Wagon Wheel

Review by: Jane & Michael Stern

The best way to get to Bransom from Little Rock is up Highway 65, and if you pass through Greenbrier while hungry, you’re in luck. At the Wagon Wheel, freshly-baked, high-domed rolls envelop breakfast sandwiches of eggs and Petit Jean bacon; bread baskets come piled with white toast that is rich as cake; and tall meringue pies are blue-ribbon beauties.

We were taken to the Wagon Wheel by our favorite Arkansas tipsters, Tony and Donna Perrin, and while they both sang the praises of the good pies and breads, Tony was particularly enthusiastic about the chocolate gravy. Yes, chocolate gravy — with morning biscuits! Normal gravy is available, too, and it is excellent, but we had to try this extremely odd variation; and lo, it’s pretty darn good. It is not as sweet as pudding and in fact it does seem to have a savory component, but there is no denying its chocolate essence. Chocolate pudding is not for everyone, but if your taste buds want to go where few taste buds have gone before, we recommend it.

Despite its location on the road to Bransom, this is a cozy sort of place where locals 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 that they were definitely up to snuff today. Yes, indeed, the tall meringues were Arkansas-excellent, and that is saying a lot, for Arkansas is one of this nation’s premier pie places.

What To Eat

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Chocolate Pie

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Coconut Pie

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Bacon & Egg Sandwich

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Chocolate Gravy

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Toast

DISH
Bacon and eggs with gravy, biscuit

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Banana Split Pie

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Biscuit and Sausage Gravy

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Biscuit

DISH

Wagon Wheel Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Wagon Wheel?

One Response to “Wagon Wheel”

Jane & Michael Stern
Jane & Michael Stern

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.

Reply

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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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