Last visit: March 2013
NE Tarrant location: Bedford
Other DFW locations: Dallas (2), Richardson, Fairview, Plano, Arlington, Carrollton (coming soon)
According to my database, Mrs. RJG and I first went to Twisted Root in January of 2010, not longer after they opened their Roanoke locale. Three years later, I triumphantly return. Mrs. RJG didn't think much of the place on the first visit, and passed on this opportunity.
Twisted Root is a festive place, with a cavernous dining area, and fun little gimmicks like assigning you a name for your order like "Popeye" or "Donald Duck". There are games outside for everyone to enjoy as well. You order at the counter, and at first there appears to be a dizzying array of choices, all handwritten on a chalkboard that isn't particularly easy to read. But they're all variations on the hamburger/fries theme. I stuck with the basics on this visit, going for a cheeseburger and a vanilla milkshake. The milkshake was my personal trade off against the fries.
When I arrived there was no wait, and a few folks sitting down. So I was quite surprised that I waited exactly 20 minutes to get my order. That's seems excessive doesn't it? I mean no one hates it more than me when my order shows up 2 minutes after ordering. But 10 minutes seems about right for a handmade burger. But 20? Obviously there were some screwups in the kitchen on this day. Especially when you consider my shake wasn't ready either. So I stood there, and waited another 5 minutes for that. OK, actually I sat down, ate my hamburger, and then got my shake. Really? The presentation of the hamburger was sad. It just sat there - open faced with lettuce, onion, and tomato sitting by its side in a cardboard box. It reminded me of those cafeteria burgers we'd get in the college dorm. Though they claim their burgers are medium-well, mine came out well-done. Actually I prefer it that way, but if I desired medium well, that would've been a disaster, especially given my long wait. And the shake was curiously flavorless. I don't get that. How do you get a shake without much flavor? Weird.
Alright, enough of the grumps. What about the positives? The burger is very good. Thick with a nice blending of seasonings. The bun is well toasted, just short of crispy. Perhaps best of all is the choice of condiments for the burger. They have a chipotle BBQ, a horseradish Dijon, and a spicy ketchup. I would put a different one on each bite, and enjoyed each one. So that's a major plus in the win column. But it wasn't enough overall to sway my opinion. Twisted Root usually finds itself in those Top 10 of DFW lists for hamburgers. And there's no way I would agree with that. It's barely above average, especially considering all the great options we have here. And it's very expensive for what you get. Yes, of course, I voted "likes it" on Urbanspoon, because I did enjoy it. But will I be back? I can't see why, unless I'm with a big group of out-of-towners that has to go there (and I can't even imagine who that would be actually). Twisted Root seems immensely popular, as not long after I began my 20 minutes of wandering through the desert, a line began to develop and tables were becoming scarce. I don't get it really - but the RJG isn't always one to fall in line with the norm.