offerings, but these furnishings are indeed superior to others of the same ilk that I’ve seen elsewhere. 
The Summer Classics/Gabby showrooms are located at 3140 Pelham Parkway in Pelham Alabama.  Phone: 888-868-4267.  For more information on the furnishings offered by Summer Classics or Gabby Home, you can go to their websites at:, or

For dinner this day, we decided on a casual venue.  Based on the positive reviews posted on Trip Advisor and on local feedback, we chose the Flip Burger Boutique which is located in The Summit, which is what seems to be the current “in” shopping and entertainment center in the Birmingham area.
For information about The Summit and to view a directory for this shopping, dining and entertainment development, you can go to

This is the dramatic inside dining area at the Flip Burger Boutique.  This eatery is best described as a full-service upscale burger restaurant…definitely not a burger ‘joint’!  The décor is a bit over the top.  

Outside dining is also an option…with some amazing views of the city and the hills around Birmingham.

Laurie took this photo of me with Amy, David II and Emmett Lee at our table…

You know that this burger place will be ‘different’ than most when you first look at the menu and consider the appetizers, sides and small plates.  Examples include Flip Fries with smoked mayo and ketchup, not too different really but fries with truffle parmesan or with bacon garlic are also available.  Alternatively, how would you feel about Sweet Potato Tots with Burnt Marshmallow Foam?

Laurie is a fried pickle freak so we stayed with the deep fried Pickle Slices with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing.  They were just fine, if not outstanding…   

Amy and David II ordered the Sweet Potato Tots without the burnt marshmallow foam as a side for one of their sandwiches.  No complaints but they didn’t finish them…

This was my burger… I ‘built it’ using FLIP Burger Boutique’s menu which allows you to create a burger your way.  Substitutions aren’t allowed for their list of 15 “Signature Burgers”.

My medium rare (overcooked) Angus burger patty on a Brioche Bun with Feta cheese and a fried egg was quite a creation.  It was pretty good, but it wasn’t outstanding.  The accompanying Brussel sprouts with bacon and ginger were tasty but Laurie makes better ones at home. 

This was Emmet’s ‘burger’.  It was a ‘chicken burger patty’ with bacon.  As his side, he had the Bacon Cheese Macaroni with Gruyere Cream.  Emmett being a teenager with a very limited pallet isn’t a great source for food feedback.

However, his chicken burger begs the question…when is a burger not a burger?  Alternatively, how should we define the word ‘burger’?  FLIP Burger Boutique lists chicken, turkey, lamb, ground shrimp and ‘Fauxlafel’ (chickpeas) under burgers on their menu.  To me, a burger is a burger made with beef…but everyone is entitled to their own viewpoint.

Laurie jumped out there and order FLIP Burger Boutique’s “Earth and Turf” from the restaurant’s list of their Signature Burgers.

This burger is a crossover creation.  The burger patty is a combination of ground beef and ground mushrooms.  My wife loves mushrooms!  More mushrooms, melted onions, Gruyere cheese, pickles and mushroom mayonnaise completed the sandwich.  For her side she had grilled asparagus.  The asparagus was her favorite thing from her meal.  She did not like her burger at all…

I didn’t take photos of David II’s or Amy’s burgers.  I did take a picture of this “Nitrogen Milkshake” that I treated myself with… Unfortunately, I took the picture after the nitrogen vapors had dispelled.  OK, it was a decent milkshake…but what did the nitrogen add to it?  Short lived drama?
To summarize our family’s feedback… Can you spell “disappointment”?  None of us liked FLIP Burger Boutique.  Forget the drama, glitz, etc.  Good food is the key and we just weren’t impressed.  For all the glamour and fancy ingredients, the food was average at best.

I did a little post dining research and various descriptions and depictions of FLIP Burger Boutique pretty much agree with our opinion.  One of them described the food as “Overly salty, overly sweet, overly complicated, overcooked, over fried and just overdone”. 

Try FLIP Burger Boutique for yourself.  As per Trip Advisor, only 6% of their diners didn’t like it.  However, YELP shows that 13.5% of their diners didn’t give favorable reviews…and the trend on YELP for 2018 is downward… The FLIP Burger Boutique in Birmingham Alabama is located at 220 Summit Boulevard.  Phone: 205-968-2000.  During the time I was writing this posting, the restaurant’s website had been out of commission for at least 3 days.  Give it a try at   

Let’s end on a positive note!  Isn’t this hanging pot of flowers beautiful!  These flowers were on display throughout Birmingham’s Summit Shopping area…

That’s it for now… Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Dear Dave, Amy's place of work is beautiful. The displays are so pretty. I am so happy for her.
    As far as the Flip Burger it really is too bad that these places replace theatrics for good food! best, Catherine

  2. My burger was so unremarkable I do not even remember what I ordered!