After a rough half day of getting her hair done, having a manicure, and a pedicure, and then scoring some bargains, the Mrs. returned to the old homestead hungry. So off we went in Herman, in search of something different than the plethora of fast food and chain operations that choke The Dining Wilderness That Is The Inland Empire. We ended up on Foothill heading east from Central and passed up Joey's BBQ because we have been there and done that. We also passed up Buffalo Inn, because there was no way I was going to get the Mrs. to come willingly into an establishment named after an animal.
Further east we passed what looked like four defunct independent restaurants on that strip of Foothill between Mountain and Euclid in Upland, and of course the northwest corner of Foothill and Mountain where El Gato Gordo, an independent Mexican restaurant formerly resided was now taken up by a recently arisen Walgreen's.
On the eastern edge of Upland we cruised by a little place called The Deli, which appears to be a sandwich joint, but I was not sufficiently moved. A little further on we passed Vince's Spaghetti, that local bastion of cheap spaghetti and meat sauce that smells like warm dog food.
Then we cruised past Redhill BBQ at the corner of Redhill and Foothill. There was real firewood stacked outside the establishment and there were a couple of oil-drum BBQs going in the front of the place. We thought of stopping and trying the place, especially after we passed and got downwind and could smell that wonderful wood smoke, but something compelled us to continue on.
On the Mrs., Herman and I cruised, ever deeper in to the wilderness of east Foothill Boulevard, passing all of the chains arrayed east of Vineyard, and somehow Herman ended up in a right turn only lane at the corner of Foothill and Rochester. So rather than trying to continue further east in to the Fontana dining desert, and eschewing the 15 freeway, I let Herman take us around the corner on to Rochester and the Mrs. again demonstrated her growing houndliness as she spoke the words, want to try Woodys? My brain almost did not process the words, and almost kept the Mrs. and I and Herman heading south on Rochester, when the words did register in the old noggin, Woodys? And then in an instant, quicker than the speed of light, the brain processed the thoughts: No it cant be the real Woodys. It wont hurt to check it out.
So there we found ourselves, in the Rancho Cucamonga branch of Woodys Bar-B-Que. Yes an offshoot of the real, original Woodys of Slauson Avenue fame. Turns out there are actually three Woodys, number 1 on Slauson in L.A., number 2 on Market in Inglewood, and glory be, hallelujah, number 3 in the midst of The Dining Wilderness That Is The Inland Empire. Unlike the original Woodys, this branch actually has tables and chairs in a bright storefront, with copies of modern art on the walls. The modern art seemed a bit incongruous for a real, authentic Q joint, but upon reflection it makes perfect sense. All of the great modern artists obviously were inspired to do their best work when they were starving artists, deeply in need of and craving truly masterful Q. Thoughts of smoky pig heaven is what drove these artists, that once their talent was recognized by the public, and the money started rolling in, they would be able to eat bar-b-que every day if they wished!
So rather than being slightly disturbing, that copy of Edvard Munchs The Scream on the wall above the Mrs. and I was an affirmation that we had made the right decision by continuing on our quest until we found Woodys, tucked away in a shopping center. The woman in The Scream was in agony, yes, but in the agony that precedes ecstasy, because she was jones'ng for Q!
I bellied up to the counter where there was that essential condiment of real Southern bar-b-que, loaves of Wonder bread, and ordered one rib (short end) dinner and one sliced beef dinner.
The meat portions were generous and included small sides of baked beans and potato salad, and the requisite two slices of Wonder bread.
The meats were good, and unlike when the chow team last sampled the output of the original Woodys, the sides were quite good. My only quibble was with Woodys sauce, to my taste much too tomato-ey, without any bite. So I kicked it up a bit with the Louisiana Hot Sauce that was on the table, and made a mental note to bring along some Daves Total Insanity the next time I visit Woodys.
The Mrs. really wanted some dessert so went back to the counter to fetch some peach cobbler. The cobbler was served very warm, but it was way to watery and the dough was nothing special. Woodys also has sweet potato pie, however I would recommend sticking with the Q at Woodys and going to the nearby Krispy Kreme at Ontario Mills for dessert.
Woodys in Rancho is conveniently located for all hounds heading to or from Vegas. The intersection of Foothill and Rochester is less than ¼ of a mile west of the 15 freeway. Chowhounds heading east on the 10 that need a Q fix, only need to jaunt a couple of miles north of the 10 on the 15 to the Foothill exit, then go west on Foothill.
11897 Foothill Boulevard, #B
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
3446 W. Slauson Avenue
Los Angeles, CA
475 S. Market Street