Friday, September 3, 2010
Twisted Rooster, 1600 East Beltine - 8/26/10
A lot of attention has been paid to this restaurant and its conversion from the national chain, O’Charley’s, to what will become a “local” chain. We had to give it a try.
Walk in and it still feels as if you’re in a chain restaurant. Several young greeters/hostesses are milling about. A large dining area lies straight ahead, a bar with high-top seating is to your left, and leads to another dining area. The interior has been redone with nondescript modern decor, but the bar is attractive. At least nine TVs could be seen and very loud music is piped in everywhere in the building. With their attempt at a creative menu, it might be described as a Sports Bar that wants to be a Gastro Pub.
We were seated promptly and our server took a few minutes to describe the menu (not sure why - it’s not that complicated). Although the menu throws “twisted” in front of many of the items, most of the items are not that unusual. There were no appetizers or sides to start things off so we went with the soup of the day, gazpacho. Topped with homemade croutons, it was amazingly tasty and perfectly seasoned.
Next item up was the bison burger (nicely credited as Byron Center Buffalo). It came with white cheddar, tomatoes, leaf lettuce, “twisted sauce,” and salt pepper fries. Ordered medium rare, it verged a little close to medium but was flavorful and delicious.
Our second dish was the hard-to-resist twisted mac & cheese: cavatappi noodles, white cheese, house smoked chicken, sweet peas, asparagus, cherry tomatoes with baked cheddar bread crumbs and fried parmesan. It was a spectacular concoction with all items combining nicely, and nothing overcooked. The parmesan was a nice touch.
Our server asked if we wanted any dessert but there were none listed. She then brought the dinner menu, which listed the desserts as well as appetizers. When asked if we could have had one of the appetizers, she informed us that most of them were available. But how would we have known that? Check out the menus online beforehand if you’re going for lunch. Our food tab came in under $30.00.
The menu claims to emphasize local food but credits only the buffalo with its source. They do have a nice list of local beers and wines. But the main problem with this restaurant is the noise level. It is unbearably loud, unbelievably so. The music volume makes everyone speak up to be heard and the resulting roar is overwhelming. A man two tables down was talking on his cell phone, which is usually a major irritation. But although we saw his lips move, we couldn’t hear a word he was saying.
The Twisted Rooster reserves a few parking places for those picking up “to-go” orders, and this would be a much more pleasant way to experience their food. It will be interesting to watch how this place and its menu evolves. (The logo found below was kindly sent by the owners' marketing office.) And if you are wondering if there's any significance to the name, there isn't. As possible names were being bandied about, this is the name that stuck.