Rural Missouri - October 2016 - 17
Waynesville restaurant serves up fresh, comforting food
by Paul Newton | email@example.com
t's Monday morning, and even though Julie
Harmon's restaurant isn't open for the day yet,
there's no shortage of activity inside this eatery
which closes every weekend. Heads of romaine
need to be shredded, locally grown vegetables need
to be chopped, sides need to be freshly prepared
and the homemade desserts aren't going to bake
themselves. "We don't buy anything that is already
pre-shredded," she adds.
Located in downtown Waynesville on Route 66,
Nona's Kitchen dishes up a wide variety of comfort food served both classically and with a twist.
Locals, "roadies" traveling along The Mother Road
and those stationed at nearby Fort Leonard Wood
partake in their delectable lunches and stick-toyour-ribs dinner specials.
Nearly two years ago, Julie traded in her real
estate license for a restaurant license and took over
Nona's. The restaurant - a former house - features a relaxed family atmosphere and has just
eight tables spread among what used to be the living room and master bedroom.
"It's like a family meal," says Julie, a member
of Laclede Electric Cooperative. "It's a passion. I've
always loved cooking. I come from a long line of
family who love to cook big family dinners. That, to
me, is when I'm the happiest."
The menu may be small at Nona's, but that is
done intentionally to expedite lunch orders for busy
lawyers at the Pulaski County Courthouse across
the street or for travelers who are in a hurry.
Salads, sandwiches, ﬂatbread pizzas and baked
potatoes make up the regular menu at Nona's with
daily specials being the big draw at night.
"We make everything in limited, small batches,"
she says. "So when you're getting something like our
chicken salad, it was probably made that morning."
Julie says the chicken salad sandwich is one of
the most popular items. She makes chicken salad
fresh every morning and sometimes again later in
the day. The mixture is scooped onto a croissant
and topped with lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion.
"It's this buttery croissant with the crispy lettuce
and the chicken salad is creamy," Julie says. "The
chicken is moist and fabulous."
Another Nona's favorite between two pieces of
bread is the pulled pork sandwich. "I didn't know
anything about smoking when I bought the restaurant," the realtor-turned-restaurateur says. "I've
learned and taught myself."
The pork is smoked overnight above a combination of white oak and hickory. It's taken off the
smoker in the morning and pulled by hand. When
an order is placed, barbecue sauce and the mouthwatering meat are layered on an egg kaiser roll.
Then, the homemade, vinegar-based slaw tops off
the sandwich. The coleslaw makes the dish according to Julie.
"You get the same sensation you get on other
sandwiches with crispy lettuce and veggies," she
says. "People try to order it without the slaw sometimes and I tell them to try it. When they do they
There are eight ﬂatbread pizzas on the menu.
They come in personal sizes and cook fast. One of
Julie's favorite pies is The Luge, which is named
after Waynesville Mayor Luge Hardman. The crispy
crust is topped with classic margherita ingredients:
fresh mozzarella cheese, tomato and basil.
"She would always order it when she came in,"
Julie says. "When I redid the menu, I thought it
would be a cool way to pay homage to her. She's
been a huge advocate for the downtown and a big
supporter of the restaurant."
Other specialty pizzas include spinach mushroom,
pulled pork spinach artichoke, meatball and The menu. So, on the 15th of every month, Julie offers
Jax, which features Polish sausage, mushrooms, Payday Gumbo - a nod to all of her customers at
spinach and caramelized onions.
Fort Leonard Wood who get their paychecks from
While the full menu is available all day long, the Uncle Sam that day.
dinner specials at Nona's are more than reason
Other special staples may include a Thanksgivenough to venture off Interstate 44. "I think lunch ing dinner on the fourth Thursday of the month and
is a much more rushed process as
a smoked option on Fridays, a dinner Julie
opposed to dinner where people will
calls a little more casual.
sit down inside or on the patio and
Nona's has become a destination for
just kind of take their time," Julie
travelers from all over the world who are
says. "Lunch is a little lighter menu."
traveling Route 66 and Julie wanted to
Dinner specials are the same price
add items to the menu to reﬂect that.
every night and come with a vegetable,
She starts in Chicago with both meatstarch and bread. Menu items range
ball and Chicago Polish sausage
from classic Italian fare like spaghetti
and meatballs to something different like
"Then the midway point of Route
habanero pineapple smoked chicken.
66 is Texas and we thought we
"When I'm making the menu, I try and
should have barbecue," she says.
do seasonal things depending on what month it is,"
"Then the chicken salad is kind of the
she says. "We'll do pot roast when it gets a little cool- lighter, more West Coast part of it."
er out. We have other specials that people request
Whether it's serving a European a loaded baked
like jaeger schnitzel and chicken cordon bleu."
potato while they're making their trip of a lifetime
The special menu is posted to Facebook every or making her town's mayor her namesake pizza for
month and on the back of the printed menu in the 100th time, Julie doesn't regret her decision to
the restaurant. While items change from month to get out of real estate and into the kitchen.
month, there are regulars. Julie had a customer
"It's instant gratiﬁcation," she says. "You give
who loved her shrimp, sausage and chicken gumbo, someone a meal and they enjoy it right away. Feedso she knew she needed to keep it on the special ing people is deﬁnitely a labor of love for me."
Specialties: Chicken salad, loaded pulled pork baked potato, Polish sausage sandwich,
chicken salad sandwich and pulled pork sandwich. Pizzas include The Luge, spinach artichoke and spinach mushroom. Daily dinner specials.
Price: Meals from $4.95 to $7.49. Dinner specials run from $8.95 for 1 to $41.95 for 6.
Details: Open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Cash, check and all major credit
cards accepted. Smoking on outdoor patio only.
Directions: Located at 103 N. Benton St. in Waynesville.
Contact: 573-774-2527 and on Facebook.
More content inside
our digital edition
The pulled pork sandwich
features smoked pork layered
with barbecue sauce and
topped with Nona's Kitchen
OCTOBER 2016 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - October 2016
Rural Missouri - October 2016 - Intro
Rural Missouri - October 2016 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - October 2016 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - October 2016 - Contents
Rural Missouri - October 2016 - 4
Rural Missouri - October 2016 - 5
Rural Missouri - October 2016 - 6
Rural Missouri - October 2016 - 7
Rural Missouri - October 2016 - 8
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Rural Missouri - October 2016 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - October 2016 - Cover4