If there’s anything that keeps people coming back, it’s just as simple as a burger and a beer, says a longtime customer of one of Etobicoke’s most popular classic burger joints.
Peter J is Woody’s Burgers oldest regular, coming to the restaurant ever since it opened. “I came here to buy it… It’s probably the only comfortable place on Lakeshore I find where you can come and quietly have a beer, other than those bars,” Peter said.
Opening in 2007, Woody’s has been a part of the community for over 11 years.
The restaurant makes its burgers and sauces from scratch. On top of that, all their burgers are cooked over a wood-burning grill, meaning when you go to Woody’s you’re getting exactly the kind of burger you would expect from a good barbecue.
Their fries are crispy and their sweet potato fries are punched in house. They also use a proprietary blend of spices for their fries that you can’t find anywhere else.
If you’re not in the mood for burgers, right next door is Woodfire, a sandwich shop under the same ownership as Woody’s. With specialties such as the southern fried chicken sandwich and their weekend breakfast specials, Woodfire makes it hard to decide which of the two restaurants to go into.
However, something Peter isn’t happy about is the prices. “They screwed it all up… Not as many people come in. It’s happened everywhere though, since Tim Hortons put their prices up the whole world followed suit.” Peter was referring to the minimum wage increase to $14 an hour, which some businesses say forced them to raise their prices to cover additional costs.
That being said, at Woody’s, a standard seven-ounce burger will cost you $8.45. If you aren’t feeling too hungry, a 4-ounce burger is $5.45. Most additional toppings are free, but specialty items such as guacamole and bacon will cost you an extra $2. A small side of fries, which is fairly generous, costs $4.45. If you were to order a burger and fries, not including a drink, you’d be looking at just under $14 before tax.
Regardless of the price, Woody’s sees a lot of students on a regular basis. Deny Smith, Woody’s manager, said “We get a lot of students, especially since Humber is right down the road. Any traffic coming down from the GO station, coming back from school and all that kind of stuff.”
But it isn’t just students who make up Woody’s clientele. “We do get a lot of families in, a lot of locals… we have a lot of regulars. All the time,” said Smith. “It’s not overly priced and students can still afford it. Especially when you’re craving a good poutine, and it’s the only place in the area that serves a good poutine, I find.”
During the day, the restaurant doesn’t tend to be busy. Most business comes in the form of the lunch rush and the evening rush. For a student looking to get fast service, the best time to head out for lunch would be between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Getting to Woody’s isn’t hard for anyone passing through. “The GO station is maybe two blocks away, the Long Branch Loop is a block away, the 501 streetcar comes straight down… We’re on a major bus route between Browns Line and Lakeshore,” said Smith.
Woody’s is definitely the kind of place that’s worth going to if you’re going to be in the area. It’s only one bus away from the Humber campus and is a good alternative to traditional fast food restaurants — an excellent place to find a good, classic burger.