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story.lead_photo.caption The Super Duper Whopper Dog at Woodland Bakery & Bistro in Sherwood is a foot-long Polish sausage covered with chili, slaw, mustard, cheese, onion and jalapenos. Special to the Democrat-Gazette/Ann Blaylock

Patrons north of Sherwood proper have another restaurant to enjoy. Woodland Bakery & Bistro, in an L-shaped shopping center on the west side of Arkansas 107 (near what was Gravel Ridge), is open and serving up good home-style food. It started out as Woodland Bakery on Kiehl Avenue and has evolved into a full-fledged operation.

The casual ambience, in three storefronts, is sparse but expansive. The ceilings go all the way to the roof, it seems, making the rooms appear larger than they are. The tables are wooden, rustic and square with sturdy wooden chairs. The floors are shiny concrete. And Woodland has a full bar offering wine, beer and cocktails.

Woodland Bakery & Bistro

Address: 13121 Arkansas 107, Sherwood

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday

Cuisine: Home style

Alcohol: Full bar

Take out: Yes

Credit cards: V, MC, AE, D

Wheelchair access: Yes

(501) 819-5070

www.facebook.com/woodlandbakerysherwood

Under the menu's "Woodland Favs" were several meal choices. On the first visit, I had the chicken fried steak ($8.99); it was a tad chewy but the cream gravy that covered it was excellent. The mashed potatoes were real and covered in the same gravy as the steak. The fried okra was good. Companion ordered the salmon ($12.99) and said it was just OK. Her green beans were made with onion and bacon, just the way Mom used to make them.

Appetizers include boneless chicken wings ($7.99), which we ordered on our second visit. They were not greasy and quite spicy (several dipping sauces are available). We also ordered the Mozz sticks ($6.99), which were of the standard food-service variety, and jalapeno poppers ($5.99), likewise.

On our first trip we ordered pickle fries ($6.49), which were quite good and not too greasy and had a definite dill flavor. The homemade cheese dip ($7.99) was easily the best appetizer that trip. The chips were light, thin and not too salty and the dip was seasoned with cumin, bringing back fond memories of our favorite Mexican restaurant growing up in North Little Rock.

On our second-visit my companion ordered the Reuben ($7.99), which had more than its share of corned beef. She deemed it excellent. Her loaded potato (starting at $7 depending on the load, served only after 5 p.m.) had chili, cheese and onion. Other toppings also available. It was so big she took most of it home.

My Super Duper Whopper Dog ($8.99) was so large I could eat only a third of it. The "dog" was actually a foot-long Polish sausage (scrumptious) covered with chili, slaw, mustard, cheese, onion and jalapenos. It was the best entree I had on both trips. I also got sweet potato fries (99 cents), in lieu of the steak or Cajun fries, that I could not finish.

Gallery: Woodland Bakery & Bistro

Home-style lunch and dinner specials (a meat and two sides) are served daily ($8.19).

Woodland serves an assortment of salads ($5.49-$8.49) including tuna or chicken, Caesar, chef, grilled or fried steak salad, grilled shrimp salad, Greek salad, Cobb salad, dill pickle pasta salad. Half sandwich/half salad combos are $8.19.

There are many burger options ($8.99 to $14.99 for the Ultimate, which includes fried chicken, ground beef, onion ring, bacon, shredded cheese and jalapenos). Burgers have clever names, including The Woodland, Champion, Silent Night and Bacon Swiss — the only one that's self-explanatory; the menu provides all the pertinent information on the others, so you don't have to guess what's on what. All come with Cajun or steak fries.

Sandwiches ($7.49-$8.99) include grilled chicken, chicken fried chicken, "Countess," patty melt, foot-long chili dog, club, the Woodland dog and pimento cheese. All come with Cajun or steak fries; substitute sweet potato fries or onion rings for 99 cents. Add-ons, available on any sandwich or burger, include sauteed onions (79 cents), homemade chili ($1.49), double meat ($2.99), jalapenos (69 cents), bacon (99 cents) and smoked sausage ($1.29).

Also available ($4.99-$12.99): A veggie plate (choice of four vegetable side items), hamburger steak, chicken fried chicken, Frito chili pie and a few items for kids 12 and under, including grilled cheese ($4.99), PBJ ($4.99) and chicken tenders ($5.99).

Sides ($2.19-$2.99) include fried okra, corn, onion rings, mashed potatoes and gravy, baked squash, macaroni and cheese, barbecue beans and corn nuggets.

The bistro's bakery is hard to miss, so don't miss it. Glass cases on the right side of the first room are filled with all sorts of scrumptious baked items, including pies, cakes, cookies, cupcakes, butter bars and brownies ($1.25-$3.10). Homemade rolls were on offer when our drink orders were taken.

On our first visit, companion and I split a piece of coconut cream pie ($3.19), which was just meh. On our second visit, companion and I shared an orange Dreamsicle cupcake ($2.85), which was outstanding, right down to the creme in the center. Add ice cream to anything for 99 cents. We were in dessert Valhalla.

Servers were friendly, knowledgeable and unobtrusive, and service was swift.

Woodland creates custom cakes for any occasion, including weddings. Small cakes that serve eight start at $20; sizes and prices go up from there. The bistro has a daily 3-6 p.m. happy hour with drink specials, which are usually listed on its Facebook page. The restaurant offers catering services and has a large party room.

Weekend on 05/02/2019

Print Headline: RESTAURANT REVIEW + PHOTOS: Woodland Bakery & Bistro in Sherwood evolves into full-fledged operation

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