BEDFORD Spurred by our seemingly bottomless appetite for burgers, burgers, burgers, the Twisted Root Burger Co. continues to expand.
Born in Dallas’ Deep Ellum district in 2006, the burger chain is eight stores strong and counting. In a few weeks, a branch will open in Carrollton and, earlier this year, the company announced plans to open locations in Shreveport and Austin, its first steps out of North Texas.
Opened last month, the latest local branch is in Bedford, in a converted 7-Eleven store, at a high-traffic intersection at Central Drive and Harwood Road. Good placement: You can see the restaurant from any direction, its front-and-center, 1,500-square-foot patio is so, so big and, right now, when the weather is decent, so, so crowded.
This Twisted Root follows the same formula as the others: You make your way through a line, order, then wait for your name to be called. Only your name isn’t your name. Amusingly, it’s “Indiana Jones,” or “Chaka Khan,” or “Jerry Springer” or any number of fake/real celebrities/personalities. Also, depending on who’s working, the person calling the names on the intercom may or may not say things like, “Hate to see you ladies go, but we sure like to watch you leave.” Par for the course at any Twisted Root.
The side of silliness doesn’t distract from the burgers, which range from old-school calorie bombs to healthier burgers, such as a turkey burger and one made with a black bean patty (both $5.99). The latter was one of our favorites, its smooth patty giving way to a tangle of black beans, kernels of corn and chopped red bell peppers; there was quite a kick to it. The toasted wheat bun came from Village Baking Company in Dallas, which supplies bread to all Twisted Root locations. As with all the burgers, lettuce and a ring of yellow onions came on the side.
Each store rotates a weekly game burger, such as ostrich, elk and kangaroo. During our visits, it was, whew, just plain ol’ venison. Also served on a wheat bun, the 1/2-pound patty had a likable lean and moist texture but didn’t offer much in the way of flavor. A housemade spicy ketchup helped liven it up, though.
Of the 12 signature burgers, decorated with toppings such as guacamole, green chili, sauerkraut and goat cheese, we chose the “Western” ($8.99). The 1/2-pound Angus patty was cooked as requested, a juicy medium rare, and it had a rich, vibrant, beefy flavor. On top of it came a small pile of onion strings, crunchy, thin and salty; melted pepperjack cheese; two strips of smoky bacon that were neither too crisp nor too gummy; and thinly sliced jalapeños. The toasted white bun was great, too, sturdy on the outside, soft inside. This was a pretty perfect burger.
Every side we tried was good: Long-cut, skin-on fries were well seasoned with salt and pepper; thin sweet potato chips struck a perfect balance between savory and sweet; and the fried pickle chips sported coats of irresistibly salty batter.
Those pickles turned up again at a pickle bar, where you can choose from sweet, spicy, Ranch-flavored or hot-hot-hot pickles, all made in-house; we munched on them as appetizers.
For dessert, we tried one of the restaurant’s signature, custard-based shakes, made with cookie dough, which we found to be a bit too sweet. Oh, who are we kidding? We drank the whole thing.
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