food businesses

How this Pinoy chef is flipping the script with new joint Flipside Burgers

Steph Arnaldo

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

How this Pinoy chef is flipping the script with new joint Flipside Burgers

ED, HEAD CHEF, AND FRIENDS. Chef Ed founded Flipside Burgers at UP Diliman in early 2024.

Ed Bugia

Chef Ed Bugia's latest venture in UP Diliman takes him back to his roots, serving classic, Oklahoma-style burgers to students and families in the area

MANILA, Philippines – Inside the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, a renowned local chef is flipping more than just burgers.

Ed Bugia has swapped his previous fast-paced restaurant kitchens for campus food truck Flipside Burgers, bringing freshly made burgers and side dishes to students, staff, and families on campus. He told Rappler that this is his return to the roots of what makes food truly great – serving simple but good food with no frills attached.

FLIPSIDE BURGERS. Located in Gyud Food, Chef Ed’s food truck serves freshly flipped burgers every day, from morning to evening. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

In the culinary industry, many often start small and scale up. But this time, Chef Ed is taking a different path – slowing down to focus on what he truly loves: crafting a good, old-fashioned burger made with heart.

New beginnings in a familiar place

Flipside Burgers’ vibrant food truck finds its first home within the bustling atmosphere of UP Diliman, situated at Gyud Food Market, UP’s hip food hub. It’s parked outdoors underneath a large tree, with picnic tables at the front for group dining.

OUTDOOR DINING. The food truck is situated underneath a tree, with picnic tables at the front for easy barkada enjoyment. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

The concept for his first food truck came after a period of rest for Ed. He took a break after running and consulting for several local restaurants since 2008 – the year he and his former partners started the Pino Group, the restaurant arm behind Maginhawa’s Pino and Pipino.

“Quezon City’s The Burger Project was also one of the brands we founded in 2010,” Ed recalled. “It had a very successful run until we hit the pandemic and had to close it down.” He also had to sell the Pino Group.

CAMPUS FAVORITE. Several local vendors and brands are located in UP’s food hub for students and families to enjoy. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

The idea for a food truck concept was spurred by an unexpected phone call from Joe Magsaysay, formerly of Potato Corner, and a dear friend of Ed.

“Joe called and asked about The Burger Project and if he could acquire the name and open it in Gyud Food,” Ed explained. However, instead of reviving the old brand, Ed suggested creating something new.

FLIPSIDE TEAM. Chef Ed, his head chef, and staff members are dedicated to serving fresh burgers on the daily. Photo courtesy of Ed Bugia

“The kids weren’t familiar with it anymore anyway, and it was already closed. I told my former partners we wouldn’t copy any of the old menu items and make a whole new concept. That’s the origin story of Flipside Burgers.”

The Flipside philosophy

Flipside Burgers specializes in Oklahoma-style smashed burgers, a technique that sets them apart from standard burgers served in mainstream joints.

OKLAHOMA-STYLE BURGER. Similar to a smashed burger, this kind of burger results in a juicy but thin, crispy, smoky patty. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

“When you say Oklahoma Style, you smash super thinly sliced onions into the patties, so you both steam and grill them at the same time,” Ed said. This method lends a subtle sweetness to the burger without over-caramelizing the onions.

Flipside’s burgers are served on soft, fluffy brioche buns grilled with butter. Inside are dill pickles, a special burger sauce, American cheese, and two Angus beef patties. The result is a savory and satisfying burger that’s not overwhelming to bite into but carries a beefy punch, contrasted by the tangy burger sauce and pickles.

Gyud Food, the strategically chosen site for Flipside’s launch, played a crucial role in the venture’s early success.

“It was already being run by my eventual Flipside partners, Joe Magsaysay and Anton Diaz,” said Ed. Their support allowed him to start small and manageable.

“Having a small food truck model helped me start really small – less overhead such as manpower, but at the same time, still let me go back to my roots, which is producing great burgers.”

For Ed, the essence of a great burger lies in the small but vital details.

“Honestly, a burger is a burger. It’s just really how you make it that spells all the difference. From the technique, the actual type of burger, the ingredients, and finally, the perfect ratio of everything coming together,” he said. This meticulous approach ensures that every burger served is of the highest quality despite the constraints of a smaller operation.

His secret sauce? Trusting the process and flipping the burgers while eating it.

“There’s a science to it where the top buns absorb all the juices and it doesn’t make a mess. Promise – it’s worth the extra step.”

Heartfelt and hands-on

Compared to running a restaurant, operating a food truck has its own set of challenges, particularly when it comes to profitability.

“We took a hit here margins-wise. I don’t earn as much as my bigger restaurants, but hey, what’s the point of having really good burgers when no one can afford it?” Ed is committed to keeping his prices affordable for college students despite fluctuations in ingredient costs.

“Due to the constant flux in ingredient prices, we’ll eventually have to increase prices, but I’ll try to keep it as affordable as possible still.”

Despite its difficulties, the switch to a small venture has brought Ed back to the core of his culinary passion. “Being a small venture really forces you to be hands-on again because you can’t afford to hire too much manpower. It’s going back to your roots of being a cook, first and foremost, aside from being a restaurateur,” he said.

This hands-on approach ensures that the food remains consistently up to his own standards. “Challenging? Of course, but isn’t every job worth doing?”

Despite the shift from large restaurants to a food truck, Ed doesn’t see this as a major deviation from his career path. “A small resto and a big resto all boil down to numbers. Make sure you have a good product and sell the hell out of it. It’s not that different,” he said.

A taste of the Flipside

Flipside offers a variety of burgers and sides, reminiscent of a casual diner experience. The Oklahoma Style Smashed Burger, priced at P235, is a classic and flavorful choice, with thinly sliced onions smashed into the juicy patties and served on buttery brioche buns.

UMAMI BURGER. Mushrooms are the star of this burger, lending its umami profile to the savory burger. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Another standout is the Umami Burger, which costs P255 and features juicy double Angus beef patties, American cheese, “umami” butter, shiitake mushrooms, grilled onions, dill pickles, and special burger sauce – recommended for mushroom fans and those who love strong, savory flavors. The Oklahoma variant is more subtle.

BREAKFAST BURGER. Sweet chorizo hamonado patties meld well with the runny egg yolk. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

For those who enjoy a touch of sweetness, the Breakfast Burger, priced at P225, is an ode to the iconic choriburger of Boracay. It has two chorizo hamonado patties, American cheese, a fried, runny egg (the best kind), grilled onions, dill pickles, and a special burger sauce.

SLIDERS. These mini versions are best for sharing. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Flipside also offers Oklahoma Burger Sliders, which are mini versions of the classic burger, available in three pieces for P175 and six pieces for P345.

SIDE DISHES. Pickled quail eggs and fried dill pickles are a good and zingy accompaniment to the richness of the burgers. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

The sides add to the dining experience. The fried dill pickles, costing P55, are breaded like a corndog with a sweet batter (almost like a doughnut), similar to the fluffy mini corn dogs available for P155. Another interesting side is the pickled quail eggs, priced at P45, which offer a sweet, sour, and spicy flavor profile with a spicy hint of siling labuyo.

HONEY SRIRACHA WINGS. Spicy and sweet jive well together in these crispy chicken wings. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

The Honey Sriracha Wings, priced at P215, are crisp, moist wings lightly coated in an addictive blend of sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors. The burgers also pair well with the light and crispy Flavored Onion Rings, available for P110, which are powdered with cheese or BBQ flavors.

ONION RINGS. Like your favorite French fries, these onion rings are flavored and addictive, and taste even better with the tangy aioli on the side. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Depending on the time of day, Flipside diners can enjoy the breeze under a shaded area or sit under the sun. It can get hot, though, so bringing a portable fan or wearing loose, comfy clothing is advisable.

Burger fans, don’t flip out: Flipside Burgers is opening a new spot in Arcovia City! With a solid food truck concept and Ed’s hands-on dedication to quality, the future of Flipside is set on bringing simple burgers to an even wider audience, proving that no matter where you serve it, a simple but satisfying burger can find its way to people’s hands (and hearts). –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Avatar photo


Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.