Philadelphia is the self-proclaimed Cheesesteak Capital. I’ve traveled to the most well-known spots (Pat’s King of Cheesesteaks and Geno’s Steaks) and I’ve been to each several times over. Trust me when I say that they are essentially crap on a bun. You go to those tourist traps for the “experience;” there are better steaks to be had in Philly (and better experiences). Most locals would acquiesce – if you’re a steak connoisseur, you just don’t go to those spots. Don’t believe me? Go see what yelpers have to say. Unlike Champagne, you can have an authentic steak and cheese outside the 215. Which brings us to Woody’s, a local joint that stacks up just fine to those Philadelphia institutions … thank you very much.
Woody’s had been in Atlanta as long as most any restaurant (some 30-years). It is, dare I say, an institution. Owner David Pastoria has built a following, and his work is a real hit amongst the hustle and bustle of a Midtown lunch.
The building is an unassuming little hut that sits all alone on the intersection of Monroe & Virginia. However, the frequently crowded parking lot and the enormous sign let you know exactly what to expect: good food and a wait. Similar to Ann’s Snack Bar (internal), Woody’s moves at its’ own pace. I cannot remember the last time I went there when David wasn’t holed up behind the register.
They cook everything to order, so don’t expect to dive in and out in three minutes – it is not fast food. It usually takes between 7 and 10 minutes to get your order, and that’s just fine with me. If they are busy (which is most of the time), you’ll have to make yourself comfortable.
They have a handful of menu options, but make no mistake … this place is for cheesesteaks. The meat is quality and their cheeses, while not artisan, get the job done. You may find the meat to bread ratio a little lacking – in that case – just make sure you get double meat. I like mine with extra onions and extra cheese, though “All the Way” is tasty as well (+onions, +ketchup, + mustard). I’ve also sampled their turkey sub on occasion – fairly benign, but certainly acceptable if you are trying to stay on the lighter side. I will not hold it against them, if you want a healthy meal, you shouldn’t really be here. Their dogs look appetizing, but I can never get myself to order them. If I’m going to be bad – I’m gonna have a steak. However, I am determined to order a dog next time I visit.
In addition, their crushed ice is awesome (yeah – the ICE!!!). It comes in pellet form and crunches ever so subtlety with each chew. They are a lunch only place, so be prepared to be disappointed if you show up after 5pm. Nobody will be there! Though I *might* give the nod to Roy’s in overall quality – if you live nearby Woody’s there is no real reason to drive out there. Feel free to bring the kiddies as the place is wood from cover to cover; unless you plan on handing little Timmy a canister of kerosene, he won’t be able to do much damage.
Address: 981 Monroe Dr NE Atlanta, GA 30308 // P: 404.876.1939
post script: I grabbed that images off google … if they’re yours – lmk and I’ll gladly give credit where credit is due!