Bistro offers handcrafted fare

Photo by Pat Sunderland Ready for something other than burgers and pizza? Try the Wild Flower Bistro at 305 Main Street in Delta, where chef Gretchen Morfogen is offering timelessly crafted comfort classics.

The Brickwall Eatery has opened under a new name and with a new chef/owner. At the Wild Flower Bistro, 305 Main Street in Delta, Gretchen Morfogen is offering "timelessly crafted freshly made comfort classics."

The concept of a bistro is new to Delta. To Morfogen, bistros serve moderately priced meals in a modest setting. French homestyle cooking, and slow-cooked foods like cassoulet, a bean stew, are typical. The lunch menu also features sandwiches, soups, salads and paninis -- grilled sandwiches prepared with artisan bread. The cranberry tuna salad has been a big hit, as is the French dip and loose meat bistro melt.

Morfogen says there are plenty of places in Delta to grab a burger or a slice of pizza; she is looking to create a different dining experience. She mixes things up with specials such as chicken and biscuits, meatloaf and lasagna. She's gearing up to offer crepes, both savory and sweet.

Whether she's in the kitchen preparing lunch or brunch, she incorporates as many local ingredients as possible, from farm-fresh eggs to potatoes. She has a small farm in Austin where she raises hops and blackberries, with plenty of room to expand into greens and root vegetables for use in the restaurant.

Her specialty is highlighting seasonal, select items "that come in the back door."

The Wild Flower Bistro is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday mornings beginning at 8 a.m. In addition to lunch entrees offered during the week, Morfogen elevates eggs, bacon and bread into unique dishes such as cinnamon custard croissant French toast, Spanish egg torta, griddle wraps and an open face BLAT.

Enjoy a Bloody Mary, chalata, local hard cider or a glass of wine with your meal -- and be sure to leave room for a slice of homemade pie.

Gretchen retained much of the staff from the Brickwall, but upgraded the kitchen to improve flow and efficiency. Colorful murals brighten up the interior, including one of a longhorn cow that's looking for a name.

Morfogen has worked in the restaurant industry since 1980, with stints at high-end restaurants in New York City and as a private chef in the Napa Valley. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York and Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. For 10 years, she was employed by Whole Foods Market in St. Louis.

"This is my empty-nest lifestyle," she said, pointing to the small, manageable space that's quickly being transformed into the warm, inviting restaurant she envisions for Delta. When warm weather returns, she'll offer patio dining and longer hours.

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