I did not know Spectrum Lanes had a restaurant until one day, while bowling with some students, a waitress came by with a menu. We ordered and the food was good, like tasty good.
But I have not eaten at Woody’s Press Box, located at 5656 Clyde Park SW, in some time, so when we pulled it out of the hat, I was somewhat excited about visiting.
The restaurant was not full — it’s a big space — but it was busy. The day’s specials featured a lunch buffet and an all-you-can-eat spaghetti meal.
There was a special lunch menu that included an array of fare from pizzas to sandwiches to burgers, but what got me were the prices. Lunch meals were arranged in three categories, $4.53, $5.52 and $6.46, any of which comes with homemade potato chips or onion straws. You could upgrade to fries, loaded potato, coleslaw, macaroni salad, potato salad or baked beans for $1.75 more.
Let me repeat: You could have lunch for $4.53. With tax, it is still under $5 which is way cheaper than many of the large chain restaurants. The bargain hunter in me was doing back flips.
“Who would order only a half order of chips & cheese,” Mike asked as he looked over the menu. “That’s like a snack.”
“Me,” I thought in my head as it would make me feel less guilty with a half order. Then again, I don’t run a lacrosse team four days a week, burning off a gazillion calories.
When I came in, I was thinking burger but the personal, one-item 10-inch pizza at $4.53 stole my attention. Was it the price? Hmm, maybe, but I went with it. You could add extra toppings for $1.05 but I stayed to just pepperoni. It also came thin crust or hand tossed and at our server’s suggestion, I went with thin crust.
It didn’t disappoint. It was end-to-end cheese coverage with a nice sprinkling of pepperoni. Afterwards, I discovered I could have added a small side salad for $1.75, which I might have done and brought half the pizza home. Heck, I could see myself bringing a salad to work and snagging one of those pizzas and being very happy for a couple of lunches.
The price point alone is reason enough to pass all those other chain places by and head to Woody’s, the quality is the bonus for doing so.
“Would you like the lunch menu or were you planning on having the buffet?”
More attractive words have never been spoken into my ears. A lunch menu and a buffet? There had to be a catch. Fortunately for me, my stomach and taste buds, there wasn’t a catch as Joanne and I sat down for lunch at Woody’s Press Box.
When we first pulled in to the parking lot at Woody’s, I immediately noticed how big the building was. I was expecting a small, local sports bar but instead was presented with a behemoth of a building. However, once inside, the seating area wasn’t nearly as large as the outside portrayed. Joanne noticed my inquisitive focus on what we just walked into, how the size didn’t match up with what I saw from the outside, and mentioned that a bowling alley — Spectrum Lanes — is attached to Woody’s. The great mystery was solved and my focus could now shift back to what truly mattered, the food!
My eyes filtered through the lunch menu while occasionally peeking up at the TVs lining the walls. My eyes also caught a glimpse of the bartenders pouring generous amounts of beer into massive cups. Calling it a cup might be the understatement of the century, like saying the Titanic hit an ice cube. The portion sizes were truly a sight to behold, but Joanne and I were on the clock and we would like to stay gainfully employed. We opted for a water, with lemon of course, and vowed to come back another time.
So, about that food — as Joanne mentioned, the lunch menu had meal options that ran $4.53, $5.52, and $6.46. The lunch buffet cost $7.74 and could also be added to anyone of the meal options at a slight up-charge. Woody’s is essentially giving food away. Eventually I settled on the spicy chicken sandwich for $6.46 that came with homemade kettle chips and a pickle.
When I ordered my sandwich I was expecting something small but what was put on my plate may as well have been the full chicken. The meat protruded off of both ends of the bun and was stacked high with Swiss cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. The chips were bountiful.
The first bite into the chicken sandwich was juicy with a kick of heat. I’ll be honest with you, the sandwich was significantly better than I was anticipating. After every bite I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into the next one. The chips were crisp and added a hint of salt to fully complement my taste buds. To get a better idea of how much food there was, I wasn’t able to completely clean off my plate.
Eventually the bill arrived and I was pleased to see the price stay under $7 with tax included. After including the tip, the bill was still less than what I would’ve expected to pay for the size of sandwich I received.
Woody’s Press Box, I will be making my way back for lunch. This time I might even try the buffet!