By Dane Feldman
Photo by Dane Feldman.
The Wooden Spoon is a breakfast and brunch spot located on Pompey Holly Road in Ashford, CT. It may seem silly to review such a place considering the fact that Ashford, CT isn’t near much, but it’s a town over from the University of Connecticut’s main campus in Storrs-Mansfield and that’s good enough for me.
I’ve been to the Wooden Spoon a handful of times and haven’t been disappointed yet. The menu is not unlike that of a diner in that it offers all kinds of eggs, omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and even cheeseburgers. I haven’t gone the lunch route because the breakfast is hard to pass up, but if the burger is anything like the breakfast it’s worth a try.
I’ve ordered their hungry person’s special a few times (props to them for not calling it the hungry man’s special because we all know women are allowed to be hungry too), which consists of a choice between French toast and pancakes, sausage, bacon, or ham, as well as two eggs and a side of hash browns. I’ve only had it with French toast, sausage, and eggs sunny side up.
I’m also a huge fan of the two eggs with a biscuit and sausage gravy as well as a side of hash browns. The hash browns at the Wooden Spoon are essentially cubed and roasted potatoes with salt and pepper, but they’re browned to perfection. I prefer roasted potatoes to hash browns anyway, which is why I enjoy these so much.
I can also say with great confidence that the corn bread is the best I’ve had in my life. It’s made with real corn, which is actually visible in the bread, and it’s soft, warm, and even a bit melt-in-your-mouth mushy.
The Wooden Spoon doesn’t offer mimosas, but not all brunches need to be boozy ones. The spot offers bottomless coffee as well as an assortment of tea, juice, and fountain sodas. There’s nothing wrong with that.
This place is little more than an unassuming shack with forgettable diner-like tables and wooden chairs, but the walls are decorated with various over-sized wooden spoons and other kitchen utensils, which make it feel a bit like it should be grandma’s place. It’s homey and welcoming and the few waitresses are friendly, wildly efficient, and certainly veterans in the industry.
One downside to how fantastic the Wooden Spoon really is is the fact that locals and students alike are lined up every morning waiting for a table. Often the line stretches along the parking lot, but the wait is seldom long and unbelievably worth it. It’s also a cash-only spot, which for some can be a bit frustrating, but I like to keep in mind that it’s a family restaurant. I’m happy to support such a local breakfast joint, especially when they’ve got an ATM inside for convenience-sake. For far less than $10 a person, patrons can enjoy nearly anything on the menu and then some.