Wagon Wheel | Chocolate Gravy in Arkansas | Best Pie, Too

Review by: Michael Stern

Breakfast on the Way to Branson

If you’ve never had Chocolate gravy, never even imagined chocolate gravy, come to the Wagon Wheel in Greenbrier.

If you are traveling from Little Rock to Branson, you’ll find it without a problem along highway 65. Even if it didn’t have chocolate gravy, breakfast makes it worth a visit. Delicious Deep South fare includes freshly-baked, high-domed rolls that envelop breakfast sandwiches of eggs and Petit Jean bacon. Bread baskets come piled with toast that is rich as cake. Tall meringue pies are blue-ribbon beauties so good that even if it is breakfast time, you need a slice.

Yes, Chocolate Gravy

Our favorite Arkansas tipsters, Tony and Donna Perrin, introduced us to the Wagon Wheel. They both sang praises of the good pies and breads. Tony rhapsodized about the chocolate gravy. Yes, chocolate gravy — with morning biscuits. Don’t worry: You can have normal gravy with your biscuits. Sausage-rich and creamy, this gravy complements biscuits very well. But of course, a curious palate needs to try the chocolate stuff. You know something? It is pretty darn good. It is not as sweet as pudding. In fact, it does have a savory component. But there is no denying its chocolate essence. An Ozark and Appalachian rarity, chocolate gravy is not for everyone. But if your taste buds want to go where few taste buds have gone before, we recommend it.

Friendly Town Cafe

Despite attracting travelers on their way to Branson, this place belongs to locals. They hang out and discuss things over coffee every morning. We were charmed by veteran waitress Lynn Lockie who, when she came to take our order, pulled up a chair and sat down to write on her order pad. “My legs are tired,” she said. “I’m not; just my legs.” Lynn confided that a few days before, the cook had put too much corn starch in the pies. But they were definitely up to snuff today. Yes, indeed, the tall meringues were Arkansas-excellent. That is saying a lot, for Arkansas is one of this nation’s premier pie states.

What To Eat

Chocolate Pie

Coconut Pie

Bacon & Egg Sandwich

Chocolate Gravy


Bacon and eggs with gravy, biscuit

Banana Split Pie

Biscuit and Sausage Gravy



Wagon Wheel | Chocolate Gravy in Arkansas | Best Pie, Too Recipes


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One Response to “Wagon Wheel | Chocolate Gravy in Arkansas | Best Pie, Too”

Steve Bailey

March 21st, 2008

I was looking for some great homemade pie, so I tried Wagon Wheel based on Roadfood.com. I found the meal to be just fair. The hamburger steak with grilled onions was OK, covered in an out-of-a-jar brown, bouillon-tasting gravy. It was sided by instant mashed potatoes (yuk), OK pinto beans, and very good carrots and cornbread (and margarine; no butter).

Afterward, I first tried pecan pie on the recommendation of the waitress. It was NOT homemade, but an unthawed, prefab slice of gunk. I asked the waitress and she confirmed that some of the pies listed on the “Home Made Pies” board were indeed not homemade. I got two slices of chocolate meringue to go because they were made here and looked very good (much like the photo on this site). I was appalled: the chocolate “custard” was more like a tasteless rubber tire than anything else. The crust was tough and soggy. The meringue was fine, but not enough to save the pie.

I hope I just hit them on a bad day. I’ll try them one more time in hopes of getting some really good pie, but I’ll probably skip the meat and three.


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Blue Plate Highways

By Jane and Michael Stern Originally Published 1998 Gourmet Magazine Arkansas is roadfood-rich. From the oil fields of El Dorado in the south to the Ozark Highlands Trail through...


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