Sunday, June 12, 2011

Buckeye Fever

If you’ve ever driven I – 75 though Ohio you quickly realize two things. One, it can be pretty boring. Mile after mile of farm land wallpaper the view. Don’t get me wrong, farms can be nice to look at but after an hour or so, it gets a bit monotonous.
Secondly, finding a good spot to eat can be a bit of a challenge if you’re not a fan of chain restaurants. Obviously I’m not and at times it can be tough to find a decent “Indie.”
If however you find yourself in the middle of the state get off at exit 111, drive into town and hit up Woody’s diner in Wapakoneta.
Wapak as locals refer to it, would probably be nothing more than another in the string of small towns along 75 were it not for a gentleman named Neil Armstrong. You know, “One small step for mankind” etc. Born in 1930 to Stephen and Viola the family left in his early years for a series of moves until finally resettling in time for Neil to attend high school. A museum honouring the Naval and Aerospace hero is right off the highway and certainly worth a stop.

It’s also in football country. Buckeye football that is. So Woody’s is as you can imagine a bit of a shrine to all things Ohio State football. Autographed pictures, jerseys and other memorabilia adorn the walls.  The name Woody’s is in honour of legendary OSU coach, Woody Hayes.
Otherwise the space is pretty much just about function. Simple tables and chairs with booths lining three sides and a bar by the kitchen. 

One other thing about Woody’s. They appreciate a good laugh. Big fans of A Christmas Story the center piece of their Christmas decorating is the “Can Can” dancer leg lamp they put in the front window a la Mr. Parker.
Woody’s does a lunch buffet which is taken well advantage of by locals and of course, us. Todays offerings are reviewed below.
I will tell you that the buffet tastes much better than the picture would indicate.
The Broasted chicken (left) was very good. Broasting is a trademarked method of deep frying chicken in a pressure cooker. (It’s how the Colonel does his chicken.) It produces a crispy skin with a juicy interior and this was no exception. The breading was minimally seasoned so it tasted mostly of juicy chicken. Nothing at all wrong with that.

The chicken and noodles  (front) were pretty solid. Just think school cafeteria chicken soup but half the broth and/or twice the noodles. It was loaded with good size pieces of chicken too. Quite tasty.

I had a piece of the sub (right) as well and while it didn’t wow, I thought it was pretty good. 

I skipped the mashed potatoes (back).

Also part of the buffet is pizza. Constructed and cooked on site they had a nice fresh crust with a zingy sauce that was well balanced with cheese. The toppings were a bit minimal and more or less just played in the background. I had no problem with that so all in all, a very enjoyable pie.
Being a burger lover it was tough for me to pass it over but I noticed a guy at the next table ordered one. It was cooked medium (if that’s your cup of tea) and he very much enjoyed it.
For a little more fun they have the “Big Woody” challenge. A 4 lb hamburger, a pound of fries and a pound of coleslaw. If you eat it all in an hour its free and you get an “I ATE THE BIG WOODY “ T-Shirt. I wonder how much longer it will be before Adam Richman and the Man vs. Food crew pay a visit.

So in an area flush with the big chain places it’s nice to find a place where you can get some good solid chow in a nice, friendly environment.

You can find Woody’s at 9 N. Wood St. in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

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You can also “Like” them on Facebook.
 Woody's Diner on Urbanspoon

Well that’s all for now folks. Take care and we’ll see ya next time in the food court.

1 comment:

  1. The most exciting thing for me about woody's diner is being one of the original members of the kitchen staff there. Seeing this small restaurant grow into something we all knew it could be, a " touchdown". The food is never boring and everyone is held to a high standard of quality. I dare any world class chef to step foot into there kitchen on any Saturday night and try to keep up. The best part of woody's though is not its quality, physical appearance, or great tasting pizza. It is the freshness. What many do not know is that about 90% of the food you order from woody's is hand prepped, battered, cut, chunked, chopped or sliced. This diner puts hard work into the phenomenal food it cooks for its guests.