I recently popped in to Twisted Burger, the ground beeferia that took over the space vacated by Pizza Fusion on Sand Lake Road. Things got off to an inauspicious start.
The young woman behind the counter was just finishing with the order of the couple in front of me as I looked over the menu board on the back wall. As the couple walked away, the staffer looked at me and said, “Are you ready to order?”
Why, I’m just fine, thanks for asking, and I appreciate the warm welcome to your place of business.
I requested a Twisted Burger, which I figured was the signature item. As near as I could tell from the menu board, the thing that makes it twisted is that it is grilled with cheddar cheese. Wow, that is just sick! Who comes up with these crazy combinations?
I waited for the young woman to ask me how I would like the burger cooked, and when she didn’t I told her I would like it medium-rare. She explained that they usually cook them medium-well, and that medium was the best she could do. “We’re not supposed to cook them less than that because of health reasons,” she said.
Well, at least she didn’t say they couldn’t do it because it’s a state law, which is a dodge a lot of restaurants employ. To go over it one more time, state law says that a restaurant must cook ground beef burgers medium-well unless -- unless -- the customer requests otherwise. At TB, apparently, the customer’s request doesn’t matter.
OK, let’s go into this a little bit more. The issue is bacteria that can be transmitted to meat during the slaughter process. Cooking the meat to a higher temperature generally kills any bacteria. The reason you can order a steak medium-rare or even bloody rare is that even the briefest time on the grill will kill the bacteria, which in theory would be only on the surface of the steak. But grinding that same steak while raw can blend any surface bacteria into the meat. To kill it requires longer time on the grill. For the very young, for the elderly or for anyone with otherwise compromised immune systems, longer cooking is a good idea. My point has always been that it should be up to the customer to make the choice. Restaurants like Twisted Burger, however, are just taking a CYA approach.
That said, my burger was pretty good -- it would have been great if it had been medium-rare and with a little more of the juices intact. Apparently the real twist of the Twisted Burger is that the cheese is pressed in the center of the patty, which was impressively thick. And this is a good time to mention that the $5.99 charge for the burger was a reasonable one. There was plenty of oozing cheese, and the flavor of the burger was good. I also ordered a side of fries ($1.99), and they were pretty good, too. They weren’t as big as steak-cut fries, but they were a pretty good size and had a light jacket that allowed for better seasoning.
For some reason the tables at Twisted Burger have only a bottle of yellow mustard. I had to get up to find some packets of ketchup at a condiment station. Should have been the other way around.
Given the greeting when I arrived, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the silence from the staff when I left.
“You’re welcome -- always glad to give my business to someone who appreciates it!”
Twisted Burger is at 7563 W. Sand Lake Road, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. There is a Twisted Burger website, but it shows that it is still under construction, even though the restaurant opened in March. The phone number is 321-248-2149.