Whenever I enter a barbecue joint of any kind, part of me hopes for bluegrass blaring, sawdust on the floor, and a smoke filled whiskey splattered dive bar. Given a choice between a rundown restaurant in the sticks that is badly in need of renovation after fifty years of neglect and a spotless shining new more gourmet barbecue place, I will always choose the former. I don’t want to turn this into an anti-corporate rant about the McDonaldization of the world, so I will just say that I would prefer that barbecue places make a greater effort to acknowledge their roots.
Woody’s (6176 Falls of Neuse Rd Raleigh, NC 27609) is a barbecue place that opened up recently at the Northridge shopping center on Falls of Neuse in a building that used to be a Hardee’s. It should also be noted that Woody’s is a chain barbecue place that can be found in a lot of areas of the Southeast. The building doesn’t look like much from the outside as it still holds a great deal of that crappy fast food restaurant charm including crumbling drive thru. Once I got inside I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had put a lot of work into renovation including new booths, pine paneling on the walls and many many signs with a vaguely country theme. The bar at the back was a nice addition though, and I was very happy to consume a Blue Moon with my meal. The signs irked me a little and they are likely the source of my discussion of barbecue authenticity at the beginning of this post.