by Matt Jackson
Think of the contrast between eating out and eating at home. Eating in the comforts of home provides a sense of security and contentment. Dallas’ Twisted Root Burger Co. takes this into account.
The restaurant’s homeyness is immediately noticeable upon entry. Pieces of vintage art line the walls. Stickers cover the support beams at the bar. The aroma of various meats from the kitchen hits your nose to pull you in. The wall next to the booths is covered in handwritten notes left by former patrons. The staff is quick in answering questions and tending to customer needs. The entire setup of the restaurant gives it a cozy feeling, making it easy for visitors to settle in and eat.
Coziness aside, Twisted Root’s main attraction is its burgers. Nowhere else in Dallas will one find such a vast selection of exotic meats, including duck, venison, ostrich, camel and alligator meat. If the animal can be made into a burger, it’s featured in Twisted Root’s remarkable lineup.
Several other elements flesh out Twisted Root’s menu. For those looking for something lighter than a burger but still satisfyingly filling, there are four interestingly prepared salads, like the Cobb Salad, which is made with a fried egg on top. A variety of dressings is available, including Chipotle Ranch or Cumin Lime Vinaigrette. A small kids menu includes grilled cheese & fries, a kid’s burger with fries, and even house-battered ground turkey nuggets with fries. Some of the fountain drinks are created with the restaurant’s own twist. An assortment of fried items composes the sides, including Treat Yo’ Self fries, made with melted cheese, jalapenos and bacon with a side of peppercorn ranch; Quincy’s fried pickles; fried green beans ‘n carrots; Fried Pickles; or hand-cut fries/potato chips for those who want a more orthodox option.
Though the burgers are the main attraction, Twisted Root’s deliciously thick homemade custard shakes are a close runner-up, offering the typical trio of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate confections like the peanut butter & brownie shake and the Oreo cookie pieces shake.
Deciding what to order was a struggle because the menu boasted burgers like the Le Wagyu — a mouth-watering composition consisting of Dijon-crusted Wagyu beef, thyme caramelized onions and gruyere cheese — but in the end, I went with the aptly named Freshman 15, which is prepared with stringy melted cheddar, a perfectly fried egg and crispy bacon and topped with seasoned fries. If it sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. Eating it with a shake is ill-advised, as both items are too thick; wash it down with a soda instead.
Twisted Root is right across the highway from campus next to the train tracks on SMU Boulevard. Students looking to visit can drive; however, I recommend saving on gas, as it’s only a 15-minute walk away.