I think everybody knows by this point that you never hype something up when you recommend it to another person. OK, maybe not everyone, because I was told by a source I trust greatly that the burger at the Twisted Cork was “the best burger” they had ever had. That’s a pretty tall order. Being somewhat of a connoisseur I was immediately skeptical of the statement but at the same time, excited to give my taste buds something new to savor. I was mostly disappointed and at this point sort of wondering if it wasn’t because my expectations were unrealistically set too high.
First.. the set list: grazed beef, pork & spices, Dead Guy mustard, Whidbey slaw, white cheddar, pickled red onion, Le Quartier bun, Kettle chips, Apple-Bleu slaw.
I originally thought the burger did not come with cheese, because that’s what I was told and that is something else this person was wrong about. I was therefore pleasantly surprised that it was made with white cheddar and I can tell you that without the cheese it would have actually not even hit a 3.
The bun was great too, but that is where my positive comments will end. The burger itself is what it advertises on the menu, a mixture of beef and pork and spices and for whatever reason, that seemed a little off to me. Perhaps it was too much pork and perhaps it was the spices. Perhaps I am a simple girl with simple tastes and it was too refined or gourmet for me. That’s why this whole thing is just a personal experiment, because everyones tastes are different and I am no more qualified to judge the deliciousness of a cheeseburger as the next person (who might love pork and spices mixed in with their beef). /Shrug
I could not taste the mustard, which might be a good thing because it’s called “Dead Guy Mustard”. That does not sound awesome. The slaw was OK, but I didn’t feel it was necessary on the burger and didn’t really enhance the flavor. Some different kind of “slaw” also came on the side which was totally ruined because they out bleu cheese on top of it (yuk!!). I don’t care for pickled onions and so again, my taste buds protested at the flavor. I was disappointed there were no fries. It was served with potato chips – salt and pepper, and that of course missed the mark too. It all seemed average and perhaps a touch on the “trying to hard to be different” side.
I had the pleasure of enjoying this meal while catching up with a couple of old friends and having them meet Jim for the first time. That part was awesome. I even thought to myself that I was too distracted to make a clear assessment of the burger, but I took half in a to-go box and tried it later and came away feeling much the same as I did that night.
I told my friends I was excited to try this place because Jim had been raving about it for months and he was the one who said the burger was “the best”. I let them know that I’m always on the lookout for a great burger and they asked me what place I thought had the best. I told them my three favorite local places – Night Owl, J Coco, and Village Inn, they just smirked at me. I know what they were thinking – anyone who thinks the Village Inn burger is at the top of the list must not be trusted. It doesn’t matter how much I explain why, the place just makes people skeptical. But again, it’s all subjective.
They went on to question further, “What about Dinkers or Stellas or <<insert the name of any place in the Omaha top 10 list>>. I stood my ground, but that didn’t stop the sideways looks. To be fair, those places are pre-blog and I haven’t been in years and they are probably worth another try. I remember not being that impressed and typically I’m a “one and done” kind of girl. Looking back at my previous blog posts, most of the better burgers that I have had have not been local so I don’t have much of an opportunity go back to those. What I should do is make a plan to do more serious investigative work at some establishments in my area, even if it means repeating some joints I’ve already dismissed. Then I would be more armed with data when I get that question again.
As of now though, I would not add Twisted Cork to the list of places I would recommend for a good cheeseburger. If I go back, I will definitely be trying something else.