Twisted Root Burger Company was started by Jason Boso after he did what most service industry folk fantasize about doing to a hard-to-please customer. Boso spouted off, apparently in a big way, and got fired. But that led Boso, along with fellow chefs and eventual Twisted Root co-founders Quincy Hart and Steve Thompson, to build a burger joint that’s irreverent, unconventional, and successful.
The location in Arlington makes number seven for the local chain, with five restaurants scattered across Dallas and one in Roanoke. The Arlington décor concept is garage-meets-tailgate: The back wall is lined with tall tables outfitted with cooler tops as bench seats, and the bar is backed by a Winnebago. Order at the counter under the sign that tells you to hurry up and get off your damn cell phone because people behind you are hungry. When you order, you’re given the name of a literary figure (like J.D. Salinger) or pop icon (Dora the Explorer or Pamela Anderson). That’s what the staffers holler when your food is ready. And, yes, they relish the opportunity to yell out over the PA, “Shake’s ready for Ron Jeremy, creamy shake, come get it!” If you dislike noise, or you’ve got a major case of ADD, you might not enjoy the amount of overhead communication.
The Fried Ride appetizer is a little bit of every veggie on the menu: hand-cut French fries sprinkled with the restaurant’s really good savory grill seasoning, cinnamon-sugary sweet potato fries, onion strings (just a tad greasy but not grossly so), and the two best worst-for-you items: fried pickles and fried green beans. Both delights were crisp on the outside and succulent on the inside. From the handful of the restaurant’s custom-made condiments, the sweetly smoky ancho chile ketchup had a nice kick at the end, and the horseradish Dijon mustard was surprisingly delicious.