Twisters is way too lean on the red and green -- at least in Aurora

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J. Wohletz
The green chile cheeseburger at Twisters -- unfortunately mild.
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.

See also:
- Best Red Chile - 2012: Twisters Burgers & Burritos
- Twisters Burgers and Burritos will open a fourth Colorado location on East Evans
- Top five qualities of the best green chile stew

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J. Wohletz
The huge chicken burrito with the sad, sad sauces.
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.

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.

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J. Wohletz
Twisters' sopas -- not feeling the maple syrup side.
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.

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.

Location Info

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Twisters Burgers and Burritos

1750 S. Buckley Road, Aurora, CO

Category: Restaurant

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14 comments
cocomontalto
cocomontalto

Based on the photos you provided, I would say that the sauce looks much more generous than your article describes. (C'mon, the green is overflowing the top of the styrofoam!) I would definitely agree about the maple syrup they provide with the sopapillas! What were they thinking?! By the way, Jenn, they are called sopapillas, not "sopas" as you refer to them. Sopa is the Spanish word for soup.  

Being a Burque native who very much appreciates the fact that we even have New Mexican food of any quality available here, I would rather celebrate the fact that we have Twisters available at all and encourage Coloradans who have yet to experience New Mexican flavor to introduce their taste buds to its wonderfulness rather than bag on one bad experience. It seems to me business is slow enough for them already and I would hate to see Twisters close down. After all, I need to get a spicy red sauce fix somewhere in Denver! :) I have found that the Twisters on Evans (by DU) is pretty consistent, so let's send people there! I'm curious: What were some of your favorite New Mexican joints during your stint in the 505?

cocomontalto
cocomontalto

Based on the photos you provided, I would say that the sauce looks much more generous than your article describes. Being a Burque native who very much appreciates the fact that we even have New Mexican food of any quality available here, I would rather celebrate the fact that we have Twisters available at all and encourage Coloradans who have yet to experience New Mexican flavor to introduce their taste buds to its wonderfulness rather than bag on one bad experience. It seems to me business is slow enough for them already and I would hate to see Twisters close down. After all, I need to get a spicy red sauce fix somewhere in Denver! :) I have found that the Twisters on Evans (by DU) is pretty consistent, so let's send people there! I'm curious: What were some of your favorite New Mexican joints during your stint in the 505?

Burqueno
Burqueno

Even the Twisters in Albuquerque have suffered from expansion.  Quality and quantity vary from restaurant to restaurant.  Sometimes you order an 1/8 Twister and get 1/4.  Sometimes the chile is spicy, sometimes they hardly drizzle any on your burrito.  Sometimes you seem to get more fries and garnish than anything else.  The perils of fast food...

contender
contender

Let's talk about the real issue...you're house hunting in Aurora??

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

New Mexico native here and there really isn't any New Mexican cuisine in Denver.  I've tried the wanna be's like Jack-n-Grill and LIttle Anita's and honestly they are poor representations of the real thing.  Oh, what I'd give for a great New Mexican restaurant in Denver. 

_____
_____

Los Pollos Hermanos!

GFTW
GFTW

Typical lunch for Jenny! I tried the Lakewood Twisters too and saw no reason to return.

davebarnes
davebarnes topcommenter

The entire point about a franchise is CONSISTENCY.
Not quality or anything else.
The goal of a franchise is that you cannot tell where you are.

BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

I ate at their location in Lakewood once, and once was all it took.  Their food was cold and tasteless, and the fries tasted like fish sticks; I don't think they even serve fish!  I feel greasy and queasy just thinking about it.

cocomontalto
cocomontalto

@Denver Dave  I'm a New Mexico native also and I agree that it is difficult to get authentic New Mexican food here. I am, however, appreciative that Little Anita's expanded and opened a couple of restaurants here. No, it isn't exactly the same as its restaurants in Albuquerque although I wouldn't expect it to be. After all, we aren't in Burque anymore; this is Denver. At least they tried; it's certainly better than no New Mexican food at all! If only Sadie's would expand...


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