So Twine just opened on Monday, and I’ve already been there twice. I think that speaks for itself. Okay, bye!
Ah, good one, Alex. You really got them that time. Actually, when I visited Twine on their first day of business, I was feeling a little under the weather. I grabbed a cup of tea to go and went home to nap for, like, four hours. I thought I might have been coming down with something, but it turns out I’d just achieved my lifelong aspiration of becoming a bohemian layabout.
Happily, I was feeling much better today–well enough that I was enthusiastic about hitting up Twine for the second time and indulging in some items from their towering chalkboard menu. “Twine” is a portmanteau of “tea and wine on Line,” which neatly sums up the basics. On our first visit, my companion was concerned about their location–we couldn’t locate a numbered address anywhere on the Internet, and we drove back and forth on Line Avenue before we found it. It’s in kind of a weird place–next door to Rep. Roy Burrell’s old mayoral campaign headquarters. If you’re one of the twelve people (including us–no shame!) who voted for him in 2010, then you know where I’m talking about. For the rest of you, it’s in the ground floor of the large office building on the corner of Line and Jordan.
With its fresh-paint smell, dark, quiet interior, and black-clad staff, Twine gives off a calming “backstage” vibe. It’s a nice break from the traffic and blazing sunlight just beyond its heavily tinted windows.To the left, the handwritten menu is cluttered in the best possible way. Luscious, carb-centric items like dainty macarons, freshly made bagels, and shortbread tea cookies mingle with just-gourmet-enough sandwiches like The Manwich, a “why didn’t I think of that?” combination of barbecue pulled pork on blueberry toast. The details have been lovingly attended to, as well. Instead of a clunky old soda fountain in the corner, Twine offers house-made Twinings iced teas ($2, free refills) in Lady Grey or mixed berry, and two self-serve containers of agua fresca ($2) in watermelon-jalapeno and cucumber-mint (my favorite).
Their signature sandwich, the Twinewich ($7), comes with your choice of pimento cheese or chicken, ham, or salmon salads. Despite the traditional fillings, this is not a ladies-who-lunch sandwich. I picked chicken salad, which came nicely seasoned and not overly sweet, a mistake many restaurants like to make with the aid of pickle relish and/or Miracle Whip (ugh). I’m pleased to report that Twine seems to use real mayonnaise. Big chunks of chicken are accented by dried cranberries and chopped boiled egg, then smushed between two imposing slices of country white bread with crunchy cornmeal added to the dough.
My companion ordered the Manwich, loaded up with tender pulled pork in a subtly sweet barbecue sauce. A layer of slaw is added for some crunch, of course, and then the whole glorious thing is made even more glorious by the addition of two big slices of blueberry Texas toast. “You can actually taste the blueberry,” my companion exclaimed. I thought it might just be a novelty thing, but nope, the flavor is there–and it works.
For dessert (or snack, or breakfast, or whatever), Twine offers an impressive variety of coffee and tea–from good old English Twinings to loose-leaf Rishi (organic, fair trade, and artfully blended) to Metropolis coffee, a small batch artisan roaster out of Chicago. The desserts and bakery items are overwhelming, and probably warrant a special visit (or a doggie bag). Crafted by their very own pastry chef, Jodie, they offer daily specials (today was cheddar-bacon scones) and a slew of items new to Shreveport–including ultra-trendy French macarons, the airy little sandwich cookies that at least 18 food bloggers are attempting to master at this very moment. But it gets better. Each morning, Twine also provides Shreveport with three dozen freshly-made (that’s boiled and baked, people!) bagels. BAGELS. IN SHREVEPORT. Surely you recall my previous struggle. Now we no longer have to schlep across state lines to get our mouths around those irresistible gluten cushions. Once word of this gets out, they’re going to be big. People will camp out. I will camp out.
Still in its fledgling stage, Twine’s cons aren’t enough to keep me away. Their payment system is clunky, the restroom is located outside of the restaurant itself (but still in the same building), and the location isn’t super-convenient for a lot of us. For now, their hours are little narrow as well: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. This is only until they get their liquor license next month, though, after which they’ll be open until midnight with wine, tapas, crostini, share-able bowls, and charcuterie. They’ll also be introducing Saturday and Sunday brunch.
After two visits, I can sincerely encourage you to head out there and say hello. Twine seems to have answered all my food prayers in one go: non-Starbucks coffee, bagels(!), fun and thoughtfully prepared food, a friendly, name-learning staff, and a comfortable place for late-night eats, something we’ve been sorely lacking for a long time. I‘m thrilled to have a place like this in town, and I really hope they stick around.1513 Line Avenue 414-403-6286 facebook.com/twineshreveport twineshreveport.com