The thriving downtown area of Conway is home to 300 businesses. WunderHaus restaurant is a gem among the businesses in this upcycled area.
WunderHaus, located in a corner service station location, was developed by Jacqueline and Jason Smith and Auguste and Kacy Forrester. The restaurant uses products grown and raised by Arkansas farmers to deliver a menu with an eastern European flair.
“We are so thankful to the Conway community for its support of our restaurant,” Jaqueline says. “We are a family-owned restaurant that focuses on obtaining locally raised produce and proteins for our customers. We strive to contribute to the local economy and to the growth of sustainable and ethical agricultural practices. Our menu evolves according to the types of fresh, locally-sourced produce that is available.”
She says it took the couples about three months to renovate the restaurant to its current design. The owners have done a great job of utilizing the space in a creative manner. It includes a covered patio that has ample room to relax and enjoy a meal with friends. Prints created by local artists adorn the walls of WunderHaus along with other curiosities. Most of the tables and chairs were acquired from area thrift shops. The mix of the décor delivers a fun atmosphere that sets the tone of the innovative menu offerings.
My visit began with The Meet Me in the Middle Board, a charcuterie-and-cheese board offering a taste of the farm-fresh fare that WunderHaus delivers. The board consists of Rabbit Ridge Farms’ smoked meats, local and imported cheeses and Haus-pickled vegetables with croutes and crackers. I loved it all, from the hickory-smoked bacon to the bratwurst to the brown-sugar-coated jowl. My favorite way to eat these types of offerings is to mix and match ingredients to have a unique taste in each bite.
The Persephone features Ralston Family Farm purple rice risotto served with trumpeter squash, seasonal vegetables and a white-wine-braised chicken. Persephone was the Greek goddess of vegetation, especially grain, thus the dish’s name. It is no myth that the delicious WunderHaus creation is a hearty item with great presentation.
If you like fresh European-style sausages, try the Hans and Hans. It includes two farm-fresh bratwurst,
Bavarian-style potato salad and a nice green side salad. The sausages were packed with great flavor, and the potato salad was very good. It is my understanding that the potato salad has been tested and approved by a true Bavarian customer.
I loved The Immigrant, a house favorite that includes a rich cream sauce of white-wine-braised pork shank and greens served atop spaetzle with warm bread. Each component complements the next, and the result is a warm, comfort-food meal.
The Good Shepherd is a take on a traditional Irish shepherd’s pie with a WunderHaus twist. The team prepares the warm, filling dish with Black Angus beef and fresh vegetables layered with gold mashed potatoes and parmesan cheese. It is served with a Haus salad and warm bread.
For dessert, I sampled the European Cheese Cake. Drizzled with a sweet sauce, it is one of the lightest variations that I have ever tried. The Haus Chocolate Cake is a chocolate-lovers must-have, and the turtle sauce only adds to this dessert dream.