I've yearned for a particular coffee shop in Fernley, Nev., for four years now. It sits in a generic shopping plaza along the Interstate. It's complicated by bottles of liquor and wine behind the bar, white linen on the tables and a row of women gambling with the barista in the middle of the day.
The vibe at the corner of Cloverdale and Amity approximates the formula at Brim's Cafe in Fernley, though with much lower stakes.
Twisted Timber Pub and Grill used to be just a coffee shop called The Platinum Cup. In April, the owners added booze and a restaurant. The joint neighbors a 24-hour "family fitness center," shares parking with an orthodontist, and is the only sign of civilization for miles; it's just churches, random subdivisions and livestock all around.
I walk through the doors and am greeted with warm, blonde wood trim, a case brimming with pastries and a huge chalkboard listing coffee drinks. Like in Nevada, I take in the scene before moseying in: empty.
A young barista/barkeep hands me a simple menu of sandwiches and pizza with a few starters thrown in. I order a Mack and Jack's ($3.75), which comes in a chilled 16-oz. beer mug and a hot Turkey Avocado Club ($7.50). When the guy disappears into the kitchen, I am left alone to explore the restaurant and take notes without getting caught.
My eye drifts to the eclectic modern art and coffee-bean bags on the walls, the four different types of seating, the regulation shuffleboard table against one wall. Yes, Twisted Timber has a 22-foot-long vintage 1962 coin-operated shuffleboard table that was picked up from what the waiter describes as a North Idaho pastor's man cave.
There's also a pool table and as my food arrives, four military guys come in and play a round.
The sandwich is an impressively grilled construction: pressed for perfect black lines but not to mash the contents. It has a generous helping of turkey, avocado, fresh tomatoes and lettuce and is sided by tortilla chips and salsa. After a few bites, I realize it is missing the bacon, the second time I've been slighted bacon at a meal in as many weeks.
I pipe up and the server brings me a cup of hot bacon crumbles, which add a bit more pizzazz to the meal.
I eat slowly, and more people come in for late lunches and for coffee. I order an Americano and buffalo wings to go, and the server disappears into the kitchen again, presumably to make the wings from scratch. When I get them back to the office a good 20 minutes later they are still hot, in both temperature and spice, and my colleagues gobble them up.
On my way out of Twisted Timber, I notice a little sign advertising free coffee grounds for customers' gardens. The other server tells me they don't like to throw them away. I might just plan in a stop at Twisted Timber on my next trip to Marsing. Or Fernley.
Nathaniel Hoffman pretends he's wearing six shooters and that all doors swing both ways when on assignment.
Boise Weekly sends two reviewers to every restaurant we review. Read what our other reviewer had to say about Twisted Timber Pub & Grill.