Twisters is way too lean on the red and green -- at least in Aurora
Twisters Burgers and Burritos, a New Mexico-to-Colorado transplant, offers red- and green-chile enthusiasts a chance to get their spicy sauce fixes, with red-draped enchiladas and green-smothered cheeseburgers. But as I dug into a burger and a double-smothered burrito at the Aurora location, it quickly became clear that this Twisters, at least, has turned too far from the original recipes, and is in dire need of red and green rehab -- stat.
J. Wohletz The green chile cheeseburger at Twisters -- unfortunately mild.
The chain began as an offshoot of Albuquerque's popular Hurricane's Café and Drive-in, which Greg Desmarais and Gary Hines opened in 1987. The location of the first Hurricane's had started out as Frank's, a 1950s cruising hangout, and Hurricane's kept the carhops and the '50s feel as it began expanding the chain. But when Hurricane's passed the seven-store mark, Hines and Desmarais decided to part ways. Hines partnered with Ray Ubieta on a new concept, Twisters, which hit the ground in 1997; today the chain has nineteen stores, four of which are located in Colorado.
J. Wohletz The huge chicken burrito with the sad, sad sauces.
I came across the Twisters at 1750 South Buckley Road in Aurora while doing some much-loathed house-hunting, and I was glad as hell to see one of my Albuquerque fast-casual faves. Twisters is appreciated if not unique in Albuquerque, which is market-crammed with sit-down, fast-food and fast-casual restaurants all serving traditional New Mexican tacos, burritos, enchiladas, Indian tacos and the all-important breakfast burritos (if you think Coloradans take their breakfast burritos seriously, spend some time in New Mexico, where the a.m. repast has an even more exalted status), all filled and topped with house-made, fiery red and scorching green chile sauces.
I spent five years in Albuquerque during college, and I grew fond of Twisters as an above-average stop for cheap, abundant portions and a medium-thick, fruity, medium-hot green chile and a brick-red, medium-thick, medium-spicy red chile that was particularly well-seasoned with garlic. But while each location was working off the same recipe, they all made the sauces slightly differently.
J. Wohletz Twisters' sopas -- not feeling the maple syrup side.
Too differently, sometimes. I hit the Aurora location in time for lunch, and it looked typical of every other Twisters in the chain: a small, compact, well-scrubbed dining room; a few umbrella-covered patio tables; an ordering area at the counter, with a spot set up for a lot of carryout orders. Feeling nostalgic as well as hungry, I ordered up a pound-plus-sized burrito, as well as a chicken burrito with sour cream, lettuce, tomato and Christmas-style red and green chile; a green chile cheeseburger; fried apple bites; a side of sopas; a two-taco platter with rice and beans and a large Coke for $25.16. That's another thing I've missed about Twisters: the prices.