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–Twisted Root Burger Co.
Dallas, TX (locations)–
Twisted Sister –
Back in Dallas for work. This means it is time for yet another sampling of burgers that this great burger town has to offer! By now, most of my coworkers are aware of my affinity towards what science has proven is the optimum combination of both bread and meat, and prepared for my arrival with a list of recommendations. As we headed to the first on the list, my coworker was talking up how good the burgers were going to be. We arrived at our burger destination only to find that the place was closed due to a failed health inspection…. Uh oh…. OK, what’s next on our list? A place called Twisted Root Burger Co. Fortunately there was one nearby so I would be able to satisfy my burger urge without significant delay. While I would have preferred to go to the original Twisted Root location in the Deep Ellum section of Dallas, very near Angry Dog. We were closest to the Legacy drive location in Plano. So that is where we went.
Walking in to Twisted Root, the first thing you notice is the not so subtle sarcasm that seems to permeate the entire place. From the giant, hand-written signs placed everywhere to the bizarre 90’s pop culture personalities being listed over the intercom to the tables made out of old computer parts, I was experiencing slight sensory overload from what I thought was going to be a straightforward Burger Tyme. The line was long and that is always promising regardless of any burger environment. This was also fortunate as it allowed me time to thoroughly consider my many options. Something unique at Twisted Root is the option of not one but many different types of wild game meats for your burger including Ostrich, Kangaroo, and Alligator! All subject to availability, of course. Keeping with the tongue in cheek attitude, a sign with a picture of Bambi quoted as saying “I’m delicious” let me know that venison was available.
Plot Twist –
I wasn’t feeling so adventurous so I ordered one of Twisted Root’s ‘Favorite’ burgers, The Western, with regular beef in lieu of wild game. Twisted Root touts that their beef is a mixture of fresh ground chuck and brisket. This sounds gerat but while placing my order I noticed something that caused a slight bit of distress. In the open kitchen behind the counter a man was mixing the meat, adding seasonings, and then added what appeared to be… bread crumbs. This ingredient is confirmed in an interview that is actually posted on Twisted Root’s website. They claim that the bread crumbs are not there as filler but to retain the meats moisture. I’m not a culinary expert but the only other time I have seen meat and crumbs together is in either meat loaf or meat balls. With a new found skepticism, I finished my order with some straight cut fries and some Twisted Root Beer (Root beer branded Twisted Root). I was handed a card with the name ‘Uncle Jesse’ on it (link for those who don’t know who that is). I was to wait until I heard the name called out to pick up my order. I swung by the homemade pickle bar and picked up a few slices of the different kinds of pickles and then joined my coworkers at a table.
Listening to the various pop references over the speaker was amusing and made the time pass quickly. My name, er, Uncle Jesse, was soon called and I went to pick up my order. The Western included pepperjack cheese, bacon, fried onion strings, and jalapenos, all on a buttered and toasted bun. As I read this list of ingredients I don’t know why I was surprised by how salty the burger was. Everything on it added a savory element with very little to counter it. The patty was beefy but had a very homogeneous texture which gave it more of a chew than I prefer. All of the other toppings became lost both in flavor and texture as I added the house made ketchup to attempt to cut the salt. Another review of the menu would show that many of the burgers had similar toppings but with the addition of either guacamole or mushrooms which I think would have gone a long way in helping this burger out. The fries were good, fresh cut and cooked well. The root beer was my saving grace here. Not amazing, but sweet. I found that a steady regimen of burger/root beer/burger/root beer, was the sweet counter point that got me through the meal.
The Wrap It Up –
Did I hate Twisted Root? Absolutely not. While waiting in line I saw many signs telling me I should order a milkshake. I think a creamy, cold, and sugary shaek would have done wonders for this meal. Also, I feel that the original location in Deep Ellum probably has a more genuine vibe than the many locations that now dot the Dallas burgerscape. This is a fun place to go with your friends however this location felt more like a Chili’s or an Applebee’ s than an authentic burger joint. Add to that the price of it all, and you are paying top dollar more for the experience than for a good burger. In a serious burger town like Dallas, that is a dangerous line to be straddling.