The Wooden Spoon in Gentry is a local institution known for its classic southern comfort food and delectable pies. Jenna Klassen has worked in the family restaurant “since I was young,” she said. “That’s kind of where I started cooking.”
But her dream had long been to branch out on her own by opening a food truck, something she was able to do in late May with the launch of A Spoonful, located on SW A Street in Bentonville (almost directly across the street from The Pedaler’s Pub).
Klassen said she found the trailer last summer and “everything just kind of fell into place” for her to begin selling sandwiches, soups and desserts for lunch at the truck.
Everything is homemade fresh daily, whether in the truck itself or at the Wooden Spoon. The bread and desserts and made in the bigger kitchen and brought to the truck every day, for instance.
Many items on the menu will be familiar to those who have frequented the Wooden Spoon, such as
- chicken salad, classically simple, messy and delicious on a butter roll with a bit of crunchy lettuce
- the Arkie, made with smoked pork and ham and topped with pickles, onions, jalapeno, cheese, sweet hot mustard and chipotle mayo
- steak sandwich on french bread with lettuce, tomato, provolone and creamy horseradish sauce
- grilled veggie, with squash, zucchini, onions and peppers
Klassen also features a daily special such as a chicken and waffle sandwich, made with cheese and green onion waffles with a maple mustard sauce. There’s also a fried green tomato BLT special in season, and either fried catfish or a catfish sandwich is always the special on Fridays. She said making the specials is her favorite, and visiting the farmers’ market to see what she can use for her creations.
“I like doing different stuff every day,” she said. “Trying out new stuff is a lot of fun.”
There’s also a daily soup special (it was chicken tortilla when I visited), a selection of seasonal salads and an array of desserts — usually five or six pies a day, Klassen said, along with cookies and occasional other goodies like bread pudding or layer cakes.
“I love to cook,” she said. “It’s always been my number one hobby in life.” But working in a truck instead of a commercial kitchen is not without its challenges.
“It’s been very different,” she said, noting that the lack of refrigerator space means she has to be really careful about how much food she has on hand. People have wanted her to take orders for whole pies for pickup at the truck, but she can only sell by the slice because she doesn’t have room to store more pies.
And speaking of the pies, that’s really why you want to pay her a visit. I sampled the Bumblebee, a two-crust pie made with raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. It’s summer in a bite, fully of chunky berries, not too sweet, really jammy and delightful. It might have been even better with some ice cream, but no doubt there’s no room for that either. And perhaps you’d have to eat it too fast to really enjoy the pie.
A Spoonful is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. It’s not on Facebook yet, but you can get more details on the Wooden Spoon’s website.