Roughly 7 and a half months ago, my wife and I came in to possession of a financially crippling, sleep prohibiting crap factory. We love him dearly – so much it hurts. I mean, literally hurts. Every once in a while an angel of mercy (a friend offering to babysit) will allow the wife and I a few hours of shore leave from H.M.S Insomnia. Sunday was such a day.
We decided to visit to Dip & Flip Brixton because they combine roasted meats and gravy with cheese burgers. No further explanation needed.
The journey there was leisurely. The Victoria Line was easy to navigate through when not in parental mule mode – i.e. a baby chimp strapped to my chest and the chemistry set required to feed and sanitise him in a backpack. We emerged from the tube station like hungry urban mole people and walked five minutes to 64, Atlantic Road, Brixton.
If I had to identify the colour of Dip & Flip’s exterior, I’d say it was the colour of an unpainted model plane. We entered and I was pleasantly surprised. The lighting was just dim enough to conceal my now haggard, bleached baseball mitt of a face, that had spent months contorted in anguish trying to do up the poppers on a onesie at 5am. For the first time in months the subdued lighting meant that onlookers would not be able to tell if they were bags or merely shadows under my eyes. This was all short-lived as we rounded a corner and sat near some big french doors. Still, for those few moments, I felt beautiful again.
The staff managed to walk the fine line of an acceptable level of friendly and polite. Too often in London have I encountered the, ‘This-place-is-actually-really-cool, it’s-a-privilege-for-you-to-eat-here-and-we’re-kinda-doing-you-a-favour-by-letting-you-exchange-your-grubby, basic-bitch-money-for-our-food.’ type of staff *cough* The Blues Kitchen in Shoreditch, *cough*. The opposite end of the spectrum is of course the waiter that sits down with you at your table while he/she is taking your order… I mean… the fuck is that about?
No. Dip & Flip’s staff were lovely. The sort of non-threatening, pleasant demeanour/vibe you’d get from a comforting dental assistant or someone that would stop you in the street to tell you you’ve got bird shit on your back.
For drinks, like the word ‘Uno’ tattooed on an arse, I had a cheeky little Spanish number, in the form of a pint of Estrella. It made a refreshing and delightful change from the seven months worth of coffee that surely made up eighty per cent of the content in my veins. My wife had… I’ve forgot, hold on…
For food, my wife chose a Dip Sandwich – Slow Roasted Lamb, Mint Sauce and double dip gravy. I chose the Dip & Flip Burger – Beef patty, cheese, cabbage slaw, pickles, mustard and ketchup topped with slow roasted lamb dipped in gravy, squeezed into a brioche bun. Oh and I had some fries.
We waited for our meals and it was wonderful to sit and talk about things, adult things, our new mutual love for Sesame Street may have cropped up at some point, but overall we talked about adult things. Not once did the phrases; “Have you smelt him? Does he smell pissy?”, “Shhh. It’s OK. Shhh. He’s having a moan, have you got his crunchy book?” or “Oh god. How’s he managed to get a hold of that? Get it out of his mouth. For Fu-”
After not an unreasonable amount of time had passed, the food arrived. The waitress set down a couple of metal trays and an extra dish of gravy each for dipping. I asked my wife if they had forgotten to give us cutlery. She called me ‘a fool’ and gestured towards the kitchen roll on the table. The realisation was instant, ‘Oh, I see. We are to disgrace ourselves.’
I clutched the cheesy, gravy, breaded meat block in a sweaty paw and bit into the burger. The combination of lamb and beef with the, gravy, cheese and pickle was so good, for the first time in my life I felt envious of animals I was eating. It was grease-covered hands down the best burger I’d had London. The gravy was so good to dip in, had my own child fallen in a bowl of it, I may have been inclined to wrap him in brioche. The chips were well seasoned and had a resilient crispy-ness, which meant that they could hold the gravy and their crunch after being dipped. And oh how they were dipped.
My wife thoroughly enjoyed her sandwich. She said there was so much mint sauce on it she could taste mint when she burped hours afterwards… which is a good thing, apparently.
Our trays emptied, our guts full, my wife and I left Dip & Flip Brixton. We felt a little more in love, a little more refreshed, a little more rested for a little fella to get home to smear with kisses, laced with the grease of the petting zoo we’d just consumed.