Editor’s Note: In early 2014, Chris sold the Flip Flop Sandwich Shop. It is currently operated under the new owners.
I first learned of the Flip Flop Sandwich Shop through the Medellin Entrepreneurs Society earlier this year.
Chris, the American owner, highlighted his success with TripAdvisor (his humble shop was, and still is, ranked the #1 restaurant in Medellin), and invited others to suggest ways he could continue to promote his restaurant.
Located a few blocks from Parque Lleras, on the same street as Casa Kiwi hostel, the Flip Flop Sandwich Shop is easily recognized by its yellow sign and umbrellas, which provide cover for two tables on the sidewalk.
The inside of the shop is surprisingly small, with just enough room for three small tables.
When I stopped by for lunch, Chris immediately greeted me and I took a seat inside. A Colombian couple was already enjoying their lunch.
The menu offers simple, Western-style food, including chocolate chip pancakes, vegemite and toast (blech!), a range of sandwiches, and a few salads.
I ordered the ham sandwich, and asked for avocado as well (which was offered at no extra charge).
If I’m not drinking alcohol, I always order a fresh fruit juice when dining out. When I asked Chris why that wasn’t an option, he said it was due to lack of space. In fact, the kitchen is incredibly small, and unfortunately, that limits the menu at this time.
As I waited for my sandwich to be prepared, I chatted with Chris. He was very up front about the fact that his sandwich shop does not serve the best food in the city. He believes that honor goes to Carmen, and Toscano, the Italian restaurant around the block.
I appreciated his honesty, and suddenly, I realized it was his friendly, personable disposition that lies behind the positive reviews on TripAdvisor.
You go to Carmen for a gourmet meal, but you go to the Flip Flop Sandwich Shop for comfort food and tourism advice from Chris, both of which he’s happy to provide.
When the sandwich came out, it was presented with a side of potato chips.
The ham looked more like pork to me. Chris said that was because he soaks it in a special brine. In other words, you won’t find ham like it anywhere else in the city.
The avocado, lettuce, and wheat bread were all fresh, and combined with the ham, it made for a tasty sandwich.
Could I have made it at home? Possibly, though I wouldn’t be taking the time to brine my own ham.
Do I ever make sandwiches at home anymore? No.
I’m already looking forward to my next visit to the Flip Flop Sandwich Shop. I gotta try those chocolate chip pancakes!