Sunday, June 25, 2006

Woody's South

If you crossed home-cookin’ with a live-music bar, you’d get Woody’s. Which is evidently what Woody did. (According to Dale Rice, Austin American-Statesman Restaurant Critic.)

Location: 321 W Ben White Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 (Take the 1st street exit off 290 and head east on the access road to the South Bend Center.)
Phone: (512) 851-9663
Hours: Sunday thru Friday–11:00 am to midnight, Saturday–11:00 am to 1:00 am

The fam said they wanted to go eat somewhere. Of course, even though I’m the new guy in town and too busy to spit or look cross-eyed at a hoot owl, I’m supposed to recommend a place. A few minutes with Google gave me a short list. When I saw Woody’s has live music 7 days a week, the discussion was over.

We pulled up into a red-brick strip mall south of 290. Based on the look of the place, I expected to find an optometrist next to a CPA. But right there on the corner was Woody’s. As a bonus, across the parking lot is Shree Jee Grocery, the India/Pakistan market, where you can stock up on curry and naan.

The space used to be a Serranos location and the Mexico landscape murals are still there on the walls, even behind the stage. Gives an interesting feel, like found art. Some tables are wood finish, others have checkered vinyl tablecloths with holes in them. The menus and artwork on the maroon walls have a Dia de los Muertos thing going.

The menu, like the décor, is hard to pin down. I’d call it home cooking: chicken fried steak, catfish, meatloaf, grilled chicken, grilled sirloin. But how do you explain the shrimp flautas, Asian chicken salad, po-boy or Reuben? And the very broad selection of beers on tap? Some I'd never heard of, but we're fixing that.

That’s enough to get me inside. (Hey, they have fried okra, I’m there.) But then there’s the live music. So far I’ve heard 3 acts there: Bonnie Holms and Friends, Hayden Vitara and The Earthtone Players. All were worth listening to and as completely foreign to each other as the décor and menu items. (Bonnie’s ‘friends’ were named Stark and Black. Think of the potential. Stark Black Bonnie. Or forget Bonnie and team up as Stark and Black. Dang!) I get the impression that many of the acts play just for tips and CD sales, so cut them some slack and drop a few bills in the jar.

Woody’s South has all the makings of a hangout. If they had free wireless, I might never leave!


lisa said...

My favorite things of the world are those that are hard to pin down. Sounds like Woody's, were I in Texas, is the place for me. Great review! Glad you're blogging, Brad, about pretty much my favorite topic ever.

shanna said...

Oh my gosh, I miss Austin...the food, the music...the beer... Not that I spent heaps of time there, but a little can go a long way in forming memorable impressions of that place. Well, that, and I lived Austin vicariously through my college roomie for about three years. (You can take the girl outta Austin, but you can't take Austin out of the girl.)

So, More! More! And could you start shipping food samplings?

Wait, no...must get smaller, not bigger...


Jeanne Damoff said...

Hey, Brad. This blog looks like it will be as fun and ecclectic as Woody's. Glad the "too busy to spit" guy is making time for it.

I finished Escape a few days ago. It was almost surreal reading all the ETBU stuff--buildings, street names, even the same shady, west-side house where we buy our . . . never mind. Absolutely great read. I laughed often and cried through the whole scene at the cemetery. Great read. Truly.

Next up is Living. Can't wait.

relevantgirl said...

Hey blogger brad! Nice to see you on the blogosphere! Welcome! Bienvenue!

I'll see you at ICRS!

BJ Hoff said...

Looks like a fun place, Brad. (Woody's--and your new blog!)


Katy said...

Congrats, Brad, on biting the blog bullet. And on chowing down at Woody's. Can't wait to read (and salivate) more! Katy Raymond

BJ Hamrick said...

Oh my! He has a blog now! (See? I'm stalking you.)

Woody's sounds like a... fun... place.

And welcome to the wonderful world of blogging.

michael snyder said...

Can we play there when I come to live with you?

Austin has to be the coolest music town on the planet. Or at least in the top 3. Enjoy!

Brad Whittington said...

My, my. So many comments so soon.

Lisa: Thanks for the plug. All this traffic is due to you.

Shanna: There will be more. I plan to update once a week.

Jeanne: I thought you might like Escape given the Marshall connection. I hope we meet up soon so you can give me the inside scoop.

Mary: The bonus for you is that you'll get a chance to meet Milly at the Christys. I usually try to keep her in hiding since once people meet her, they realize she's the real deal and I'm just the court jester.

BJ#1: I decided the blogosphere already had plenty of more capable people writing about writing. And food's almost as good as writing.

Katy: Yes, the trick was finding something I could write about for longer than a week or two.

BJ#2: I do have an alarm system. By the way, doesn't look like I'll be making trips to Raleigh anytime soon. So, maybe you should come down to the . . . fun . . . place in Austin.

Snyderman: If you promise to come down, I'll work up the nerve to weasel a gig out of Woody. Pick up Jeanne on your way through East Texas.

Jeanne Damoff said...

Yeah. So I just realized something. Living is book two, not three. This explains a lot.

But the good news is, book three worked without it. That's the mark of a well-done series. Now I get to fill in all the blanks. :)

Woody's with you and Snyder! Say when and I'm there.

Heather Diane Tipton said...

ooooh going to have to plan a trip up from SA.

Welcome to the blogosphere!

Brad Whittington said...

JD: You might be the first person to go through the books in 3, 2, 1 order.

Heather: The other alternative is you tell me some cool places in SA and I'll come down and try them out!

Jeanne Damoff said...

Actually, it'll be 1,3,2. I started with the right one. :)

Katie - and that says enuff said...

OH! Thank GOD!! I was having FRED withdrawal ....