Chef Julie Zlogar has had a well-deserved following in Phoenixville since 1995 when she began her catering business. She has now teamed up with Chef Barbi Bonnet, who previously worked at Le Bec Fin and Metropolitan Bakery, to open The Wooden Spoon Café and Bakery on Main Street. The business showcases the duo’s talents for those looking to hire a caterer and offers walk-in patrons a delicious break to their day.
My friend Sue and I decided to stop in for lunch. It’s a tiny space that is easily overwhelmed. When we arrived, two families had already taken up the table down the middle and the smaller one in the storefront window. We slid into the table with wire chairs ("They need cushions,” said Sue) in front of the counter and just like that, the restaurant was filled to the brim.
One orders at the counter with the coffee menu behind the cashier, the savory menu on the wall to the left and the sweets arrayed before you on the counter. Prices are listed on the menus, but sweets on the counter, although mouthwateringly displayed, do not have prices attached to them.
Sue ordered the Curried Chicken Platter ($7.50), which is also available as a sandwich. The presentation was the loveliest we’d seen in Phoenixville with the chicken salad over a bed of baby lettuces and beautifully fanned sliced red and yellow tomatoes, cucumber and cantaloupe sprinkled with fresh blueberries. The chicken salad tasted as good as it looked, with mild but assertive curry flavor and crunchy with nuts, celery and raisins.
Beverages include various coffees, canned Italian sodas and Coca-Cola in glass bottles with real sugar instead of corn syrup. As it was unseasonably hot for October, Sue opted for the “real Coke.”
For my lunch, I chose the Tomato, Basil, Brie and Bacon Sandwich ($5.95). It was also beautifully presented with sliced cucumber and cantaloupe with blueberries. The richness of the bacon and brie played off the whole-grain bread from Soltane and earthy vegetables to make a BLT that was beyond the ordinary.
Sue was full, but I had to get dessert with such pastries sitting before me on the counter. I chose the Tiger Shark Pastry ($3.99), which was a buttery shortbread crust filled with peanut butter, covered with chocolate ganache and topped with a tiny shortbread tiger shark drizzled with more chocolate. It was everything a chocolate peanut butter dessert should be.
Service was slightly harried as all the tables were full, plus there was a steady stream of customers coming in to order take-out. As the menu changes with what is in season, everyone has to linger over the menu boards and of course, over the sweets arranged on the counter so it takes time for everyone to be served.
Zlogar’s reputation for high-quality, delicious food is more than intact and Bonnet will probably have an equal reputation in town very soon. While we will patronize the Wooden Spoon again soon, we’ll probably not try to “eat in” at the restaurant again—it was just too cramped for a relaxing meal. But the food is lovely and if you’re in the mood for a small but high-quality meal or snack, you’d do well to get take-out at The Wooden Spoon.
If You Go:
Location: 24 S. Main St., Phoenixville
Cost: Savories: $5.95 - $10, Sweets: $2 -$5
Hours: Wednesday and Thursday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Payments accepted: Cash, Visa, Mastercard
Parking: Phoenixville on-street parking or paid parking lot