The Wooden Spoon in Gentry has provided home-style, made-from-scratch food for the past 16 years, and based on the steady stream of visitors the word is out — the food is outstanding.
The restaurant’s building was originally constructed as a horse barn in Michigan in the mid-1850s. Wooden Spoon owners Cam and Jane Klassen had the building moved to Gentry, where they tastefully repurposed it to provide a charming, inviting atmosphere for hungry diners.
“We kind of fell into the restaurant business,” Jane said. “Gentry was looking for a home-cooked meal, and we were able to provide it.”
And, provide it they have! There was already a wait at 11 a.m. as much of the Northwest Arkansas region has discovered The Wooden Spoon. Sometimes the wait and anticipation of the made-from-scratch food can be hard for patrons, but I can promise you it is worth the wait.
The Wooden Spoon’s recipes are family treasures, but the team at the restaurant often develops new creations. The Klassen clan includes daughters Jenna, Jodi and Kelsie, son Luke, and Cam, who owns an additional business in the community.
The shop’s sandwiches are made with homemade bread and served with your choice of chips, homemade potato salad, specially-seasoned pasta salad or baked beans, a salad with your choice of homemade dressing, or a cup of made-from-scratch soup.
I was served The Arkie, which is one of The Wooden Spoon’s most popular sandwiches. It had marinatedsmoked pork rib meat, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and onions with chipotle-pesto mayonnaise and sweet hot mustard. The sandwich delivered a smoky power pack of flavor on a delicious homemade bun. The pasta salad included fresh chopped vegetables and a wonderful house dressing.
Next, a Chicken Salad Sandwich arrived. This is The Wooden Spoon’s best-selling sandwich, and after trying it, I can understand why. The made-from-scratch chicken salad is heavenly and served on a yummy, freshly baked butter horn roll. This is a must-try. My plate also included baked potato soup, which was a cup of comfort with a rich, creamy texture that was topped with cheese, bacon bits and green onions.
The Classic Club is a huge triple-decker sandwich loaded with layers of black forest ham and smoked turkey on toasted whole wheat bread with bacon, American and Swiss cheese, onion, tomato and lettuce, lovingly complimented by a secret house dressing. What a great sandwich. And, the side of The Wooden Spoon-style baked beans was amazing.
The Strawberry Salad was almost too pretty to eat. The large bowl of fresh Romaine lettuce topped with fresh, sliced strawberries, pineapple chunks, pecans and blueberries with house-made poppy seed dressing delivered a wonderful blend of garden-fresh flavors with a sweet strawberry with each bite.
My, oh my, you must try The Wooden Spoon’s Bumblebee Pie. This creation is a two-crust pie filled with raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. The pie is berry, berry good, and a scoop of ice cream with the pie makes it perfect.
Carmel Pecan Cream Cheese Pie was also very good. This treat is a yummy cream pie that is topped with melted caramel, toasted coconut and pecans. If you like pecan pie, then you will love this one.
The Bread Pudding is made with The Wooden Spoon’s homemade bread and covered in a fabulous butter cream sauce. This was some of the freshest bread pudding I have had since my Grandma made the dessert when I was a child.
Each Friday, The Wooden Spoon has a featured special for dinner ranging from baby back ribs, smoked brisket and chicken fried chicken, grilled beef tips and grilled ribeye steaks. Their famous fried catfish and other dishes are also available at dinner. I can attest that the catfish is excellent, as are the made-from-scratch hushpuppies.
Dining recommendations? Contact Rob Roedel at firstname.lastname@example.org