Photo by Mandi Donohue
The Barnyard Cinema was the second stop on the Donohues’ celebratory night.

By Mandi Donohue

Ever since I heard the words “pork belly reuben,” I’ve been dying to visit Local Blend, the new restaurant in Twisp. I’ve also been insanely excited to visit our new theater in town, The Barnyard Cinema. Well, Friday night, in the spirit of pre-birthday celebration, Lliam and I killed two birds with one stone, visiting both businesses.

We went to Local Blend with plenty of time to spare.  It’s a new business with limited seating so we weren’t sure what to expect. Good timing — we only waited about 10 minutes before being seated (it must have been my “pork belly reuben” mantra I chanted all the way down valley), but it was good and packed for a while.

Jerk chicken. Korean street tacos. Vietnamese wings. Spices! Local Blend is doing something different than what is already in the valley and you can smell the difference as soon as you walk in. I hadn’t had a chance to eat much all day so the pregnant lady was drooling and chomping at the bit! “Feed me, Seymour!”

Lliam ordered the brisket. He chose mashed yams and beans for his sides, and it came with a blue corn jalapeño muffin. The brisket was melt-in-your-mouth tender and delicious, but the yams were my favorite. For a gal that loves some good barbecued brisket (and this was super tasty), this is a sacrilege, I know! But the yams were so surprisingly refreshing with a bit of lime citrus flavor. I’d never had them like that before. I love experiencing new things.

The pork belly reuben from Local Blend hit the spot.

I ordered a burger. Just kidding. I ordered the pork belly reuben, of course! Are you kidding? I was so excited. (Pray for me — I really love food too much). On a thick and yummy marbled rye with rich bourbon-braised pork belly and “no-mayo slaw,” I was in heaven. Next time I’d ask for more slaw because strangely that is my favorite part of a reuben and we pregnant ladies have weird cravings. I loved the richness of the pork but was thoroughly enjoying the “tang.” I also ordered the “local fries,” which turned out to be quartered potato wedges with a really delicious spice rub. We left full and super happy. I really can’t wait to go back!

Next we visited The Barnyard Cinema. I had heard from Will, the theater manager, earlier in the week that they were showing my favorite movie of all time: “Terminator 2.” While I have an appreciation for “Schindler’s List” and “Citizen Kane,” I also love the transformation of Sarah Connor, a helpless waitress with 1980s feathered hair in the first “Terminator,” to the 1990s-mental-ward-inspired “bad mamma jamma” from the second. Albeit insane, I adore this strong female character.

Will is the perfect choice to manage the theater as his love for movies is evident. Not to mention the place looks amazing. They have a  really nice bar and coffee area, with beer on tap, snacks and the seats were incredibly comfortable as well. Well done to these two new businesses. You’re really knocking it out of the park!

And finally, a little update. As was mentioned in the caption of our kitty picture last week, we found our beloved Sophie 30 feet up a tree. She was gone for three nights and three-and-a-half days — a true miracle, and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who helped us!

Also, it looks like the Donohues will be moving the last week in October to Big Bear, California. Which begs the question: Who will be the next Mazama columnist?  It’s time to place your bets and get writing!