It’s 1998. You are in the NBA Finals. With 10 seconds to go in the game, and your team down 1-point, you realize you need to make something happen. You inbound the ball… You dribble to the right… You cross-over to the left… Then with the might of Odin, you spring up and shoot the ball. Wet. The ball goes straight into the basket, and your team wins.
Since you will never feel that joy in real life, instead of crying, wipe those tears, and let’s eat our feelings away with this burger:
Menu Name: Twist Burger ($8.99)
- Ground Beef
- Goat Cheese
- Caramelized Onions
- Twist Sauce/ Balsamic Syrup
- Brioche Bun
As I readied my hands, shook out my arms, and prepared to go to town on this burger, the typical insecurities set in: “It looks good, but will it satisfy?”, “I know goat cheese/marmalade-burgers are a go-to style, but will I get bored halfway through… Especially considering it doesn’t have any jam involved?”, and “I hope that ‘twist sauce’ and balsamic syrup come through big, because if not, the burger is going to be sad, thus I’m going to be sad”.
But sad I was not! For what I encountered was a glorious array of ingredients, formed together in the shape of a burger. If you want to stop reading after this sentence, I totally understand, because I’m about to ruin the rest of the review, by telling you the best part first:
The Twist Sauce/ Balsamic Syrup blend was amazing. Umami Burger is supposed to be known for their sauces; but they ain’t got nothin’ on Twist. Viscous, sweet, and highly flavored, this secret sauce proved to be the elven rope, that tied everything together.
The whole burger was good. The bun was good, the bacon was good, the goat cheese was good, the beef was good, the prosciutto was good, and the arugula was good… What made the burger great, was that frakin’ awesome sauce.
Taking bite after bite, the perfectly crispy bacon danced in my mouth on top of an island of spongey beef, with fresh arugula for trees, and a buttery-soft bun for sand. Meanwhile, the waves never ceased to put a smile on my face… Set after set, my tongue rode the tubes of that secret sauce as I transcended reality, to my personal Burger-Oahu.
I have to be honest, when we arrived on location, I didn’t have high hopes. The outside of the joint isn’t overly welcoming, and although the inside is very clean, it looks like they’re still halfway through the process of decorating the place. Nonetheless, there isn’t much I would change on the burger…
That being said, the only criticism I do have, is that they seasoned the burger with too much salt and pepper. I am a disciple of Bobby Flay; Thus I always believe in the use of salt and pepper for any type of burger… They just used a handful too much. The other ingredients were so flavorful on their own, that the overabundance of salt and pepper was a bit obtrusive. Good thing is, that can be easily adjusted!
Was it better than Banker’s Hill Bar and Restaurant? No. The ingredients at Banker’s Hill were just of too high quality for the Twist Burger to compete.
Was it better than Hodads? Now that’s an interesting question… But I’d have to say no. While the Twist Burger was fantastic in almost every manner, I don’t feel the urge to go back instantly. And compared to Hodads price, a Twist burger and fries comes out to be about $4 more.
Was it better than Rocky’s Crown Pub & Burger Lounge combined? Yes, most definitely. Not only was it made with more love, care and inspiration than any of the burgers at RCP and BL, but it tasted much better as well! (You can read more about my sad time at Rocky’s: Click Here)
And I know you were wondering what was up with those fries! They were deep-fried and then seasoned with a salt/pepper/sugar/brown sugar mix, which created that reflective coating you can see in the picture. I can say that I had never before had fries finished in that manner, but they were quite delectable. Can’t say I would order them all the time as a result of the richness from the sugar, but on those good days when I’m feelin’ lucky, you can count on me to chow down the Twist Fries.
And so we have it folks: A mighty fine burger, at a decent price for San Diego.