By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN Wrap your taste buds around a juicy, handmade burger from the Peppermint Twist in Delano, and you’ll be savoring one of the best burgers in the Twin Cities area.
The burgers scored fourth among “thin burgers” in the August issue of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.
“We didn’t even know we were in it until we saw the magazine,” said Vickie Mirenda, who owns the drive-in restaurant with her husband, Michael. “We have good burgers, but we had no idea we’d be featured.”
In their quest for the perfect patty, the food editors at the Mpls.St.Paul Magazine tested dozens of unsuspecting restaurants in the Twin Cities area.
“You never know when they’re coming or when they’re here,” Mirenda said.
The search was divided into four categories, including luxury burgers, tavern-style burgers, Juicy Lucys, and thin burgers. Peppermint Twist falls into the “thin burger” category of a quarter-pound and under, the “standard fast food-style burger.”
After consuming 110 burgers, the scores were tallied on a 100-point scale. A zero is considered worthless, a 50 is average, and 100 is perfect. Peppermint Twist received an 84, only a third of a point below third-place winner, Lions Tap in Eden Prairie.
“We were very pleasantly surprised,” Mirenda said.
According to the magazine, the burger has a “soft bun, crispy edges, tasty pickles, and a nice balance of ingredients.”
Peppermint Twist’s meat comes from Swanson Meats Inc. in Minneapolis, and the buns are from Maple Lake Bakery.
“We toast and butter the buns, which I think makes a huge difference,” Mirenda said.
In the 27 years the family has owned the business, she said they have kept a consistently good product.
“We take our time, and we take a lot of pride in what we do,” she said. “We try to make sure every order is perfect.”
According to Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, restaurant-goers might not all have the same burger experience, because of the variability in cooking.
At Peppermint Twist, however, serving good, hot food to each and every customer has been a high priority.
“We don’t consider ourselves fast food,” she said. “Everything is made to order. We have to always assume there will be someone who is coming here and tasting it for the first time.”
Mirenda and her husband both do the cooking at Peppermint Twist.
“We care about what we’re doing, and we’re proud of the food we serve,” she said.
In addition to tasty burgers, the drive-in restaurant provides a welcoming atmosphere that keeps people coming back for more.
A huge playground, hula-hoops, and a jukebox greet hungry customers who visit the summertime restaurant.
Pink teddy bears are available for children to play with while parents enjoy an evening out.
The idea for a pink and green peppermint-twist-themed restaurant came from the 1961 song “Peppermint Twist” by Joey Dee and the Starliters.
“We needed something to draw attention to us,” Mirenda said. “We knew that once people stopped, they’d be back.”
And she was right. The meals and desserts have continued to satisfy customers for several years.
The old-fashioned ice cream shakes, made thick and topped with whipped cream, are among the favorite treats. The fresh-frozen raspberry shakes are especially popular, Mirenda said.
The Peppermint Twist usually opens in April. This year, their last day open is Sunday, Oct. 11.
Normal hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The restaurant is open Labor Day, but is closed Tuesday, Sept. 8 for the first day of school.
For more information about Peppermint Twist, call (763) 972-2572 or go to www.thepepperminttwist.com.
To see a full list of burger scores from the Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, go to www.mspmag.com/burgers.