Sunday, June 14, 2009

Woody's Wood-Fired Tavern: A questionable steal

All you can eat soup, salad, and pizza buffet at Woody's Wood-Fired Tavern: Nope, I wouldn't call it fantastic. But at $8.99 for the meal—$5.99 on Mondays, and if you're with a friend, buy-one-get-one with a coupon—I might call it a reasonable bang for your buck, if your appetite is large and quantity over quality is what you favor.

Actually, at $8.99 I still probably wouldn't bother. The salad bar is kind of depressing—the kind of bagged-iceberg-lettuce, industrial-dressing-and-croutons affair that somehow manages to seem unfresh even while it's the freshest part of the meal. This isn't a salad bar that has a lot of other fun stuff on it either: you can make a green salad with toppings, or get yourself a few scoops of heavily mayonnaised potato or macaroni salad. It's unlimited, but I can't imagine going back more than once, tops.

Same with the unlimited soup, which consists of a choice of…one. On the evening I went, the offering was a baked potato soup, which I suspect had arrived to the kitchen in a giant can. It would have given Campbell's a run for their money, in any case.

So as you might guess, it's really the pizza that makes this deal make sense. At any given time there are several varieties waiting under the heat lamps, with fresh ones sliding onto the counter every ten or fifteen minutes, depending on how quickly the stuff is disappearing onto diners' plates. For all the boasting about "wood-fired" and fanciful concoctions like Buffalo Chicken, California Dream, and BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, the pizza wasn't distinctive—but it wasn't bad, either. It's the kind of pizza you wouldn't be unhappy with if it were offered to you while you were drinking beers at your friend's place. That's the other key here: you must be drinking beer while eating at Woody's. It'll make everything better. So beer, several slices of pizza, maybe some soup and salad: if you've paid $5.99 or less for the food, consider it a win.

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