Our next stop was Woody's Barbecue in Santa Barbara/Goleta. Woody's is in a strip mall, and the inside is a mixture of rustic western mixed with classic video game arcade. There was a small approximately 20" television with ESPN playing. No flat screens here. We appeared to be the only people eating there at about 3:30pm on a Monday afternoon. I was looking forward to some sliced brisket, but was no brisket on the menu that was not chopped, slathered in sauce and placed on a sandwich. So I ordered the 3 meat combo and chose spare ribs, beef ribs and spicy italian sausage with onion rings and the salad bar for my sides. My barbecue buddy went for the smoked 1/2 chicken and Tri-tip with salad bar and a baked potato. We ordered them all with no sauce so we could taste the spice rub and the smoke. Woody's smokes their meats with oak and I was looking forward to barbecue kissed with smoke. When the food came out, it was obvious we were going to have a better experience than we did at Naples Rib Company 2 days ago.
When the plates arrived, I was impressed by the portions and the color of the meats. The spare ribs and beef ribs were smoked nicely and the meat was moist. The sausages were on the verge of being too dry, but had a great flavor and the casing had an excellent snap. The half chicken was dry and by far the most disappointing part of the experience and the Tri-tip was too well done for our taste and also verging closer to the dry side. They were sadly under seasoned. That is the same problem that I had with the spare ribs and beef ribs. They almost tasted as if there was no seasoning at all. I have to say that I was disappointed that I had to use the sauce to add flavor. I love it when the meat is seasoned with a tasty rub that forms a bark on the outside of the meat and brings out the flavor of the meat, but sadly, this wasn't the case. The 2 home made barbecue sauces however, were really good, and I used the spicy sauce very lightly and that brought the ribs to life. Normally, according to our waiter, Woody's serves their meats sauced, which would explain the lack of seasoning. We all know my feeling about barbecue meats served covered in sauce. Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!
On to the sides. The salad bar was ok. Not a lot of choices, but it is a barbecue joint, so who cares!? It was nice that they had one so I could tell the wife I had some greens along with my cholesterol. The onion rings were actually really good. They were nice and crispy and had great flavor!
The baked potato, well, it was a baked potato.
All in all, Woody's was a good experience and the portions were so generous that it was too much food to finish, so we packed the rest to go. On the way out of the strip mall, we ran into someone that could use the rest of the portion more than we could and they were happy to receive it. I am sure they were not nearly as critical as I was, and maybe that's the better message to take from this. In the end, we were grateful for our experience. If you're ever in Santa Barbara looking for barbecue, give Woody's a visit and you won't be disappointed. Just don't order it with no sauce, and remember, Barbecue is love, and we all need love!