Friday, September 11, 2015

Now Open: Twisted RAnCH

It was way back in March that George Mahe of St. Louis Magazine first informed us that we were getting a ranch-themed restaurant here in Soulard. The seemingly crazy, ridiculous asinine idea quickly gained traction with foodies around the country. Eater did a story on the project. Deadspin's Foodspin wrote a piece that painted an idea that every dish would have ranch dressing poured over it and ended with "Don't Go To Missouri". I'll admit that I thought the concept was crazy and at times didn't think the team would be able to work.

When news broke that Twisted RAnCh's chef quit during the soft opening. When that chef said the owners "didn't know what they were doing". Each day when I walked out of my house and saw the building still dark, I thought that this crazy-ass idea was never going to work.

I am very happy to say I was wrong. Twisted RAnCH is a very pleasant surprise and a great addition to the Soulard neighbiorhood. While some of the challenges that owners Jim Hayden and Chad Allen have forced them to scale back a traditional full opening, we can all be thankful that food is coming out of the kitchen at the corner of 8th and Soulard and drinks are flowing from the bar.

Twisted RAnCH is open daily from 11am - 3pm for lunch and from 3pm-6pm for Twisted Happy Hour Tuesday to Saturday.

Twisted RAnCH's menu has been scaled back a bit from their previous plans, but still features some stellar treats.

On my first visit, I had the Ranched St. Louis Gerber. While this is supposed to be a St. Louis thing, I had never had it before. I like meat and cheese so I was very happy with a pile of ham topped with melted provel cheese.

On my second visit I decide to go with the Garlic Ranch Burger. It was delicious. A good-sized burger that was cooked well and served on an enjoyable bun. Both sandwiches were served with a very sizable amount of french fries The fries are seasoned well and come out just the right amount of crispy. I'm not all that much of a fry person put my neighbors rave about these.

Other sandwiches I have heard great things about are the Rotisserie Chicken Salad served on a croissant, the Ranched Meatball Sub the Grilled Cheese and the Turkey Bacon Ranch. As far as entrees go, I've only tried the Fried Mozzarella Sticks and they were awesome. It's nearly impossible to find handmade mozzarella sticks around this town, but these apparently are. The cheese is covered in Ranch-seasons panko bread crumbs before being deep-fried. They are then served with the Pesto Ranch for dipping and garnished with some crispy prosciutto on the side.

While originally just being open for lunch, Twisted started being open for happy hour this month. The Twisted Happy Hour from 3pm -6pm Tuesday to Saturday and features a scaled-down snack and drink menu. I went with toasted raviolis and a Brisket Slider. Although the t-ravs aren't made in-house like they had originally planned, I was pleasantly surprised with the dish.I believe six came on the plate with a side of Ranch Marinara for $4. The t-ravs were your standard restaurant ones and a little over-cooked but for the price I was definitely happy. I was very impressed with the $4 Brisket Slider. The generous portion of meat was well-cooked, the sauce was good and it was topped with an onion ring that paired perfectly. A larger brisket sandwich is a fairly recent addition to the lunch menu and also comes topped with onion rings.

Twisted RAnCH features an extensive list of signature cocktails with names like the Twisted Mule, the 8th & Soulard and more. While I haven't sampled these myself, I have heard great things.

The list of ranch sauces at Twisted RAnch seems endless. At last count, I believe it's 14, but it may now be 15 with the addition of JalapeƱo Popper. The sauce offerings range from Buffalo to Roasted Garlic to BBQ to Cheesy Bacon to Sunny in Fetadelphia.

Go check out Twisted RAnCH for yourself and let me know what you think.

Look for dinner hours to be added in the next few weeks.

Check Twisted Ranch out on Facebook.