Review No. 133: Twisted Taco
250 Donaghey Avenue
60.6 percent finished reviewing Conway restaurants
She Said: We had some errands to do around Conway, and when they were finished we decided to try this new restaurant on the UCA campus, as it had recently opened and replaced the original tenant, Mosaique. I always love a taco, so I was intrigued.
He Said: Twisted Taco is a chain headquartered in Georgia that is now in nine states, with all of its locations outside of Georgia at universities. The Tex-Mex menu (a favorite cuisine of the college-age set) coupled with the availability of beer, wine and margaritas (another category of favorite cuisine for the college-aged), now available here in the technically dry (or maybe it’s now “damp”) Faulkner County, ought to be a recipe for success. Of course, Twisted Tacos does have the problem of competing with the other 265,456,789 Mexican restaurants in Conway, so that could cut down on the success.
She Said: This is a significant redecoration since the previous restaurant in this space, though I think some of the booths conveyed to the new owners. There is UCA artwork on the walls and burnt-orange accent colors throughout. The space was a little dark, but that may have been the pouring rain outside. It’s open, not too big to feel cozy, with both tables and booths and single-diner seating, and you can look out across Donaghey to the campus if you like.
He Said: Twisted Taco is really basically a fast-food taco place, but the feel inside is of a bit higher quality place. The ambience certainly feels a little more upscale that Taco Bell or Taco Bueno.
She Said: Given the cafeteria style of the restaurant, I was surprised when I got to the cash register and saw that Twisted Taco offers beer, a couple of wines (a red and a white) and margaritas. I chose to supplement my meal with a Dos Equis in a bottle, and it went nicely with my food. Taco places should always offer beer!
He Said: I’m happy to celebrate the availability of beer-and-margarita meal supplements here, but alcohol does not go well with a sensitive pancreas, so I had a soda, brought to me by another one of those slick new soft drink machines, which I have finally used often enough to be able to figure the out on the first try. The have Coke products here, so I went with the Mello Yello.
She Said: My eye was quickly drawn to all the options for the quesadillas on Twisted Taco’s menu sign, but then I saw something that delighted me more, taco salads! I asked, and yes, it does come in that crispy, delicious, edible bowl (if you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din, you can have yours in a nonedible bowl). I ordered a taco salad with chicken, shredded cheese, sour cream and guacamole. The bowl was darker in color than one usually sees, a golden tan, and it was crispy and delicious plain or dipped in the salad, which, when I stirred it all together was like the greatest taco dip of all time. The chicken was especially good: tender and grilled, it really added to the salad. I would eat this again, although it was so filling, I could only eat about half the portion. It was quite delicious.
He Said: I had the two-taco meal, which came with the drink and two sides. I had grilled chicken tacos on crispy shells, with salsa and pico de gallo and some lettuce and cheese. The chicken was tender and the pico de gallo flavorful. They were about as good as any other fast food tacos in town.
For sides I had black beans and rice. There did not appear to be any refried beans available (which may be just as well for me, since refried beans are very fatty, which is, of course, why they taste so good). I wasn’t crazy about the beans—they had something in the that made them a little hot. But the rice was mild and tasty, and when I mixed some of the beans with the rice I felt pretty good about the combination.
She Said: You order along an “assembly-line” cafeteria style, and everyone was friendly and helpful when I had questions. I went back for a plastic bag for my purse to protect it on the rainy walk to the car, and the cashier cheerfully gave me one.
He Said: Yes, the servers were friendly and helpful. No complaints here.
What We Got and What We Paid: Taco salad with chicken, one beer, two chicken tacos with sides of rice and black beans and a Mello Yello, all for $24.93
Elapsed Time from Our Arrival to Food Arrival:4 minutes
She Said (or is it worth the weight I gained): I gained less than half a pound, and for that delightful, made-to-order taco salad in that golden bowl—and a beer!—it was definitely worth it.
He Said: If you like Mexican food, you will probably like Twisted Taco. And it’s handy to UCA if you’re in the neighborhood.
Is Twisted Taco Good at What it’s Good For? Yes: Tasty tacos and the usual suspects on the menu made to order in a pleasant environment right by UCA, a welcome addition to Conway’s taco scene—with beer!
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