Woody’s BBQ
5112 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 967-3775
Hours: Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.,
Price: $10 – $20

Woody’s BBQ seems to attract almost everybody, if the crowds of families, college students, senior citizens and mysteriously formal wear-clad high school kids lining up to order are any sort of indication

“Pretty much everybody,” general manager Steve Flora joked about those whom Woody’s dishes out food, “lower-class, upper-class, middle-class, everybody.”

The first thing that strikes you as you enter Woody’s is just how bustling the place is. Between the several rooms of feasting folks to the patrons busily scuttling back and forth to pick up their orders, the restaurant gives off gives off an energetic vibe.

The second thing you will likely notice is the décor. It is hard not to, as a sawdust covered floor and scores of old-school video games greet you from the entrance. When you add the random array of objects hanging from the walls – items ranging from pennants to car rims and a stop light to a toilet bowl – the general craziness really begins to sink in. This is by no means a bad thing, and but rather adds to the general fun-loving feel of the place.

However, it is when you get to the front of the line that the fun really begins. A massive menu filled with oddly named entrées awaits, and picking something to eat from it can be a struggle.

Flora offered a few tips to help with the selection process.

“We’re known for our ribs, our tri-tip,” he said. “As far as sandwiches, the bullwhacker is probably the most popular.”

Not to pigeonhole the restaurant, Flora added: “We’ve got excellent prime-rib and smoked chicken… pretty much across the board.”

The food, upon arrival, was everything that barbecue should be. That is to say it came in hearty portions, required countless napkins and made no illusions of being health food. A small suggestion: avoid nice clothing. A bib might be your new best friend.

The seating arrangements include an outdoor patio area (next to a befuddling empty bathtub in the bushes) and several indoor rooms with large televisions for viewing when you have a moment to glance up from your food.

The pattern for the television programming is no more clear than the decorations, as you might find anything from the Disney Channel to the Angels game (they lost) on one of the big screens. Then again, that is all part of the charm. Woody’s is a quirky, friendly barbeque place with hefty, tasty meals that anyone can enjoy. Eating until you’re more than full will take about $10, a bit more expensive than Isla Vista cuisine but still manageable.