This is an off-the-beaten-path foodie review. Located in San Angelo, Texas, is the Twisted Root Burger Company. Nestled up against a river near downtown, this restaurant was in a prime location. The entire company sports 16 locations, mostly in Texas. For a town as small as San Angelo, the place stuck out as one of the few dining establishments with a modern touch.
As soon as you walk in, you are surprised by the modern decoration. The “signage-fest” alone takes a while to scan. For those of you that follow me on twitter @Matt_M_Leonard you saw my tweet storm last month on Bob’s Big Boy … well if you look in the back of the picture, there he was, standing proudly, supervising the patrons of Twisted Root. I was only in town a few days, but quickly got a gist to what the place was about from the menu.
The prices were pretty reasonable for a fast casual burger joint (no so much for you foot-long-hotdog aficionados). I ordered the buffalo burger version of the Western and fries. It isn’t too often that a fast casual burger joint offers buffalo, so I struck while my hunger was hot.
While we waited for our order for pickup at the counter, we waited at this “shotgun table.” I’m not sure if this is the typical burger decoration, or if this related to the buffalo I was eating, but it was different.
What else was different? Instead of giving us an order number, they gave us a laminated name. I was naturally Alfred Hitchcock. Each had a fun fact of some sort. We waited around ten minutes, snacking on the complimentary pickle slices, until the names were called on the loudspeaker.
There it is; behold, the Twisted Root Buffalo Western Burger. The cardboard presentation wasn’t as hip as the company might believe. A basket with a liner like you find at Shake Shack or In-N-Out would have been better. Dumping food in a cardboard box doesn’t really speak “clean” to me. Plus, the portion of the fries wouldn’t have looked so pathetically small. I mean, just look at that? It is sadder than the random piece of lettuce getting pinned by the onion slice. Maybe I’m spoiled from Five Guys going the other way and overloading me with fries (since it costs pennies to make), or the bottomless basket as Red Robin.
How was the burger? Pretty damn tasty. I hadn’t had a burger in a couple of weeks, and this was pretty delicious. I couldn’t really tell the difference between buffalo and beef, mostly because it was fully cooked. Does it beat a Five Guy’s burger? No. Does it beat Red Robin? No. Does it beat fast food burgers? Yes. If I was to make a comparison, this is sort of like when you visit a jack-of-all-trades restaurant like Applebees and order a burger. It’s going to cost about the same, even after factoring in the tip at Applebees, and taste about the same, with the random decorations in the restaurant.
At least at Applebees, they will serve it on a plate.